By Jennifer McGraw

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — A building boom is underway around the city and officials are issuing a word of warning to residents to be on the lookout for thieves.

“It could be everything from kids partying to criminals going in to look to break into a house,” said Rob Baquera, Roseville Police spokesman.

More than 3,000 new homes have been built in the last three years, police say all this construction is becoming a bonanza for thieves.

Since the beginning of the year, police have received 26 reports of theft from new neighborhoods under construction. In some cases, the crooks steal tools and other work site valuables.

“The loss could be from a few dollars, to a tool, thousands of dollars with some of the new appliances,” Baquera said.

The thieves are even breaking into new homes.

“Microwaves, ovens, things that are newly installed. Those are being taken from the houses,” he said.

Police say the suspects usually strike at night when they’re difficult to spot by the few neighbors who have moved in.

“You can imagine that these guys are using some heavy trucks or large vans, something to carry this equipment away and those are the things to look out for,” he added.

Officers are increasing enforcement in the area.

“We certainly have bait property that we can put out that will hopefully be able to trigger a criminal reaction,” he said.

And the penalties are stiff.

Many of the items stolen are considered grand theft, felony charges.

If you see something suspicious, perhaps a moving van in the middle of the night, call the police.

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