A joint effort by Ottawa and Gatineau police, as well as MRC des Collines, have netted three suspects charged in connection with a string of thefts from Ottawa and Gatineau construction sites.

With a near-record number of construction projects in Ottawa this summer, construction workers say tools and trailers can be easy targets.

"You have some pretty brazen thefts and I've heard incidents of someone walking up and hooking up a trailer and driving away in broad daylight with it. They are so brazen, they look like the construction team and people don't really take notice," said John DeVries, of the Ottawa Construction Association.

Undercover operation

The three-week undercover operation, dubbed 'Project Big Task', recovered $80,000 of stolen property, vehicles and trailers.

Three men from Gatineau are charged with various offences. Guy Grison, Marc Grison and Yan Mineault appeared in Ottawa court on Wednesday. Police say the trio will soon face more charges in Gatineau.

"These guys ran day and night and any hand they had in anything, everything was stolen," said Const. Katherine Larouche.

Cross-country trend

Across the country, 30,000 pieces of equipment are stolen each year, causing an estimated $50 million in losses. Police say organized crime is involved, and some items are sold overseas for triple the value.

However, many landscaping companies can't purchase insurance for their trailers because they are too easy to steal. If your landscaper or construction team is targeted, chances are the project will be delayed and you will be the one who pays the overhead.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Kate Eggins