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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Sunday, October 19, 2003 ::

    Theft, vandalism costing building firms millions By Gerry Bellett Vancouver Sun
    One of the big targets for thieves are four-by-eight tongue- and-groove plywood sheets, the price of which has risen 50 to 75 per cent recently thanks to the U.S. government buying them up following the war in Iraqi.

    'It's a case of supply and demand. Ten sheets of plywood are worth $1,000,' said Keenan.

    'They'll come after the plywood has been delivered to be used for roofing. The thieves could be trades working on the site -- which makes it cannibalism -- or someone who has cased it out beforehand,' he said.

    The thieves invariably use white panel trucks whose rear or side doors make loading contraband relatively simple.

    Thieves prey on construction sites By MELANIE LAGESCHULTE Des Moines Register
    Arnie Porath, public information officer for the Ankeny Police Department, said officials have received at least three reports of plywood stolen from job sites since early September.

    Sgt. Dave Disney, spokesman for the Urbandale Police Department, said construction-site thefts in his city have recently shifted from tools to materials.

    Salem said plywood may seem like an unlikely target, but its price has jumped from $5 to $20 or higher per sheet in the past year, giving a 50-count pallet of plywood a retail value of $1,000 or more.

    'The theft is in the plywood because it's the item with the biggest markup,' Salem said, adding that suppliers have told him several hurricanes and the rebuilding of Iraq are to blame for price increase.

    Plywood prices hit new highs this year - Wet weather plays a role in shortage By Tracy Meadowcroft
    Debbie Tingley, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Builders Association, said she's never seen such an acute shortage of plywood during her 20 years with the association.

    "There's no indiction at this time as to when supplies will go back up," Tingley added.

    She added it's been many years since the last price increase, which was caused by a tax on Canadian lumber.
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