At 10 p.m. three thieves crept into a quiet jobsite off U.S. Highway 550 in New Mexico. When their target, a John Deere 310SG backhoe loader, didn’t start they suspected a master disconnect switch was the cause. They immediately left the jobsite for cables to wire around the disconnect switch. On their return, they wired across the battery, got the backhoe running and began driving it down the street with their white GMC truck close behind. Less than a mile from the site, several police cruisers performed a felony stop on the backhoe and truck, and caught the crooks red handed. By the time equipment owner, Bill Joiner, of Joiner Construction, arrived on the scene, the three thieves were handcuffed and lying on the ground.
The backhoe was protected by DPL America’s TITAN Equipment Monitoring System, Its proactive disable feature extended a routine 20-minute theft into an hour and a half effort. During that extended process, unknown to the robbers, a number of silent alarms continually alerted Joiner employees and the police. The TITAN’s GPS location even pinpointed the machine on a street level map, making it easy for the authorities to find the criminals.
A search of the thieves’ white GMC truck uncovered a cluster of universal keys for nearly every machine make as well as other burglary tools. The truck itself was stolen property. The thieves had already painted over all Joiner Construction identifying marks and decals.
The major players in the $1 billion equipment theft market are, and the Joiner thieves were no exception. Fortunately, one of the thieves apprehended was the ringleader an organized crime ring.
“The TITAN saved me an $80,000 backhoe,” says Joiner. “I’d recommend putting it on everything you can’t afford to lose, it’s completely worth it.”