Building Site Theft Penalty Stiffened in North Carolina
A bill imposing stiffer penalties for thefts from construction sites has been passed by the General Assembly of North Carolina as the result of an intensive grassroots lobbying campaign by the members of the North Carolina Home Builders Association.
Introduced by Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) at the request of the builders association, S. 532, the “Construction Site Theft/Aggregate Penalty” act would make the theft of materials or equipment with a value of $300-$1,000 from a construction site a Class I felony.
The legislation passed the House on July 6 by a nearly unanimous vote of 115 to 1.
The act steps up punishment for felonious larceny, possession or receipt of stolen goods from sites with a permit, license or other authorization from state or local government for new construction or property improvements. It will apply to offenses that are committed on or after Dec. 1, 2005.
Using its grassroots legislative contact system, the association activated its members from across the state to send e-mails to House members to alert them to the urgent need for the measure. Included in those communications were personal horror stories from victims of thefts from home building sites, a trend that has been growing at an alarming rate nationwide.
Paul Wilms, the association’s director of government affairs, credited the e-mail onslaught for the act’s overwhelming support in the House.
For more information, e-mail Alex Strong at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8279.