Addressing Challenges To Prevent Heavy Equipment Crime

Taking Productive Steps for Best Outcomes

Construction crime, especially crimes involving heavy equipment, can present countless challenges that plague many people in the construction industry and law enforcement.  In last month’s blog post, we discussed the importance of knowing that we can lessen the potential damage that some challenges present by simply raising our awareness of them.  Knowing how to effectively address the issues with remedies, and more importantly, WHO can help you tackle them, is vital.

At the Crime Prevention Program of Southern California, we work diligently to navigate the seemingly never-ending dilemas the construction industry faces on a daily basis. We work with our members, local and regional law enforcement, and investigative groups to find the most productive prevention protocols that help keep you from becoming a victim while also increasing the likelihood of recovering stolen property. 

The fact that we have seen a jump in crime, coupled with rising felony thresholds and numerous  fraud schemes, might tempt some to roll over and accept construction crime as an expensive part of doing business and acceptable loss. CPP of SoCal knows that by regularly assuming such losses, you can inadvertently cause a “Ripple Effect” in the community, an increase in your insurance premiums, and give criminals and officers the false opinion that you have an attitude of complacency and are content with being a victim. As retired law enforcement expert and NICB agent Lou Koven stresses, “Something will be done, but you have to report it. If you don’t report it, how will we ever know?”

Last month’s blog took a look at some of the intrinsic challenges heavy equipment presents and how to better manage the ones that have no clear resolution. Now, let’s take a look at some of the workable challenges and how best to navigate them.

Unraveling the Obstacles

Most equipment has a vast array of numbers. Regardless of the quantity of numbers or where they’re placed on the unit, it can be difficult to discern which are the most important to note in your inventory and have handy when reporting a theft. Knowing that your ideal inventory should include  a VIN (or PIN), license plate, serial number, OAN’s, unit number , and include a photo, simplifies the reporting process and increases the likelihood of a recovery. The importance of a tidy and useful inventory is amplified with the realization that any one piece of equipment can potentially be used by a number of individuals and at a multitude of different locations in any given time period. By managing your fleet, you’ll not only know when a unit has been stolen, but which numbers to report, where to report it, how it should ideally be reported, and WHO TO CALL for help if facing obstacles.  

Support and Solutions 

CPP of SoCal knows communication is key, and the importance of being  available to our members and law enforcement partners to offer assistance whenever a need arises. In addition to year-round, free training  opportunities, we share security reminders, theft trends and fraud alerts to help keep our members in the know as well as bulletins to assist officers with construction-related investigations.  

Our role as liaison between our members and law enforcement allows us the platform to more easily communicate  the importance of some of the more common misunderstandings when it comes to construction theft.  For example,  towable equipment is often reported  as “property” but should be reported as a vehicle, and that not everyone automatically thinks of a small, versatile piece of equipment when you say your “Bobcat” is missing.  

It’s also important to take a “layered approach” to marking your equipment that results in deterring thieves while simultaneously increasing the chances of recovering stolen items. Our 24/ 7 Reward Hotline serves as an incredibly effective prevention method, increases community involvement, and simultaneously increases the potential for recoveries. Knowing how, when, and where to mark your equipment is just one of the many benefits of being a CPP member. 

We’re Here to Help

While there are many challenges associated with heavy equipment, facing these construction crime conundrums alone is not necessary. CPP SoCal works diligently to communicate the best ways to protect your company from becoming a victim with marking and inventory suggestions, prevention protocols, security ideas, best reporting practices and ensuring that when you do have a theft, that your loss gets the attention it deserves.  

This communication, along with our established relationships throughout the region, directly translates to our ability to provide top-notch, effective, and affordable service to our membership and the construction community and serves as a testament to the value in joining our community.   CPP of socal is dedicated to an attitude of service and finding every opportunity to prove our motto: Together, We Make a Difference! 

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