Beware of Heavy Equipment Thieves

Construction equipment theft is a nationwide epidemic. The Bureau of General Services revealed that each year more than a billion dollars worth of construction equipment and tools are reported stolen. Ninety percent of construction tools are stolen right from the work site.

A 2013 report published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau examined heavy equipment theft, data released by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center. According to the report,11,486 heavy equipment theft was reported which was a 5% percent increase from the previous year.

Reasons for Heavy Equipment Theft

Construction tools and other types of heavy equipment is often subject to theft for numerous reasons. One of the biggest reasons why is because heavy equipment is valuable. Most heavy machinery is worth more than $150,000. Generators can cost $25,000 or more, forklifts are as much as $50,000, and backhoes can run up to $55,000. Such expensive equipment is resold to contractors or the parts are sold on the market.

Another reason heavy equipment is targeted by thieves is because it’s easy to access because it’s poorly secured. Companies tend to leave equipment out in the open at job sites for an extended period of time. In addition, job sites that houses the equipment are left unattended after hours especially during nighttime hours. The lack of security affords thieves multiple opportunities to steal tools.

Heavy equipment theft rates are so high because thieves are rarely caught and prosecuted. Before stolen equipment is resold, thieves strip the tools of any identification numbers. This makes it impossible for stolen machinery to be recovered.

Popular Targeted Equipment

Some tools are favored by thieves over others. Smaller machinery is stolen more often because it’s easier to transport and to resell. The National Insurance Crime Bureau report divulged that mowers,\tractors, and skid steer loaders are the most stolen machinery.

Tips for Preventing Theft

How can small businesses protect their equipment and tools? It’s important to take preventative measures to ensure that your company’s property is secure. Below are some easy tip you can implement:

● Use security devices such as; chains, wheel locks, steering wheel locks or any other accessories that are designed to immobilize equipment.
● Keep photos and written inventory of all equipment.
● Engrave the serial number or identification number into the equipment that way thieves won’t be able to take it off.

Heavy machinery and other industrial equipment are covered under commercial property insurance. Contact our insurance agent today to determine the best policy for your business.