LoJack Corp.'s eighth annual Construction Equipment Theft Study -- an analysis of LoJack stolen-vehicle recovery reports for calendar year 2008 -- indicates construction theft continued at a steady pace, with organized crime driving theft and loaders being the number one theft target. LoJack helped police recover more than $15.5 million in stolen construction equipment in 2008. Since entering the construction market in 2000, the company has participated in recovering more than $100 million in LoJack-equipped stolen construction assets.
"In today's down economy, construction equipment owners need to take extra precautions to protect their valuable equipment from opportunistic professional thieves who see this as a high reward, low risk form of theft," said Ronald V. Waters, LoJack's president and CEO. "Unfortunately, the real cost of stolen equipment is far more than the value of the item stolen, since business owners typically pay the hefty price tag of business downtime, increases in insurance premiums and contract penalties."
Poor on-site security, easy access to open cabs, one key fits all and lack of product identification numbers/records are all issues that make construction equipment easy targets for professional thieves. A 2008 Cygnus Business Media Research Study commissioned by LoJack and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a full 71 percent of equipment owners have experienced equipment theft.
This year's study once again showed the ongoing role organized crime plays in the problem of construction equipment theft, with law enforcement discovering nine theft rings and chop shops through tracking and recovering stolen equipment with the LoJack System. Through these discoveries, police recovered more than $2 million in additional stolen assets that were not LoJack-equipped.
In one theft-ring bust, the LoJack System helped Miami-area police find a major construction theft ring and recover more than 30 pieces of construction equipment/commercial vehicles -- including welders, compressors, generators, weed whackers and hedge trimmers -- valued at approximately $1.5 million.
Overall, LoJack has enabled law enforcement to discover more than 70 theft rings and chop shops since entering the construction market.
More from LoJack's 2008 Construction Equipment Theft Study, including most-stolen machine types and insights into how to prevent thefts