The American Rental Association (ARA) will honor the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Construction Theft Detail on February 28, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at The Rental Show, ARA’s annual convention and trade show. The ARA Insurance Services/NER Theft Award will be presented to Detective Thomas Riesselman on behalf of the LVMPD Construction Theft Detail for its contributions to the fight against heavy-equipment theft in the rental industry.
Following the investigation of a skid steer theft in 2007, Det. Riesselman and the LVMPD Construction Theft Detail launched a “Bait Equipment Program,” aimed at apprehending would-be heavy-equipment thieves. Since establishing the program, the LVMPD Construction Theft Detail has arrested more than 30 suspects — with 100 percent conviction rate — and recovered more than $1 million worth of stolen construction equipment and materials.
With the help and involvement of local equipment rental businesses, the LVMPD Construction Theft Detail’s program has been adopted by more than 29 different law enforcement agencies, resulting in more than 400 additional arrests as well as the recovery of more than $6 million in stolen equipment.
Criminals who commit equipment theft are typically involved in other illegal activities as well. The LVMPD Construction Theft Detail’s program has enabled other law enforcement agencies to discover and dismantle four professional crime rings, eight auto chop shops, and a number of drug labs and to seize more than 100 illegal firearms.