It May Not Make the News, But It’s Happening
The evening news these days is overwhelmed with coverage of COVID-19 and a number of other heady topics that require the public’s attention. While construction site crime may not garner headlines, it’s not because it isn’t occurring. It is necessary to understand and become familiar with these crimes in order to prevent them.
Recent heavy equipment recoveries by the Crime Prevention Program of Southern California (CPP SoCal) highlight just some of the many instances that never receive a moment’s notice by the media but are worth recognition.
June 30, San Bernardino
Busy job sites during a pandemic require an extra level of attention. As often can happen, equipment may be stolen without the contractor immediately realizing it. Keeping track of equipment that’s spread out over a job site and constantly on the move can be incredibly challenging.
A member reached out to CPP SoCal when during an end-of-month review of GPS reports they realized a Solar Tech message board was reporting somewhere other than where it should have been. After a bit of digging, they realized that the equipment had been stolen a few weeks prior and appeared to be on the popular selling site, Craigslist.
They reached out to CPP SoCal and Executive Director Melissa Somers immediately contacted Deputies with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Rural Crimes Task Force for assistance.
A warrant was written, and with assistance from San Bernardino County Auto Theft Task Force (SANCATT), was served. When investigators arrived at the location they discovered the member’s stolen message board, a stolen vehicle and an embezzled U-Haul box truck. Two suspects were arrested and booked. These efforts underscore the impact CPP SoCal and its members can have on the community, working as a team to curb crime overall. The value of the recovery was totalled at $24,500 and proves that not only are these types of crimes newsworthy, but the cooperation illustrated in the recovery process is worth celebrating.
July 3, San Bernardino
At a location where they were serving a warrant, SANCATT investigators discovered a MQ towable generator without PIN plates. The ID was removed and the generator had recently been repainted.According to California Code, Vehicle Code – VEH § 5014, it is illegal to alter or remove a PIN plate or ID.
SANCATT reached out to CPP SoCal for assistance. Even though the majority of identification for the generator was missing, SANCATT was hopeful CPP SoCal could help locate the owner. Investigators shared the limited information available for the generator with Executive Director Melissa Somers who started making calls.
CPP was able to piece together enough information to determine who owned the generator and that it had been stolen in San Jose earlier this year. It was only through the determination and cooperation of multiple parties that this generator — valued at $30,000 — was returned to its rightful owner.
July 17, Agoura Hills
A Chevy Silverado 3500 equipped with LoJack was stolen from the jobsite of CPP SoCal member Powell Constructors. The contractor called Melissa Somers at CPP SoCal who reached out to her network of contacts to ensure the member’s loss got the attention it deserved.
CPP SoCal contacted an agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) to verify the accuracy of the report, the Task Force for Regional Auto Theft Prevention (TRAP) to notify them of the missing vehicle, and a LoJack liaison to confirm that the unit had been activated and was reporting.
CPP encourages members to implement a layered approach to theft prevention; including the use of tracking devices. Adding CPP SoCal’s company specific markings, other recommended prevention measures, as well as CPP SoCal’s extensive network of resources, translates to a higher chance of recovery.
Powell Constructors’ implementation of multiple prevention methods, timely reporting and membership with CPP SoCal led to their truck being recovered later that same day, making it yet another newsworthy example of the benefits of a CPP SoCal membership. The value of the recovery is $17,000.
Membership matters more than ever
During these unprecedented times, there is a level of desperation that drives a lot of crime. In addition to theft, CPP SoCal notes that fraud is on the rise. As these three cases illustrate, the vast network that comes with CPP SoCal membership helps raise awareness of a crime that very rarely gets attention.
Understanding and acknowledging these types of crimes puts them on everyone’s radar. When the general public, contractors, industry partners and law enforcement unify through a proven liaison like CPP SoCal, it’s undeniable that, “Together, We CAN Make a Difference.”