LoJack Corporation has unveiled its annual wrap-up of the year’s top recoveries involving stolen construction equipment that were equipped with the LoJack System, which underscores that organized theft rings continue to drive theft rates upward.
With construction theft climbing each year, LoJack offers construction equipment owners a radio frequency-based system recovery system that is used by law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.
“In the six years that LoJack has been tracking and recovering stolen construction equipment, we’ve seen that organized crime rings are often behind the theft. Many of this year’s most compelling commercial equipment recoveries point to that fact, as well as highlight the use of identity theft and the arrest of fugitives and scam artists,” said Richard T. Riley, LoJack’s chairman and CEO.
“We’re proud that our highly effective solution was instrumental in not only these recoveries, but in helping fight the growing problem of construction equipment theft — a problem with a very high cost to construction companies in both lost equipment and business downtime.”
LoJack’s top construction equipment recoveries for 2006 are:
• Biggest Theft Ring Bust — This major theft ring, which was discovered when Los Angeles PD/California Highway Police tracked down a LoJack-equipped Ingersoll Rand skid steer — has it all: the recovery of more than $750,000 in construction equipment; stolen equipment that was being shipped overseas to Russia and Germany; and the use of identity theft to rent and steal equipment. Thus far, multiple suspects have been identified and the investigation is ongoing.
• Best Use of Aircraft in the Discovery of Theft Ring — In this major theft ring bust, a Houston PD helicopter picked up the signal from a stolen LoJack-equipped 2000 John Deere 310E backhoe loader.
Police quickly tracked down the backhoe and in doing so uncovered a large theft ring involving another stolen backhoe, flatbed trailer, John Deere dozer, Kioti tractor, Big Tex trailer and more — all valued at more than $400,000.
• Best Rental Scam Bust Recovery — A Colorado-based equipment rental company was “taken” by a scam artist, who was eventually arrested due to the LoJack System.
The thief rented a skid steer, attempted to sell it to another local business and eventually tried to trade it for a $9,000 Harley-Davidson. The equipment was tracked and recovered by police who identified the thief as a serial scam artist and was wanted as a fugitive in multiple states.
• Best Use of LoJack to Track Down a Needle in a Haystack — A stolen forklift was being housed in a large warehouse complex in Las Vegas that was larger than four city blocks and contained literally hundreds of forklifts.
Using the LoJack System, police were able to hone in on and identify the very forklift they were looking for — from among hundreds of look-alike pieces of equipment — and return it safely to its owner.
• Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed Recovery —When a construction company in Florida discovered its Schwing Concrete Pump was stolen, it didn’t have far to go to report the theft since the equipment was actually stolen from a construction site at a Police Department.
The pump was recovered and the thief was arrested for grand theft.