Home » Construction Theft — Most Popular Stolen Equipment

Construction Theft — Most Popular Stolen Equipment

Posted by Steve Mansell on Aug 18, 2017

Construction theft is an ongoing problem at residential, office, industrial, and other types of commercial properties under development in the United States and Canada. Many construction sites solely rely on a security fence placed outside of the perimeter. This is not enough. Criminals can easily climb over the fence or cut a hole to gain access to the property. Once inside, construction materials and equipment are exposed to thieves.

There are two factors that heavily impact what thieves are more likely to steal: value of the equipment and mobility. Construction equipment is specialized and very costly. If someone attempted to resell a stolen excavator, they could make a profit. This would not be very practical because excavators are difficult to move.

Another factor that impacts construct theft is the amount of equipment in circulation. Skid brand loaders make up more than 30% of new construction equipment sold in the United States in the last half decade. High demand could equate to a higher construction theft potential.

Construction Theft Top 10 – Equipment Stolen

The National Insurance Crime Bureau and the National Equipment Register published a report that ranked the top 10 most stolen construction equipment.

  • Mower, riding or garden tractor – 43%
  • Tractor -12%
  • Loaders (Skid Steers/Back hoes/Wheel loaders) 17%
  • Excavator – 3%
  • Fork Lift – 2%
  • Generator, compressor & welder -2%
  • Bulldozer – 1%
  • Light Tower – 0.5%
  • Brush Chipper – 0.5%
  • Others – 17%

Bulldozers may be the more valuable construction equipment, but they only account for about 1% of all construction site thefts. Mowers, backhoes, and skid steers are stolen at a higher frequency. This is probably because it is a lot easier to move them and their multi-functional uses.

Construction Theft Top 10 – Brands Stolen

The same annual report lists the manufacturers with the highest amount of equipment theft and the number of pieces stolen:

  • John Deere 2,450
  • Kubota Tractor Corp. 1,094
  • Bobcat 726
  • Caterpillar 708
  • Toro 335
  • Husqvarna 331
  • Exmark 323
  • Case 275
  • Cub Cadet Corp. 256
  • Craftsman 255

These manufacturers make the most mobile equipment and account for the highest number of construction equipment thefts.

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