California Remains Highest Ranking State for Equipment Theft

LoJack Corporation released new data originating from the company’s annual Construction Equipment Theft and Recovery in the United States study. LoJack’s annual study and accompanying infographic review theft trends specific to construction equipment and tools equipped with the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System.

LoJack’s 2013 study revealed that:

  • California remains the highest-ranking state in terms of equipment theft as a result of many active construction projects, as well as an international border with access to major shipping ports.
  • Light utility vehicles / work trucks and trailers are the most common type of commercial equipment stolen.
  • Newer equipment models were stolen more often than older equipment – largely due to the fact that the resale value of new equipment is greater. In fact, 46 percent of equipment stolen in 2013 was less than five years old.
  • In 95 percent of the cases, the stolen equipment was recovered in the same state that the theft was reported.
  • Construction theft is prevalent in suburban areas, particularly in areas where construction growth is widespread.

“According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, close to $1 billion a year nationwide is lost due to the theft of construction equipment and tools,” said Courtney DeMilio, Associate Vice President of LoJack Commercial. “It has become harder to detect construction theft, and combined with the fact that jobsites are often poorly secured, thieves are finding the theft of construction equipment is a lucrative opportunity. As a result, construction and rental businesses are vulnerable and at an increased risk for theft and significant monetary losses as a result of theft.”

Additional noteworthy findings from the study of stolen and recovered commercial vehicles equipped with a LoJack device in 2013 include:

States with the highest occurrence of equipment theft were:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. New Jersey
  6. North Carolina
  7. Arizona
  8. Maryland
  9. Ohio
  10. (Tie) Colorado, Illinois, New York

Most popular types of stolen and recovered commercial equipment installed with a LoJack device in 2013 :

  1. Light Utility Vehicles / Work Trucks / Trailers
  2. Backhoe Loaders / Skip Loaders / Wheel Loaders
  3. Generators / Air Compressors / Welders / Light Towers
  4. Skid Steers
  5. Other
  6. Mini Excavators
  7. Forklifts

In 2013, 61 percent of the thefts were from the following top manufacturers (note: there were thefts from a total of 51 different manufacturers):

  1. Ford – 31 percent
  2. Bobcat – 12 percent
  3. John Deere – 9 percent
  4. Caterpillar – 5 percent
  5. Case – 4 percent

“LoJack’s data reveals that 44 percent of equipment installed with our system was recovered in less than five hours after being reported stolen,” DeMilio said. “A swift recovery time of equipment is growing in importance, as modern economic conditions have led construction businesses to increasingly rent rather than purchase equipment. This rising demand for heavy-duty rental equipment has made rental companies, and the businesses they supply, vulnerable for not only theft, but significant monetary losses as a result of theft.”

About the “2013 LoJack Corporation Study on Construction Equipment Theft”

During the 12 month period from January through December 2013, LoJack tracked theft reports in 27 states where equipment theft was reported and where construction equipment installed with LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System led police to recover the stolen assets.

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