The National Equipment Register, a company that operates databases of equipment theft and ownership records, has launched a stolen equipment tip line (866-NER-TIPS).
Under certain conditions, NER will pay rewards for information that leads to a recovery, says David Shillingford, president of NER. “Although our primary purpose is to respond to inquiries from law enforcement, we have sometimes received calls from concerned citizens who have information about suspicious equipment,” Shillingford says. “This type of call increased dramatically in 2005 and the stolen equipment tip line is designed to encourage more of these calls and reward the caller where appropriate.”
As an example of the concept, Shillingford described a case in which an equipment buyer in Mississippi was offered a Caterpillar D5 LGP dozer below market value from someone who claimed to be affiliated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The potential buyer called NER and not only was the machine recovered, but further investigation led to the recovery of eight other machines worth more than $350,000.