Data tracked by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) along with the National Equipment Register (NER) indicates thefts of heavy equipment – which includes loaders and tractors used at construction sites – dropped about 7% in 2012 compared to 2011.

In 2012, a total of 10,925 heavy equipment thefts were reported to law enforcement, compared to 11,705 reported in 2011, the groups reported. When compared with the 13,511 reported thefts in 2008, there has been an overall 19% reduction in heavy equipment thefts, NICB added. 

Texas ranked number one in 2012 with 1,401 reported thefts. In second place was North Carolina with 1,037 thefts followed by Florida in third with 890 thefts. In fourth place was California with 686 thefts and tied for fifth—Georgia and South Carolina with 595 each. The top five cities with the most thefts were Houston, Texas (163); Miami, Fla. (107); Conroe, Texas (83); Oklahoma City, Okla. (79) and Fresno, Calif. (64).

Heavy equipment manufactured by John Deere was the number one theft target in 2012 followed in order by Kubota Tractor Corp., Bobcat, Caterpillar and Toro.

As for recoveries, only 20% of heavy equipment stolen in 2012 was found, making it a costly crime for insurance companies, equipment owners and rental agencies, NICB noted.