The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released their full 2014 report on construction heavy equipment theft (PDF download) and the news is not great: theft has risen roughly 1.2 percent versus 2013. According to the report, a total of 11,625 pieces of equipment were stolen in 2014, compared to 11,486 in 2013. The annual report is co-authored by the National Equipment Register (NER) and examines and analyzes data from the National Crime Information Center. The NICB estimates the equipment theft costs between $300 million to $1 billion annually.
The report breaks down the data into several sub-categories, most notable: theft by state, types of equipment stolen, theft by manufacturer, and stolen equipment recovery rates.
Theft by State
The top 5 states for equipment theft astonishingly amounted for 41% of all equipment thefts in 2014 and the top 10 accounted for 62%. The NICB’s analysis of the data concluded that, as you would expect, the states with the most construction projects underway had more equipment theft. The report also mentions that crime rings tend to form where the most opportunity for theft arises.
Types of Equipment Stolen
The NICB report hose to include landscaping equipment, such as mowers, in their report, which accounted for over 5,000, or 43%, of the equipment thefts. Being a construction web site, we’re going to ignore those and focus on the construction equipment. The top 3 types of construction equipment stolen in 2013 were loaders, tractors, and excavators. The study determined that value and mobility were the two key factors in the high amount of theft of these items. The bigger the machine, the harder it is to steal.
Theft by Manufacturer
This data is again muddied by the fact that so many of the equipment thefts were landscape equipment, so it’s no surprise the John Deere tops the list. Just like with the type of equipment, the companies that dominate this list sell a large number of smaller pieces of equipment that are much easier to steal.
Stolen Equipment Recovery Rates
Of the reported 11,625 equipment thefts in 2014, only 2,633 of those were recovered, which amounts to 23%. The NICB report mentions several factors for that low rate of recovery, including:
- Delay in discovery of theft
- Inaccurate or missing owner records
- Limited law enforcement resources
- Difficult and confusing equipment identification number formats
Tips to Prevent Theft of Equipment
The report also includes several steps to take in order to prevent future theft occurrences on your job site, which include:
- Installing hidden fuel shut off systems in your equipment
- When equipment is left unattended, remove the fuses and circuit breakers
- After hours and on weekends, make sure equipment is placed such that it is difficult to move. Surround smaller pieces of equipment with larger ones.
- Maintain detailed and accurate records of your equipment
The full report has a lot more information and is well worth a read. if you'd like to download it, you can do so by clicking the link directly below this.