Heavy Equipment Thefts Increased Again In 2014

Top Ten States for Equipment Theft – 2014

For the second year in a row, heavy equipment theft has increased according to the “2014 Heavy Equipment Theft Report” released this month. The report, co-published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and the National Equipment Registry (NER), shows there were 11,625 thefts reported in 2014 to law enforcement. This is a 1.2% increase in thefts from the 11,486 reported in 2013, and the second consecutive year of increases after declining for a number of years.

On the bright side, recoveries of stolen equipment have also increased over the past two years going from 2,204 in 2012 up to 2,465 in 2013 and increasing to 2,633 in 2014.

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Just like in 2013, Texas, North Carolina and Florida grabbed the top three spots for most thefts per state again in 2014. Most of the states on the top ten for thefts by state in 2013 remained on the list in 2014 with the exception of Alabama which dropped out of the top 10 and was replaced by Indiana. The top three all saw more thefts in 2014 as did Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana and Tennessee. South Carolina moved up a spot to No. 4 despite having less thefts in 2014 than they did in 2013. Alabama obviously had a decrease in thefts since they dropped off the list, as did California, which dropped from No. 4 to No. 6, and Oklahoma, but still managed to hold on to the No. 8 spot again in 2014.

Equipment thefts were reported in all 50 states, but the top ten accounted for 62% of total thefts and the top three accounted for 35% of all thefts.

Thefts by State 2014
Rank State Thefts
1 Texas 1,650
2 North Carolina 918
3 Florida 915
4 South Carolina 660
5 Georgia 647
6 California 641
7 Tennessee 576
8 Oklahoma 471
9 Arkansas 394
10 Indiana 369
Thefts by State 2013
Rank State Thefts
1 Texas 1,494
2 North Carolina 913
3 Florida 892
4 California 734
5 South Carolina 691
6 Georgia 609
7 Tennessee 526
8 Oklahoma 525
9 Alabama 398
10 Arkansas 358

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the past four years, the same companies have made up the top five of manufacturers for heavy equipment theft. John Deere continues to remain at the top of the list with riding mowers/garden tractors accounting for 43% of all equipment types stolen in 2014. All thefts in the top five by manufacturer saw increases from 2013 to 2014 with the exception of Toro which had 29 fewer thefts in 2014.

Theft by Manufacturer
Rank Manufacturer Thefts in 2014 Thefts in 2013
1 John Deere 2,450 2,445
2 Kubota Tractor Corp. 1,094 1,025
3 Bobcat 726 721
4 Caterpillar 708 679
5 Toro 335 364

 

 

 

 

 

Outside of landscaping equipment, loaders were the most stolen type of equipment with 1,907 reported thefts in 2014. The bulk of those thefts, 69% or 1,316 reported thefts were for skid steers. This makes sense because skid steers are relatively small and can easily be loaded on a flatbed truck and hauled away.

The month with the most thefts reported was July with 1,258, followed closely by June with 1,222 and August with 1,201. These are typically the three busiest months for construction activity so it’s no surprise they have the highest theft rates since there’s plenty of opportunity with all that equipment being kept at construction sites. A large majority of equipment thefts occur on jobsites as opposed to at the equipment owners’ place of business.

The report delves into a lot of other statistics including thefts by census population, cities, model years along with corresponding data on recoveries for all those categories. It was interesting to note that two of the top 10 cities for thefts were not located in states wit the most thefts. Those were Los Vegas, NV at the No. 5 spot with 73 thefts and Wichita, KS at No. 8 with 58 reported thefts in 2014. Missouri and Kentucky were two of the top ten states for recoveries despite not making the top ten list of most thefts by state and Lexington, KY was the No. 2 city for recoveries even though it wasn’t on the list of most thefts by city.

You can download the full report here.

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