Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday heavy equipment and rental theft is on the rise nationwid

Holiday heavy equipment and rental theft is on the rise nationwide, and thieves have been targeting machines at dealerships, rental yards and large construction sites, police said.

“These high-dollar thieves like to strike during the holidays, when heavy equipment may be more accessible because it is being used during bad weather, or left unattended on vacated construction sites,” said Glynda Chu, spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department.

Chu said business owners are encouraged to register all equipment with the National Equipment Register, and make sure all emergency contact information is current and correct.

In an effort to help cut down on these types of crimes in the local area, the Edmond Police Department is offering these theft prevention reminders:

• Make sure lighting and alarms are working properly.

• Watch those false alarms, it could be thieves testing your reaction, and watch for vehicles driving by slowly or repeatedly, they may be “casing” your property. Hiring an armed guard over the holiday could be money well spent.

• Test cameras in daylight and after dark; are the cameras positioned to capture license plates and faces?

• Move light or highly targeted equipment into service bays or more secure areas of the yard.

• Conduct a security survey of the yard and buildings. Walk around the property to see if there are any vulnerable points.

• Talk to neighboring businesses, especially those that will be open during the holiday, and watch out for one another.

• Make sure an employee checks on the facility at different times during the holiday.

• Know which law enforcement agency is responsible for your business, so if there is a theft or attempted break-in, you know which agency to quickly report the crime.

• Get information on what was stolen to other companies and clients as soon as possible in case they are approached to buy your stolen property.

• Make sure you have an up-to-date record of equipment serial numbers. Verify what’s on the machine PIN plate is accurately recorded in your records.

• Photograph machines with your logos.

• Always update records when you get new equipment.

Chu said should a break-in occur, be prepared to respond immediately. Also remember to always report any thefts to the National Equipment Register as soon as possible.

Always call police to report any suspicious activity at the job sites, yards and dealerships, Chu said.

“You know best when something doesn’t look right, don’t just let it go, report it,” Chu said.

If you are a victim of this type of theft you can report it online to the National Equipment Register at

Remember, it is not a question of if, but where and when heavy equipment and rental equipment will be stolen before and during the holidays, Chu said. Take these precautions now, and it could save a lot of money, stress and time, she said.



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