(KMOV) – Bricks are in high demand outside of St. Louis, and with a wealth of brick structures in the St. Louis area, thieves are stealing bricks to fulfill demand.
While police busted two men this week for taking bricks from a vacant home that collapsed, it can be difficult to catch most thieves.
Anyone selling bricks to dealers are supposed to present a demolition permit issued by the city so the dealer knows the bricks are from a legitimate source. But unscrupulous dealers buy up the bricks with no paperwork.
Thieves are often just shooed away by police. It’s often difficult to enforce the ordinances on the books.
One trick brick thieves use is setting a vacant house on fire. The pressure from the fire hose knocks the brick down and cleans the mortar from it. Then thieves can just pick them up.