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Mowers, Loaders, and Tractors Popular Theft Targets


Grounds managers at institutional and commercial owning mowers, loaders and tractors should consider additional security issues for their equipment, according to a recently released report.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported that the theft of heavy equipment was on the rise in 2014 by 1.2 percent from the previous year. In 2014 a total of 11,625 heavy equipment thefts were reported — up from 11,486.

The report was co-produced with the National Equipment Register and examines theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center.

Mowers — at more than 5,000 — were the most-stolen items, followed by skid steer or wheeled loaders at 1,900 and wheeled or tracked tractors at 1,475.

And once the item is gone — there’s about a 1 in 5 chance it’s gone. Only 23 percent of stolen equipment was recovered. The NCIB encourages facilities to take the following measures to help reduce the risk of theft:

• Install hidden fuel shut-off systems.

• Remove fuses and circuit breakers when equipment is unattended.

• Render equipment immobile or difficult to move after hours or on weekends by clustering it in a “wagon circle.” Place more easily transported items, such as generators and compressors, in the middle of the circle surrounded by larger pieces of equipment.

• Maintain a photo archive and a specific list of the PIN and component part serial numbers of each piece of heavy equipment in a central location. Stamp or engrave equipment parts with identifying marks, numbers or corporate logos.

• Use hydro locks to fix articulated equipment in a curved position, preventing it from traveling in a straight line.

• Use sleeve locks to fix backhoe pads in an extended position, keeping wheels off the ground.

Texas (with 1,650 reported thefts) ranked No. 1 among all states in thefts followed by North Carolina (918) and Florida (915). Houston (201), Miami (105) and San Antonio and Oklahoma City (83 each) were the cities with the most thefts.

A full report on the results can be found here.

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