Jeannette Businesses Hit By Rash Of Wooden Pallet Thefts

JEANNETTE (KDKA) — It might be the new version of copper wire thefts; wooden pallets are disappearing in Westmoreland County and being resold for cash.

You see them all the time, sitting in piles or stacked neatly beside a building or business – pallets. And they’re not cheap.

“The lighter-colored pallets are $2 – $3, the blue ones go for about $5,” Gregg Livengood of Avolio Food Distributing said. “The orange and red ones go for about $10.”

With that kind of price tag, pallet thefts are happening more and more in the area. In Jeannette, Avolio Food Distributing has been hit by pallet thieves quite a few times.

“Well over 500 pallets in the last year and a half probably total,” Livengood said. “He gets up to 100 at a time.”

The latest pallet raid happened earlier this week, and it was all caught by surveillance cameras.

“Backs into our truck. Takes probably about 60 pallets,” Livengood said. “They’re pretty quick.”

DiMartino Ice Co., also in Jeannette, was targeted by pallet thieves recently, as well.

So why are pallets all of a sudden the popular item to steal? Nationwide, they’ve been popular when it comes to theft for at least 20 years. Wood, scrap wood in particular, that’s used to make pallets is in short supply.

Also in short supply — patience.

“We need to do something,” Livengood said.

He wants the thieves caught. Avolio Food Distributing, after all, is a family business. Every dollar counts.

“Can’t afford to lose money on anything,” Livengood said. “[Stealing pallets is] kinda low. Isn’t there something better to do?”

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