Construction equipment theft report released

August 2012, Vol. 67 No. 8

LoJack Corp. has released its 12th annual Construction Equipment Theft Study. According to the report, LoJack-equipped construction assets worth about $8.8 million were recovered in 2011. A total of 40 people were arrested by the police as a result of recoveries involving these assets.

Since entering the construction market in 2000, the LoJack System has helped law enforcement recover LoJack-equipped stolen construction assets worth more than $130.5 million and bust nearly 80 chop shops and theft rings.

LoJack says the cost of equipment theft continues to vary between $300 million to $1 billion annually.

As has been the case in previous years, professional thieves can be particularly successful with construction equipment theft in part because it is an easier crime to perpetrate. Most job sites have poor security; open cabs are easy to access; one key can fit all pieces of equipment; and there is a general lack of product identification numbers/records in the industry, the company says.

The most stolen equipment list has a very similar profile to last year’s report and reflects an uptick in construction jobs, as these types of equipment are most often found on job sites. The types of equipment most frequently stolen are (in order):

1. Light utility/work trucks and trailers (36 percent)
2. Backhoe loaders/skip loaders/wheel loaders/track loaders (26 percent)
3. Skid-steers (14 percent)
4. Generators/air compressors/welders (11 percent)
5. Others

The top four equipment types represented 87 percent of all construction equipment recoveries documented by LoJack in 2011. Fifty-eight percent of the equipment stolen and recovered was five years old or less and 75 percent was recovered in 24 hours or less after being reported to the police. Seven percent of the equipment was recovered in less than one hour.

Based on LoJack’s recovery data, the list below reflects the top states with the highest occurrence of equipment theft. These states either have many active construction projects and/or an international border or access to major shipping ports, making them primary theft areas.
1. California
2. Texas
3. Florida
4. Georgia
5. Arizona
6. New York
7. North Carolina
8. New Jersey
9. Maryland and Washington
10. Nevada