Acting Sgt. Trevor Henderson with a painted forklift that would be easy to identify. The Edmonton Police service launched the "Tattoo your equipment" campaign to curb the theft of heavy equipment in Edmonton. In west division alone EPS investigates about a dozen thefts a month.
Photo credit: Photograph by: Shaughn Butts , Edmonton Journal
With a set of construction fatigues and a hard hat, a would-be thief could walk onto a construction site unnoticed and steal a skid steer.
“They look like they are supposed to be in the area, wearing all the things you would see at a construction site ... They look the part, fit the part and they’ll come in and be driving off with your skid steer or loader,” said Acting Sgt. Trevor Henderson of the Edmonton police department.
The construction industry often leaves equipment onsite and uses generic equipment, with generic keys; making the theft of heavy equipment quick and easy.
For that reason, police are urging those in the industry to “tattoo their equipment." Starting July 12, police will give away invisible ink UV markers and removal resistant paint markers to owners of heavy equipment. Police hope the pilot program will help curb the estimated 30-55 pieces of heavy equipment stolen monthly.
“This started because we were seeing an increase in the number of thefts,” said Leila Daoud, a police department communications adviser. “We heard about welding your name on a piece of a equipment, but it is more challenging ... these are cost-effective.”
Henderson said spray painting or marking heavy equipment is better than placing easily removable stickers.