EQUIPMENT THEFT SUMMARY AND ADVISORY
November 24, 2008
Friday, an NER member rental fleet lost a 2004 John Deere 310-G Backhoe to theft in Miami, Florida. This represents the 30th backhoe reported stolen to NER in southern Florida in 2008. As the theft trends highlighted below illustrate, equipment theft is evolving but not in a positive direction; unfortunately it is becoming more organized, more focused, and more prolific.
Theft Concentration- Miami
NER has received 30 theft reports on Backhoe Loaders in the greater Miami area. 3 Case machines, 6 Caterpillar, 2 Komatsu and 19 John Deere. Undoubtedly this does not reflect all the machines taken in this area- If your agency has received a report on a backhoe theft in this area, or you as an owner have suffered a theft, be sure to report it to NER to ensure the machine data is accurate and so that the data is widely accessible to Law Enforcement nationally through NICB and NER. Take steps to protect your machines in this area not with an attitude that you may be targeted but that you will be targeted. Regardless of make or age, all machines in this area should be disabled when not in operation, or stored in yards or in doors.
Don't become a victim of Heavy equipment theft, the Ravelco Anti Theft System is compatible with all makes and models of heavy equipment or machines.
Big Rigs and Tractor Trailers
In 2005, Big Rig tractor trailer theft was at an all time high when reported to the National Crime Information Center. Organized crime rings are the driving force behind big rig and heavy equipment theft. With no security offered by the factory on most big rigs, drivers are faced with the huge risk of having their tractors stolen. In most cases tractors are worth $100K while the cargo behind it is more towards a half of a million dollars. National statistics show that this is a huge problem and it is getting worse. Reports to Insurance Services Office, Inc. shows an increase of up to 20% in the value of big rig trucks every year since 1999 and they show theft as the most common cause of loss of loss for the big rigs. The most worrying statistic for owners, operators and insurers is that as little as 10-15% of stolen big rig ever recovered. Stop worrying and get the Ravelco Anti Theft Device now!
Since the World Trade Center tragedy on September 11, 2001, numerous manufacturers of Fire Trucks, Rescue Equipment Vehicles, and even Mosquito Spraying Trucks, have contacted us inquiring and purchasing our Ravelco Anti Theft Device. It makes us real proud when we asked them how they heard about us and they replied "from their local law enforcement agencies."
Heavy Equipment Theft is On the Rise!
There were more backhoes, bobcats, bulldozers, cranes and front end loaders stolen in 2005 according to the National Crime Information Center. Heavy Equipment is being stolen and taken across the borders to other countries where our insurance companies will not even bother to look for them...and who pays for this? You do when your insurance costs sky rocket!
The Problem with Heavy Equipment Theft
1. Insurance companies are getting to the point that they don't even want to insure heavy equipment any longer because it is so easy to steal. Some national surveys have suggested that the total figure could be as much as $2 billion each year in losses and indirect costs, such as rentals, downtime, wasted management time and project overrun penalties. Perhaps the most worrying statistic for owners and insurers is that as little as 10% of stolen heavy equipment is ever recovered.
2. FACT: Most heavy equipment within the same make and model range use the same key.
Why do Thieves Steal Heavy Equipment?
The answer is simple. The reward for the thief far outweighs the risk taken. Heavy equipment often has little physical machine or site security, is valuable and is easy to sell. The low recovery rate is a clear indication of the low risk for a thief. If an item is recovered, an arrest may not be made. Where an arrest is made, a conviction may not be secured. Even where a conviction is secured, the penalty is likely to be light.
Why is it Easy to Steal Heavy Equipment?
The first problem in equipment recovery is the time lapse from theft to theft discovery. A car theft will be discovered within hours, if not minutes, after the crime. A heavy equipment theft on a Friday night might not be discovered until Monday morning. Equipment owners with larger fleets or multi-site operations may not discover the theft for days, weeks or, in some cases, months. This gives the thief a ‘window’ of opportunity when any investigation by law enforcement will not find a theft report. This is a particular problem because suspicious activity such as moving equipment at a strange time of day or on ill-suited transport is most likely to occur during this ‘window’. The gap between autos and equipment widens further when the availability of data is considered