As mom to two young boys Iâ€™ve had to become familiar with construction vehicle terminology, such as backhoes, skid steers and excavators. So itâ€™s with interest I read the latest heavy equipment theft report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
The report, co-produced with the National Equipment Register (NER), analyzes heavy equipment theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and breaks out the data by theft state, theft city, theft month, equipment manufacturer, equipment style (type) and year of manufacture.
Here are some of the key takeaways of the 2012 NICB Heavy Equipment Theft report:
— A total of 10,925 heavy equipment thefts were reported to law enforcement in 2012, down 7 percent from the 11,705 reported in 2011. Since 2008, there has been an overall 19 percent reduction in heavy equipment thefts.
— The three most stolen heavy equipment items in 2012 were: mowers (riding or garden tractor: 5,363); loaders (skid steer, wheeled: 1,943); tractors (wheeled or tracked: 1,459).
— Heavy equipment manufactured by John Deere was the number one theft target in 2012, followed by Kubota Tractor Corp, Bobcat, Caterpillar and Toro.
— The top three states for heavy equipment thefts in 2012? Texas ranked first with 1,401 reported thefts, followed by North Carolina with 1,037 thefts, and Florida with 890 thefts.
The report also looks into heavy equipment recoveries in 2012 and here comes the sticker shock for insurers.
According to the NICB, only 20 percent of heavy equipment stolen in 2012 was found, making it a costly crime for insurance companies, equipment owners and rental agencies.
Bear in mind that annual estimates of the cost of equipment theft vary from around $300 million to $1 billion, with most estimates in the range of $400 million.
But, these estimates do not include the theft of tools or building materials or damage to equipment and premises caused during a theft, or losses from business interruption, such as the cost of rentals, project-delay penalties, and wasted workforce and management time.
The NICB says the area that needs the most improvement is also the one that promises immediate results: making accurate information available to law enforcement 24 hours a day.
At a minimum, equipment owners should keep accurate lists of equipment with PIN/serial numbers and submit them to law enforcement, their insurers, and NER as soon they discover a theft. 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. In the event of a theft, law enforcement can identify the equipment, even during weekends or at night.â€