oJack Corporation released data and findings from its annual Construction Equipment Theft and Recovery in the United States study. From January through December 2014, LoJack tracked theft reports in states where equipment theft was reported and where construction equipment outfitted with LoJack System led police to recover the stolen assets. LoJack’s report reveals industry trends specific to construction equipment and machinery equipped with the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System.
California continues to top the list of states with the highest rate of equipment theft. Texas and Florida rank second and third, respectively, likely due to a close proximity to major shipping ports and the high volume of ongoing construction projects throughout the year.
Tools such as backhoe loaders and skid steers are the most common pieces of equipment stolen and recovered, accounting for 60% of all LoJack System-equipped construction equipment recoveries. Newer equipment models continue to be stolen more often than older equipment. With higher resale value, new equipment can prove to be a lucrative target for thieves. Fifty-four percent of equipment stolen in 2014 was less than five years old.
The danger from construction thieves remains relatively consistent throughout the year, with an uptick in activity from November through March, when more equipment is idle due to lower construction activity during colder months.
“Construction equipment remains a key target for practiced thieves as it remains difficult to secure and high in value,” said Courtney DeMilio, National Vice President of Commercial and Fleet. “Replacing stolen construction equipment comes at a significant cost that goes beyond the simple dollar value of the equipment. Oftentimes, theft has a much greater, negative impact on a business — loss in job productivity, the inability to complete a job, a diminished professional reputation — all while the owner is spending a substantial amount of time and money to replace the equipment. As criminals continue to target high-value construction equipment, protecting these tools is something that, unfortunately, must remain a high priority for all construction equipment owners.”
In 2014, more than $7,735,458 worth of construction equipment assets were stolen and recovered. Replacing those assets, if lost, would have cost their owners more than $13.1 million.
States with the highest occurrence of equipment theft:
- (Tie) Arizona, Colorado
- New York
- North Carolina
- (Tie) Washington, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan
Most popular types of stolen and recovered commercial equipment installed with a LoJack device in 2014:
- Backhoe Loaders / Skip Loaders / Wheel Loaders: 35%
- Skid Steers: 25%
- Towables (Air Compressors, Generators, Welders, Light Towers): 20%
- Excavators/Mini Excavators: 9%
- Other: 7%
- Forklifts: 4%
The top five equipment brands most stolen and recovered in 2014:
- Bobcat: 24%
- John Deere: 20%
- Caterpillar: 8%
- Case: 8%
- Takeuchi: 6%