California Tops List of Construction Equipment Theft

July 16, 2014

LoJack Corporation released data from its annual “Construction Equipment Theft and Recovery in the United States” study, which reviews theft trends specific to construction equipment and tools equipped with the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System.

During the 12-month period from January through December 2013, LoJack tracked theft reports in 27 states where equipment theft was reported and where construction equipment installed with LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System led police to recover the stolen assets.

Results of the study include:

•  California remains the highest-ranking state in terms of equipment theft as a result of many active construction projects, as well as an international border with access to major shipping ports.
•  Light utility vehicles/work trucks and trailers are the most common type of commercial equipment stolen.
•  Newer equipment models were stolen more often than older equipment — largely due to the fact that the resale value of new equipment is greater. Forty-six percent of equipment stolen in 2013 was less than five years old. 
• In 95 percent of the cases, the stolen equipment was recovered in the same state that the theft was reported.
• Construction theft is prevalent in suburban areas, particularly in areas where construction growth is widespread.
“According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, close to $1 billion a year nationwide is lost due to the theft of construction equipment and tools,” said Courtney DeMilio, associate vice president of LoJack Commercial. “It has become harder to detect construction theft, and combined with the fact that job sites are often poorly secured, thieves are finding the theft of construction equipment is a lucrative opportunity. As a result, construction and rental businesses are vulnerable and at an increased risk for theft and significant monetary losses as a result of theft.”
Additional findings from the study of stolen and recovered commercial vehicles equipped with a LoJack device in 2013 include:

States with the highest occurrence of equipment theft were:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. New Jersey
  6. North Carolina
  7. Arizona
  8. Maryland
  9. Ohio
  10. (Tie) Colorado, Illinois, New York  

Most popular types of stolen and recovered commercial equipment in 2013:

  1. Light utility vehicles/work trucks/trailers
  2. Backhoe loaders/skip loaders/wheel loaders
  3. Generators/air compressors/welders/light towers
  4. Skid steers
  5. Other
  6. Mini excavators
  7. Forklifts

In 2013, 61 percent of the thefts were from the following manufacturers (there were thefts from a total of 51 different manufacturers):

  1. Ford – 31 percent
  2. Bobcat – 12 percent
  3. John Deere – 9 percent
  4. Caterpillar – 5 percent
  5. Case – 4 percent