Skid steer loaders are third on the 2016 LoJack® Corporation Study on Construction Equipment Theft list for type of heavy equipment stolen (tracked and wheeled loaders were first). Since May of 2018, there have been five recovery stories sent over by LoJack’s Law Enforcement Liaisons (LE’s) from across the U.S. that included these popular construction assets.
Recovery Stories from Coast to Coast
- New York – A 2003 Ingersoll-Rand Skid Steer (Bobcat), and other equipment, was taken from a New York construction yard located in the 113 Precinct (Cambria Heights section of Queens) while the owner was away. The recovery was made in the 101 Precinct (Far Rockaway section of Queens) after the silent LoJack signal brought police to a construction site where the Skid Steer was being operated. The approximate value of the equipment was $16,500. The owner’s other stolen equipment, not equipped with LoJack are still missing.
- Oklahoma – A 2011 John Deere 326D was stolen near Norman. An Oklahoma Highway Patrol helicopter, equipped with a LoJack® Police Tracking Computer, located the equipment and directed ground units to a rural area southwest of Chandler. The skid steer, found in a barn, was in the process of being repainted. No additional damage happened before law enforcement recovered it.
- Colorado – A 2008 Melroe Bobcat Skid Steer Loader disappeared from a Loveland construction site. The Colorado State Patrol Aviation Unit picked up the silent LoJack signal. The loader was found inside a box truck along with other stolen equipment. It was recovered undamaged.
- California – Three vehicles and equipment belonging to a commercial contracting company were taken from a hotel parking lot in Castro Valley. The assets were a 1999 Ford F350 crew cab truck, towing a 2016 Tru-Trailer utility dump trailer. Inside the utility trailer was a rented 2016 Melroe Bobcat S450 skid steer loader, which was equipped with the LoJack® System. The police were able to track the trailer with skid steer to a nearby location and recover them undamaged. The Ford F350 is still missing.
- California – A 2005 John Deere Skid Steer Loader and 2005 Ford F250 were stolen near Stockton. The loader had the LoJack® System installed. A California Highway Patrol Air Unit picked up the silent LoJack signal and tracked it to a rural property near Campo Seco. The stolen John Deere Loader was found re-painted with its Product Identification Number re-stamped in an attempt to conceal its identity. The Ford F250 was at the same location. Law enforcement arrested the suspect.
These situations reinforce the study findings that most thefts are local with the assets found within a few miles from the theft location. Hiding ID numbers in various places on equipment is a good idea, as one California recovery story shows when thieves tried to alter identification information. Additionally, all of the stories highlight the benefit of having a LoJack® System installed.
Monitoring equipment remotely with asset telematics might have helped the New York, Colorado and Castro Valley theft victims. Notifications set up to trigger when something unusual happens, such as the ignition turning on while you’re away or if a virtual boundary set around a site were crossed, would have alerted them to a potential issue. Just like having layers of physical protection and processes, it is wise to implement different technology solutions to help safeguard and recover your construction equipment. Our Construction Solution page has more information, access it here.