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Stolen equipment recovered in Chicago GPS tracking

Discussion in 'Jobsite Coordination' started by Keith Merrell, Jan 4, 2023.

  1. Keith Merrell

    Keith Merrell Well-Known Member

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  2. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    Only crappy thing about small stuff like skid steers is if they want it bad enough they can just winch it on with a roll off deck.
     
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  3. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    If you can find something like Cat's Machine Security System (MSS) the machine can be programmed not to start at all outside normal working hours and even during WO it needs a special key to start. There's been a few cases on HEF where people have bought machines not knowing that they had MSS on them and being puzzled that (for example) they won't start on a weekend.
    https://caterpillar.scene7.com/is/content/Caterpillar/C10509698

    There are also the GPS tracking devices but I guess a lot of their effectiveness depends on how well they are hidden within the machine by the tracking company when they install them..
     
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  4. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    The typical scam is the thief claims having purchased or rented the machine from someone and provides a generic bill of sale or rental agreement that can be purchased through any Office Depot. They provide a false description of the people they got the rigs from and because there is no registration for tracking and they have created enough confusion, they disappear while the investigation is underway to do it again somewhere else. Many times the serial number tags are gone, the ID stampings ground off and any discolored paint from company decals sanded off and new decals applied. Seen it and been though it more than once.
     
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  5. Keith Merrell

    Keith Merrell Well-Known Member

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    I have talked to a lot of people regarding equipment security. Unfortunately, it always seems that the conclusion boomerangs to keep the machine insured and if someone wants it they will get it.
     
  6. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Plenty of GPS stuff already out and coming up with new stuff all the time. Sometimes I think hiding one of those Apple Airtags inside the machine might be the best way to track and recover a stolen machine. Nothing is sure though.
     
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  7. OzDozer

    OzDozer Senior Member

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    I can recall, around 2003, a guy with a tractor backhoe turned up on the old ACMOC forum, telling us his backhoe had been stolen and to look out for it. I STR he was down Georgia way.
    I asked him to post details - model and serial number - which he did. So, a few days later, with some time on my hands, I started searching for this particular make and model of tractor backhoe being offered for sale.

    Amazingly, I soon came across an ad on the WWW for this same make and model tractor of tractor backhoe being offered for sale. What was amazing, the seller had listed a serial number of the tractor!
    I was looking at the S/No and thought, that is very close to the stolen tractors S/No - the differences were simple on 2 numbers, like an "8" where the stolen tractors number was a "6", and a "6" where the stolen tractors number was a "0".

    I came back to the forum and advised the guy that he should check out this tractor backhoe that was for sale with a S/No so close to his. So he did (it wasn't all that far away) - and lo and behold, he came back to the forum telling us it definitely was his tractor backhoe! - and he'd called in law enforcement - and they'd not only recovered his tractor backhoe, they'd discovered a whole gang of equipment thieves - plus a big variety of other stolen equipment!

    He was blown away by my internet detective work! - from the other side of the planet! But it was really just pure luck that the thieves were stupid enough to offer up a piece of stolen equipment so quickly, and advertising the S/No as well!
     
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  8. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    There are several brands of GPS trackers. If it is a type with a internal battery then you
    have a chance, but most also use constant power also. So if battery is disconnected
    your out of luck. The other is if it is kept inside it will have no chance of catching a
    passing communication satellite. The last thing is most any brands that are any good
    are on a lease program. I know about GPS trackers have installed over 200, mainly
    Samsara and Orbcom. One other point Trackers really don't last long with excessive
    vibration.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2023
  9. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    I have no personal experience or affiliaton with this particular make of tracker but from the videos that pop up regularly on my YT feed the tracker works even if the stolen equipment/vehicle is inside a building.

     
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  10. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    It may not work inside the building, but it will probably send a trail of pings on its way there.
     
  11. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    The brand I linked to above will apparently still ping inside a building, at least an RF signal.
     
  12. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    We had a mini stolen trailer and all in 2006.
    Now I observe physical security protocols. The yard is secured and alarmed with motion sensors and a monitoring company. If a jobsite seems solid I will leave it there overnight, but tend to bring it back to my place or the yard more frequently.
     
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  13. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    There are a couple of things at work. It needs a clear view of the sky to receive GPS to know where it is. This is the hardest because those signals are weak. Then it needs a cellular connection to phone home so people know where to start looking. This is not as hard as GPS but could still be blocked by a metal building. Finally there is the local radio beacon which will be detectable if you are searching close by, but you have to know where to start before that works.
     
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  14. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    GPS-sends a lot of false positives, believe it or not. A month ago four of our trailers
    showed up in South Africa for 24 plus hours. Glitch who knows, even though it may show up
    sometimes it's a approximate area with in a mile radius. Metal buildings play hell with signal,
    but with it's power source disrupted it becomes worthless.
     
  15. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    They can be scary accurate too. One time I was walking the yard looking for a particular machine and could not find it. Call the boss and they tell me its literally right in the SW corner of the yard according to the GPS. Walk over and sure enough its sitting exactly where the GPS said, hiding behind a larger piece of equipment.
     
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  16. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Tracking is a basic function in machines that have telematics. You can even set a virtual fence around the area where the machine is not supposed to go out of or it will send an alarm to a cell phone. The problem with telematics is that it is a subscription paid yearly and most owners don't keep up with it. First year is part of the sale on the new machine. It's forgotten about by the second year.

    I do expect to hear more stories of found machines because of tracking. Maybe insurance companies should think about incentives for companies that have it on their machines.
     
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  17. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    Depending on your machine, you can pull a relay or big fuse and render it inoperative. Now you're counting on the crook not having an alternative method. In many cases that is a safe bet, I have seen some really stupid crooks. One guy stole the fuel and tank from a box truck and his wallet came out while he was under there.
     
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  18. thepumpguysc

    thepumpguysc Senior Member

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    My dads CUSTOM KW was stolen from Orlando Fl and found by Low Jack 4hrs later on its way to
    Meh- he-ko..in pieces.!!
    The insurance company called it a total loss..
     
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