The operator of a 2015 Premier Water Pump arrived at the jobsite in Florida ready to work, only to find the piece of heavy machinery missing. After the theft was reported, the Miami-Dade police were able to track the silent LoJack signal via helicopter. Police requested backup from any colleagues in the area, and multiple K-9 units which were doing training nearby responded quickly and were able to assist. The LoJack tracker led police to private farm land, where they discovered both the stolen water pump and a John Deere “Gator” that had previously been reported stolen. The suspect was taken into custody while the heavy equipment was recovered.
While Premier Water Pumps, such as this one, can be worth more than $60,000, they are not among the top types of equipment stolen. Usually, thieves target valuable items that are also light and highly mobile. However, in this case, thieves singled out the water pump because they were looking to replace a broken one on their own property — illustrating that any kind of valuable machinery is at risk.
According to LoJack, contractors should consider adding jobsite safety measures to help reduce the risk of theft, such as installing fencing and signage, and hiring a security guard. Other preventative measures include disabling all machines after use (i.e. removing relays or battery cables), as this makes it more difficult for a criminal to easily power up a machine and get away with it unnoticed.
This particular equipment recovery also highlights the importance of installing advanced tracking devices that go beyond the GPS capabilities offered with telematics. This water pump did have a GPS device installed in it, but police were not able to track the GPS signal as the pump was not in operation, therefore not providing power to the GPS. The added layer of tracking technology was the key in this case.
Solid theft prevention and recovery protocols such as these can make all the difference in helping to protect thousands in valuable equipment this summer.