The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its study on heavy equipment theft for 2013 this past October and the results show a total of 11,486 pieces of heavy equipment were reported as stolen to law enforcement last year, a five percent increase from the previous year’s findings.
Mowers, loaders and tractors were the top three most stolen items in 2013. More than 5,000 mowers were taken during this time period (riding and garden tractors fell into this category). Out of the thefts reported, only 21 percent of the heavy equipment stolen was eventually found. For this reason, these were accounted for as costly crimes for insurance companies, equipment owners, and rental companies.
The majority of theft cases took place in Texas, while North Carolina and Florida were close behind. August was the most common month for theft, although most of the crimes were committed in the summer.
The report, which was conducted with the National Equipment Register, offered advice to equipment owners who are looking to protect their belongings.
“When they purchase equipment, owners should register serial numbers in the NER database, so that the information is available to law enforcement 24 hours a day,” the report stated. “In the event of a theft, law enforcement can identify the equipment, even during weekends or at night.”
Additionally, the authors of the report claim that equipment owners should make it a point to install hidden fuel shut-off systems and refuse circuit breakers when machinery is not in use. For further protection, individuals who have a large amount of equipment may want to keep inventory and photograph their belongings. This can give them the information they need to submit to the police in the event of theft.