LoJack Corporation’s Stolen Vehicle Recovery System helped Chicago-area police find a major construction theft ring and recover more than 30 pieces of construction equipment/commercial vehicles valued at approximately $900,000.
The recovery was made at a chop shop in East Chicago, Ind., June 14 after a Chicago Police Department helicopter equipped with a Lojack Police Tracking Computer picked up a signal from a stolen International truck.
The chop shop contained a vast array of stolen items, including semi-tractors, mini excavators, skid steers, trailers, compressors, generators, welders and several loads of cargo that were taken from the stolen semi-tractors.
“The discovery of this chop shop demonstrates just how vulnerable construction equipment is to the growing problem of theft, which is estimated to cost construction equipment owners approximately $1 billion annually,” said Ronald V. Waters, LoJack’s president and chief operating officer.
“Inadequate site security, lack of standardized product identification numbers and easy to access cabs all make construction equipment an easy mark for thieves who are often part of organized crime rings. Owners need to step up physical security, keep good records of equipment and use proven recovery systems like LoJack to protect their equipment — and their businesses — from the costly problem of theft.”
This chop shop involved more than 30 pieces of equipment and commercial vehicles that were stolen in the Chicago area and transported to a chop shop in East Chicago, Ind. The recovery unfolded when a Chicago Police Department helicopter picked up the signal from its LoJack Police Tracking Computer and notified the Calumet City Police Department in Illinois and the East Chicago, Ind., Police Department. Officers from the two departments then pinpointed the location of the stolen truck to a large fenced in property.
Upon entering the yard, they discovered a number of stolen trucks, as well as construction equipment that was in the process of being stripped. Auto Theft Investigators from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department then took over the crime scene for several days and discovered a number of other pieces of stolen construction equipment on the property. Many of the units were stolen so recently that owners did not even realize the equipment was missing.