Top 5 Commercial Landscaping Theft Trends

Top 5 Commercial Landscaping Theft Trends

Planting season is here! Garden centers and nurseries are teeming with green-thumbed customers ready to make their properties shine. For those without green thumbs (or time … or patience), commercial landscaping businesses are in full swing, bringing the joy of gorgeous lawns to businesses everywhere. 

Plants, landscaping equipment, and everything a person needs to create the lawn their dreams is in high demand right now – both legally and illegally. Commercial landscaping theft booms in the warm-weather months when demand is highest. Unfortunately, the items stolen from commercial landscaping companies are often impossible to track. Plants, fuel, and most landscaping tools don’t have identifying marks like serial numbers or license plates – and there are millions just like them already on the market. 

If you own a landscaping business, watch out for these top five theft trends that steal products and profits from landscapers like you.

  1. Plant theft is on the rise. There’s been an increase in theft of plants and trees from commercial landscaping sites. Thieves target valuable specimens like Japanese maples in particular because they have a greater resale value on the illegal market – to other landscaping businesses just like yours. Thieves often check out a landscaping site during the day to see where valuable plants and trees are stored and then return under the cover of darkness to steal them.

  2. Landscape equipment theft is a lucrative business. Thieves are targeting commercial landscaping equipment such as lawnmowers, trimmers, and leaf blowers for theft because they are relatively easy to steal and can be sold quickly at pawn shops or on online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. These items are often left unattended on job sites and can be easily stolen and sold for quick cash, even in the middle of the day with your people nearby.

    “Lawn mowers are the second most-stolen type of heavy equipment.” — National Equipment Review 

  3. Copper wire and irrigation equipment theft is booming. Copper wire and irrigation equipment used in landscaping projects are valuable commodities for thieves. Irrigation equipment is expensive, so there’s a big demand for it second-hand at lower prices. Copper wire sells for $3-$4 per pound, depending on where you are in the country. Thieves may target irrigation systems, outdoor lighting fixtures, or other components containing copper for their scrap value.

  4. Vehicle theft is up. Commercial landscaping vehicles, including trucks, trailers, and utility vehicles, are also at risk of theft. Thieves may steal these vehicles for joyriding, resale, or to strip them for valuable parts. Utility vehicles and large trucks are especially targeted because of the value of their parts. 

  5. With fuel costs this high, it’s a hot target for thieves. On-property fuel storage as well as job site gas cans are being targeted by thieves looking for an easy score. After all, everyone uses gas, so there’s a huge market for it. 

What Commercial Landscaping Companies Can Do to Protect Themselves 

Your business is your livelihood, and anything you do to secure your materials and equipment not only protects your profit and reputation, but it also protects your peace of mind. It’s simply easier to focus on growing your business when you’re not constantly replacing stolen plants, repairing broken trucks from break-ins, and on the phone making claims with your commercial property insurance company. 

Here are some things you can do to protect your landscaping business now: 

  • Install security cameras to deter theft and help catch perpetrators if there is an incident. 
  • Equip all large equipment with alarms to deter theft and GPS trackers to help recover something if it is stolen. 
  • Store small landscaping equipment like rakes and hand tools in a locked storage container every night and any time they aren’t being used. 
  • Install a perimeter security fence around your lot that is not easily cut or breached. That means no chain link or wood. An electric perimeter security fence or solid steel fencing is the safest bet. (You can even use both.) 
  • Keep detailed records of equipment and plant inventory that can help in recovery efforts and making claims with your commercial insurance company. 
  • Keep detailed records of who is using what tools within your company. Internal theft is a huge problem with businesses of all types, not just landscapers. 

    “Internal theft causes U.S. businesses to lose $50 million every year.” 

What else can you do to keep your landscaping business safe from theft? 

There are lots of things you can do to better protect your business. To find out what unique security challenges your landscaping business faces, and what you can do to overcome them, schedule your free Threat Assessment today. An AMAROK commercial security expert will assess your location and current security measures, look for vulnerabilities that thieves could exploit, and help you design a security plan that keeps you safe while keeping you in budget. Schedule yours today!