How exactly do you steal a vehicle that weighs several tons, is yellow, and has a large shovel attached to it? It may seem like an odd idea to steal a bulldozer, or a bulldozer to give it your proper name, but theft of bulldozer equipment is a huge market. Theft is commonplace and this is due to the low level of excavator security that exists. There is also a lack of awareness of the problem and a carelessness of the problems which, when combined, means that it is a big problem.
However, one of the main reasons why excavator safety is so weakened is because a large amount of equipment is controlled by a universal key. Most plant installers have a set of these and give access to a large number of vehicles, which means that the equipment can be started up and removed from a site. Plant thieves will often be part of a criminal network that shares information about unsecured excavator sites, allowing them to attack specific targets. After the equipment has been stolen, it will often be driven for a few hours before leaving it in an area where the equipment is visible for 24 hours. This is so the thief can find out whether or not the excavator has a tracking device. Excavator security systems have made it much more difficult for thieves to get away with it, and as a result they have to leave the equipment for a day or two to see if it recovers. GPS tracking devices mean that equipment can be tracked up to an area of two square meters.
However, if the equipment does not have GPS tracking, then the owner is in trouble. After leaving the equipment for 24 or 48 hours, the thief will retrieve the equipment before taking it to a holding warehouse where it is located. It is likely out of sight, with only one road access and security measures along this road. This means that the thief can tell if the police show up and escape on foot. When the thief has the equipment, they will decide whether to simply sell the excavator as is, or attempt to alter the identity of the vehicle or clone the identity of another team. Removing the license plates and erasing the vehicle’s identity number is the simplest thing to do, before selling it at a very low price to someone who probably knows the item is stolen. However, some criminals will obtain fake registration plates and create a new identity number to put on top of the old one, or give you the identity of an existing piece of machinery located elsewhere in the country. The vehicle is now ready to be sold.
After this, it is common for the equipment to be shipped abroad and sold. Sometimes criminals will either hire a shipping company to transport the item or they will do it themselves. The ports have hundreds of plant vehicles passing through their doors every day, making it very difficult to trace stolen equipment.
Once the vehicle is abroad, it will be almost impossible to get it back. As a result, it is crucial that sites do more to improve their security. By equipping your equipment with excavator security systems, you can significantly increase the chances that your equipment will be recovered within a day or two after it is stolen. In addition to this, users should try to improve site security and register all equipment with a database. Tackling bulldozer theft is difficult, but by preventing it, those in the industry are fostering a culture of theft.