Five States Account for 31 Percent of Heavy Equipment Thefts

By Sheena Neal | September 28, 2010

Five states account for 31 percent of all heavy equipment thefts, according to the National Equipment Register’s (NER) most recent theft report. The states are Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and California, where, due to the high volume of construction and agriculture, equipment is more likely to be stolen.

To educate equipment owners on preventing such thefts, law enforcement personnel, insurance agents and equipment owners gathered in Marietta, GA, recently for a Heavy Equipment Theft Summit. They discussed the equipment theft problem, recovery challenges and solutions. "Our summit attendees enjoyed the program for several reasons – education, current solutions on the market, and networking," said Stacy Kaufman, NER’s director of sales and marketing.

Those unfamiliar with heavy equipment might ask why and how could it be easily stolen. The equipment is stolen because it has high value and there is a consistent demand for it. There is also often a lack of due diligence in the used-equipment market and low risk of detection, arrest and prosecution due to the difficulties of investigating such thefts. Although it might be cumbersome to move, there are two major reasons why such theft is possible and easily accomplished:

  • Low site and vehicle security
  • Remote and unobserved worksites

Theft Prevention Tips

It often becomes difficult to investigate stolen equipment for several reasons. Chief among them are: time delay in theft discovery and reporting; the lack of ‘real time’ ownership information; non-standard numbering formats; and the confusion between PIN and other ID numbers of components and attachments.

Equipment owners are urged to take precautionary measures against equipment theft, such as:

  • Using equipment locks
  • Installing sufficient site lighting
  • Installing fencing/barriers, and gates

Register Equipment

In addition to these theft deterrents, NER offers HELPtech®, a program that allows equipment owners to register their construction or farm equipment on a national database, searched 24 hours a day by police officers throughout the country. After equipment has been registered, warning decals are provided to affix on equipment as a theft deterrent.

"Millions of machines are registered in the NER HELPtech database, many in conjunction with other security devices," explained Kaufman. "NER is able to assist law enforcement to identify you as the owner of any registered equipment, often times before you even know it has been stolen."

For more information about a NER Equipment Theft Summit in your area, visit