Thieves are cashing in on a building boom in the Denver metro area. As the number of housing developments under construction grows, so do reports from discouraged contractors who say shingles and even roof decking is being stripped from rooftops after dark, leaving small contractors holding the bag. "They are actually taking decking off the roof in the middle of the night, then lowering the material through the house, loading it in the garage and driving away," one contractor said. "The small roofing contractor is eating this." Local police have beefed up patrols in areas where thefts have been reported, and they've asked residents to report nighttime roofing activity. Sam Whinery of Alpen Construction & Development said roofers are being forced to raise their prices because they're losing so much money from material theft. That, in turn, could affect the sales prices of new houses.

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