Approximately $1 million in stolen construction equipment was recovered April 9 on a farm in Redland, Fla. According to police, there was so much equipment that it took 43 flatbed trucks to take away the stolen goods.
While local law enforcement officers think the farm served as the hub for a giant, Florida-based theft ring, they can’t figure out who owns the equipment. Most of the stolen property, which includes backhoes, large generators, trailers and portable light units, don’t have identification numbers on them. To help identify owners of the equipment, law enforcement officers have requested that anyone in Florida who has had construction equipment stolen during the past year contact the Miami-Dade police.
According to LoJack Corporation, equipment theft rings like the one in Florida are not unusual. The search for one piece of stolen equipment usually reveals a large theft operation.
Approximately $1 billion in heavy equipment is stolen annually, averaging about 200 pieces of equipment every week. A 2003 study found that skid steers/skid loaders are the most stolen equipment, accounting for 26 percent of all reported equipment thefts. Backhoes, front-end loaders, air compressors and generators follow closely behind as the most stolen items.
To help protect equipment owners from theft, LoJack recently released a “Site Smarts” educational guide to give owners and equipment users information on what to do to prevent their equipment from being stolen. Some of the topics addressed include why equipment theft is on the rise, why some types of equipment are more of a target than others and how owners can keep their equipment safe from thieves. According to the “Site Smarts” guide, the best protection against theft is to keep an accurate record of the equipment’s information, including serial number, manufacturer, year, style and model number. The use of an equipment recovery system can also aid law enforcement in tracking the stolen equipment.
To download the “Site Smarts” guide or obtain copies for your jobsite, click on the link to the right.