Stolen truck used to ram gate and steal lumber: Guelph police

Guelph police are looking for a man after more than $10,000 worth of lumber was stolen from a local business early Monday morning.

Officers were called to a business on Wellington Street West at around 8:45 a.m.

"Video shows someone backing the truck into the yard and loading themselves up," said Andre Belisie, who owns the Home Hardware targeted by the thieves. "My management team noticed that the gate was broken, then we started our investigation from there."

Belisie said they estimate they lost around $10,000 in lumber, in varying lengths from eight to 12 feet.

He said lumber is a hot commodity these days due to a spike in home renovation projects.

"Especially backyard projects because people aren't travelling," Belisie said.

The price of wood has also increased recently.

"Easy doubling of the price," Belisie said. "In some items, you've seen almost triple."

He said supply is thin these days amid an increase in demand.

"With COVID and restrictions on people being able to work, the supply has been stretched," Belisie said.

Police said they've seen an increase in property crime in the past few months, including theft of these kinds of items.

"We do see a lot of theft of scrap metal and non-scrap metal such as copper, copper wire, copper pipe," said Scott Tracey with Guelph police.

Belisie said he's considering implementing new security measures to protect his products.

Police say the truck had earlier been reported stolen from Kitchener. It’s described as a white GMC pickup with a dump-style box and the number 83 on the driver’s side front fender.

The suspect is described as a white man with a dark brush cut. Police say he was wearing a black jacket and black pants at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Mark Medulun at 519-824-1212, ext. 7346, email him at mmedulun@guelphpolice.ca, or leave an anonymous message for Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

With reporting by CTV News Kitchener's Heather Senoran