Several items have gone missing from the Ronald Tutor Campus Center construction site, but authorities disagree as to whether the items were stolen or simply misplaced.
According to Department of Public Safety reports, a total of 16 screw guns, each valued at approximately $300 to $400, and a hammer drill battery went missing in the three-month period between November and February.
DPS Capt. David Carlisle said DPS does not believe there is any foul play involved.
The tools, Carlisle said, are more likely missing because of a poor system in place by the construction company in charge of the site, which doesn’t have a regular system in place for checking on their materials.
“At first glance, it doesn’t seem someone is coming in during the middle of the night to steal these things,” Carlisle said. “A number of power tools are checked out by workers, but they don’t check on the equipment again for a number of months.”
But Stan Westfall of USC Capital Construction said he thinks there might be a bigger problem at hand.
“It could have been misplaced, but last I heard, it wasn’t,” Westfall said.
He wouldn’t give details of worker checkout policies, however, for fear of creating further theft issues in the future.
“If there is a theft problem, I don’t want people finding out how to get around it,” Westfall said.
He noted that steps have been taken to prevent thefts,
“We’ve been locking the fences around the project. We can also now lock the building’s doors and that definitely helps,” Westfall said.
Carlisle added that he thinks the report was most likely filed for insurance purposes.
“We cannot confirm that a theft has occurred,” he said. “It could be misplaced. We really don’t know.”
DPS will file a lost property report and then turn the case over to the Los Angeles Police Department.