Where did I put that generator? The true cost of equipment theft

Thought Leadership on the Technology of Security presented by SOS Technology Group.

Construction theft hit an all-time high in 2015, with $1.2 billion dollars of stolen equipment and materials on record in the U.S. This includes everything from heavy equipment and generators to something small, like cabling or tools. The recovery rate for this kind of theft is less than 20%, which makes this type of crime a considerable issue for business owners as well as insurance brokers.

Many projects have had delays in completion, resulting in penalties far outweighing the cost of the stolen materials and equipment.

Recently, SOS was asked to survey a construction site in East Baltimore after a series of thefts. Most notably, some local teenagers distracted the job site superintendent while their friends ripped off a $3,000 generator from his flatbed truck. This happened in broad daylight, not 25 feet from where he was standing. Another site survey discovered that copper coils were being stolen from air-handling units, which nobody realized until they tried turning on the A/C for the first time and didn’t have cold air.

Thieves have become smarter, and more often than not, these are inside jobs. Luckily, there is a surveillance solution that helps mitigate these risks. Tech companies can offer a mobile/hidden surveillance system that arms from dusk until dawn, and upon any motion sends a video clip to our monitoring station, which then dispatches police. These can be installed discreetly, without the knowledge of anyone but the property owner, which helps eliminate collaboration with the criminals.

Last year alone, we recorded eight events that triggered the police and resulted in legitimate arrests. The best part is that this solution is rented for construction sites, with no long-term commitments, and can be moved from job site to job site with ease.

Technology solutions like GPS, concealed asset tags for heavy equipment, which alert business owners when their equipment leaves a set geographic area, are also incredibly useful to the business owner. It gives decision makers the ability to track all their equipment in one macro view at any given time.

Maryland was rated number 11 in the top states for equipment theft. Isn’t it time you started securing your equipment and focusing on your business growth?

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