Theft and vandalism on the jobsite cost general contractors and subcontractors more than $1 billion annually, according to insurance industry calculations. Most jobsite bandits steal tools and equipment for their own use rather than for resale. Mortar mixers, scaffold frames and plank, generators, saws, drilling tools, masonry units, and bags of cement are common plunder. Contractors suspect youngsters are responsible for most jobsite vandalism. For larger firms especially, employee theft may be a problem as well, but it is difficult to prove. PREVENTING MATERIAL THEFT Contractors should avoid Friday deliveries in particular, which give thieves the weekend to pull off a heist. When materials must be stored, hide them in inaccessible places if possible. SECURING EQUIPMENT Most masonry contractors have lockable gangboxes for storing hand tools, extension cords, shovels, nails, wall ties, and other small items. With cables or chains, contractors typically lock wheelbarrows, brick and block carts, and mortar buggies together, to erected scaffolding, or to larger equipment. To protect forklifts and other heavy equipment from theft, joyriding, and vandalism, consider installing hidden "kill switches" to make it difficult to hot-wire the machines. Make sure all machine controls are covered by lockable protective panels and all fuel openings have lockable covers. GENERAL CRIME PREVENTION There are several other steps a contractor can take to prevent theft. These include: hiring an overnight guard; erecting fencing; jobsite lighting; and posting of warning signs. It is also essential to track equipment in the field. Record serial numbers of all equipment on the site. This information can be used to prove a loss to insurers and assist the police in an investigation of a theft.