How Much Do You Know About Construction Industry Crime Prevention?

Take Time to Quiz Yourself

Since 1984, Crime Prevention Program of Southern California (CPP SoCal) has been on the forefront of construction industry crime prevention in Southern California. While CPP SoCal has assisted in the recovery of over $48 million in equipment, we can’t do it alone. That’s one reason we have the tagline, “Together, We Make a Difference.” CPP works closely with our members, law enforcement, investigative agencies and industry partners to share information about thefts, trends and the best ways to protect equipment and assets. When we work together, we make more of an impact and see, firsthand, the difference we can make.

Answer Questions True or False

There really isn’t a lot of crime in construction.

False. According to the National Equipment Register (NER), the value of equipment stolen across the U.S. annually ranges from $300 million to $1 billion. Keep in mind that these figures only include REPORTED theft and don’t include things like smaller tools, supplies and lost work time. The reality is that thieves are generally opportunists and are also very savvy. They know how to take full advantage of the equipment that’s left along a roadway or out in the open and the best ways to gain access to your yard. They understand the value of equipment and how easy it can be to sell on the ever-growing number of on-line selling sites. CPP SoCal works closely with our members and industry partners to reduce crime in the construction industry and has recovered thousands of pieces of equipment over the last 35 years. We believe, and work hard to prove every day, that Together, We CAN Make a Difference!

I don’t need to worry about theft; my equipment has GPS.

False. GPS and other technology that is standard on most equipment today is incredibly useful – but it is NOT a guarantee. CPP encourages our members to take a layered approach to crime prevention by not relying on any one prevention method to protect your tools and equipment. Thieves know to look for tracking devices and find ways to disable or remove them or to simply work around them to get what they want. Implementing multiple layers of prevention methods translates to increasing the chance of your equipment being identified and recovered.

Posting signage or a reward poster to deter theft is beneficial.

True. While today’s technology is a huge help when it comes to tracking and managing your heavy equipment, that technology can become obsolete if it is tampered with or a criminal removes it from the equipment. One layer of prevention that is often overlooked is our Reward Hotline signs and decals. They might be low-tech, but when you post our Reward Hotline information on your equipment and yard, you’ve activated a silent beacon that’s a deterrent to thieves and an invitation to the community to engage in protecting your assets. Having this information visible makes it easy for tipsters to call when they see suspicious activity helping to prevent theft and recover equipment. These decals cost less than a cup of coffee yet could end up saving you from becoming a victim – and that’s priceless.

I have insurance so I don’t need to worry about theft.

False. Year after year, California ranks in the top five for suffering the greatest amount of theft in the United States. When you rely on your insurance to fill the financial gap created when equipment is stolen, you’re indirectly feeding into the problem. While maintaining insurance is a vital part of protecting your assets, accepting losses as a part of doing business doesn’t always have to be. Keep in mind that when you experience a theft, it’s not just the item that was stolen that affects your profits- the time and resources required to find a replacement for the piece of stolen equipment, time lost on the job and increased premiums all affect your bottom line. In fact, insurance companies notice how CPP SoCal efforts help everybody in the industry. Membership with CPP of SoCal may even qualify your company for an insurance discount.

It’s not worth taking time out of my schedule to file a police report.

False. It’s always a good idea to file a police report when you’ve suffered a loss. When you don’t file a report, not only are you stuck with the loss of your equipment, you’ve basically sent a message to thieves that your equipment doesn’t hold enough value for you to pursue when it’s stolen. Keep in mind: if you don’t take the time to report your equipment as something that’s been stolen, even if someone does happen to come across it, there’s nothing to show it doesn’t belong there. Furthermore, if there’s no report, there’s no crime and eventually that translates to a false sense of security due to fewer crimes in any given area. That, over time, can present funding issues and really leave a dent in a community. Simply put: reporting your theft gives your equipment a fighting chance of being recovered – and that’s definitely worth taking time to report.

Theft is going to happen and unfortunately, in recent years it’s happening more frequently. Challenging ourselves to do all in our power to combat crime is one very important way we can band together to show that we’re willing to take action and do everything in our power to fight crime.


If you did not get all the answers correct on this quiz, don’t despair. California construction sites are particularly busy these days and there are a lot of moving parts on a daily basis. Take steps to ensure your firm is doing all it can to avoid being a victim of theft. Consider joining the CPP community and learn how you can put our valuable resources to work for your company while connecting directly with other individuals and agencies with a vested interest in reducing theft and fraud in the construction industry. Crime is preventable and CPP is committed to continuing to prove what we know: “Together, We Make A Difference.”

1 Comment
  1. Great job Melissa!

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