NER Warns of Equipment-Theft Rash in New Jersey

NER Warns of Equipment-Theft Rash in New Jersey

National Equipment Register has received a number of theft reports with a concentration in New Jersey since the first of the year, including a number of brazen thefts of machines from enclosed yards. Offenders have mostly targeted machines parked on job sites, and have on several occasions used the victim's trailers to remove the machines.

Though mostly skid steers have been targeted, medium excavators have also been taken.

Paralleling the equipment thefts are a rash of thefts involving large excavator and loader buckets, with the thieves even removing the buckets from equipment. See security-camera photos of the thefts in progress.

NER says equipment related crimes can best be prevented by law enforcement and the equipment industry taking proactive measures, and increasing communication between the diverse parties experiencing these crimes.

Law Enforcement:

  • Convey to patrol and dispatch personnel that equipment theft activity is elevated in the area, and that any activity involving equipment outside of normal business hours should be considered suspicious, particularly smaller truck and trailer rigs loading equipment on vacant job sites.
  • If in doubt of an operator's legitimate possession of equipment, contact NICB at (800) 447-6282 for a search of NER's equipment ownership registration, and contact the owner to verify the machine's status.. NER maintains management contacts and emergency contact information for local and national member equipment fleets. Contact NICB or NER at (866) 663-7872 for this information.
  • Reach out to area equipment businesses to insure they are aware of this problem, and are taking steps to reduce their vulnerability. For assistance in locating businesses, contact NER at (866) 663-7872 or email

Equipment Industry:

If you have any information in these crimes, please contact NER at (866) 663-7872 or police agencies listed in the case summaries below. If you suffered a similar theft, be sure it is reported to NER.

Educate your crews and supervisors about the problem so they are mindful of vulnerabilities at your sites, and so they are watching activity at all job sites and yards in the area.

Educate neighboring businesses about the equipment crime problem impacting the area, and what activity on your yard or job site should be considered out of the ordinary.

Call 911 if you witness suspicious activity, no matter whose equipment or yard is involved. If it had involved your property, wouldn't you want someone to make a call?

Be wary of unknown vehicles parked at your yard or site, or in the area, and talk to everyone that comes on your jobsite. Contact local police if you think you are being cased.

If approached with a "too good to be true" used-equipment deal, contact NER for assistance in determining if equipment is stolen. Contact the correct police agency if it is.

Provide this alert to local police if officers are not aware of this trend. If you would like NER and NICB to follow up with your local police, contact NER at (866) 663-7872, or email

To review all recent NER alerts on area thefts, go to NER’s alerts and advisories page and look under Northeast Alerts. Select New Jersey Incidents.

Tenafly - Cat 318-B-L stolen from a demolition site. Tenafly PD report C2011-245

Medford, Galloway, West Deptford, Gloucester, Woolwich, Logan Townships –Excavator and Loader bucket thefts (see link for details).

South Plainfield – Bobcat S-175 stolen from Hadley Plaza. South Plainfield Police

Fair Lawn – Deere 240 Skid Steer and flat bed trailer stolen using a white Ford extra cab. Fair Lawn Police Report 11-06394

Secaucus – Deere 50-D taken from Meadowlands Parkway. Secaucus Police report 11-2682

Bellmawr- Rental fraud involving the theft of light towers from two separate locations. Bellmawr Police

Oakland – Bobcat S-300 taken from Topcon Medical Systems. Oakland Borough Police Report 11-01333

Oakland – Cat 262-C Skid Steer also taken from an industrial property on Bauer Drive. Oakland Borough Police Report 11-01156

Secaucus – Cat Excavator and Backhoe taken from NJDOT yard. Secaucus Police Report 11-1240