It’s an ugly conversation, but a necessary one for us to have….
Theft in America’s rural communities costs an estimated $1 billion (yes, billion) a year. Stolen lawn, farm and construction equipment has been located as far as Eastern Europe. Most machines don’t go more than about 100 miles though.
A few of us may think “So what. I’ve got insurance” Which is fine until the insurance company raises your rates or worse, cancels your coverage. What do we do about it? To start with, we need to think like the low life dirt bags that steal our hard earned property.
Here are some true cases of theft that I personally know about.
- A landscape company stopped by a big chain store one afternoon for 10 minutes. When they came out, the trailer and all the equipment was gone from the back of their truck. In the middle of the day.
- A man was watching TV in his living room one Sunday morning when a truck backed into his driveway hooked up to his travel trailer and sped down the road.
- One weekday afternoon, A farmer was baling hay in the pasture behind the barn while, at the same time thieves were stealing his equipment from the front of his barn.
- Thieves broke into a local hardware store/ lumber company at 7 p.m. on a Wednesday evening and, with the stores own fork lift proceeded to rob them blind.
- Sunday 2 p.m. A gang of illegals, with 2 box trucks, broke into a tractor dealership and spent several hours, all caught on camera, assembling and stealing expensive lawn equipment.
From these cases we can see that the thief of today does not sneak around at 3 in the morning dressed all in black wearing a mask. The crime is committed in the daylight hours when least suspected. How could these thefts possibly have been avoided?
- In 2 of these cases, a lock on the trailer would have taken an extra 15-20 minutes to cut off. possibly allowing time for the owner to spot the crime in progress.
- Remember that your not safer, just because you live in the country. In fact, thieves know that in the country, you’re further away from police, and when you go to town you’ll be gone longer. With no day job to hold them back, crooks can spend all day roaming the countryside looking for your equipment. A fence, A dog and taking the keys out of the vehicles and equipment are all things that will help reduce crime.
- For businesses, my best advice is to keep in contact with your police department. For instance, if you are generally closed on Sunday, but are going to be there this Sunday. Call and let them know. but don’t use 911. call the main dispatch line. Making a point to say when you WILL be there helps them to notice when you SHOULD’NT be there.
At our dealership, Midstate Turf & Tractor in Springfield, TN. Along with Alarms, cameras and a brightly lit parking lot, We lock the gates the same way every day and have set hours for pick up & delivery. The Springfield Police Department and Robertson County Sheriffs Dept. Drive by many times during the day and night. If the gate is not locked the same way every night, they notice. They often stop by the sales lot to fill out log books and do paper work. If someone is roaming around there, they notice. All because we simply asked them to.
I hope this little insight encourages you to think about new ways to protect your investments. You worked too hard for the money that bought it…..
TO LOOSE IT!