Top 7 Equipment Rental Theft Patterns Emerging This Year

Guard Your Gear: Top 7 Equipment Rental Theft Patterns Emerging This Year

Your rental equipment business depends on your machines to be functional, reliable, and most importantly, there when a customer wants to rent them. Equipment rental theft puts all that and your reputation at risk. Statistics show that $1 billion worth of rental equipment is stolen yearly, costing businesses like yours profit, downtime, and repeat business.

“The most commonly stolen pieces of heavy equipment are skid steers, mowers, and utility vehicles.” — National Equipment Register 

Crime moves in trends. Here are the 7 equipment rental theft trends that business owners are struggling with most right now:

  1. High-Value Equipment Rental Targeting: Thieves are increasingly targeting high-value rental equipment such as construction machinery, generators, and specialized tools due to their lucrative resale value. As inflation drives the prices of these machines and their rentals up, there is a greater demand for them on the illegal market.
  2. Organized Theft Rings: There’s a rise in organized theft rings that specifically target equipment rental businesses. These groups often operate across multiple locations and may have inside knowledge of security vulnerabilities. Communication via cell phones and messaging apps makes it easier than ever to keep the theft ring members organized so they can move in and out of your facility quickly, taking your profits with them.
  3. Sophisticated Theft Methods: Thieves are becoming more sophisticated in their methods and using advanced tools like GPS jammers to disable tracking devices, cutting-edge lock-picking techniques, and even drones for reconnaissance. All of these theft tools can be purchased easily online, making the problem worse.
  4. Identity Theft for Rentals: Identity theft is being used to fraudulently rent equipment under other people’s names. Thieves may use stolen personal information to create fake rental accounts or forge documents to secure equipment. Your employees will be none the wiser at the time of rental, and then when the equipment isn’t returned, there is no way to find the person who took it.
  5. Rental Return Fraud: Some thieves engage in rental return fraud, where they rent equipment and then claim it was lost or stolen, avoiding payment and absconding with the rented items.
  6. Targeting Unsecured Sites: Equipment left unsecured on job sites overnight, during weekends, or over holidays is particularly vulnerable to theft. Thieves scout for construction sites and other locations where equipment is left unattended for extended periods. In an area with several rental equipment businesses to choose from, thieves will always choose to target the one with the least security because it is here that they have the greatest chance of success with the lowest chance of getting arrested.
  7. Online Marketplaces Facilitating Theft: Online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace have made it easier for thieves to sell stolen equipment anonymously. They may list stolen items for sale under false pretenses, with fake names and phony stories about where the equipment came from, making it challenging for law enforcement to track and recover stolen property. Online marketplaces allow criminals to earn thousands of dollars offloading stolen rental equipment in a day without the risk of having to store it for long.

Protect Your Rental Equipment with a Layered Security System

One of the most powerful things you can do to prevent rental equipment theft at your business is to stay informed about theft trends – then put security measures in place to prevent them. Don’t stop at just a fence. A layered perimeter security system is a wise investment in today’s market. Make sure to include several layers of security to keep your business safe, including:

  • Video surveillance cameras that deter theft and help police capture criminals and recover your equipment if a break-in does take place.
  • GPS tracking on all of your equipment that is hidden so thieves cannot disable it.
  • Electric security fencing that keeps criminals at bay with thousands of volts of stopping power.
  • Customer identification systems that prevent fraudulent rentals and accepting fake documents.
  • Access control systems that require key fobs, passcodes, or biometric data to allow people to enter your site.

What Else Can You Do To Prevent Rental Equipment Theft?

With millions of dollars of rental equipment at stake, securing your site is no place to cut corners. To find out if your current security system has vulnerabilities criminals could exploit, schedule your complimentary Threat Assessment today. An AMAROK commercial security expert will assess your current location and security measures, look for weaknesses, and help you come up with a plan that keeps your rental business safe in an increasingly threatening world. Schedule yours today.