Riverside Police and Helicopter Star-93 Recover $100K in Stolen Construction Equipment, 2 Arrested

  • February 5, 2012
  • recovery stories

On the afternoon of January 5, 2012, Riverside County Auto Theft Interdiction Detail (RAID) Investigators picked up the silent LoJack homing signal from a 2001 Caterpillar Back-Hoe Loader, which had been entered as a stolen vehicle five minutes earlier by the Riverside Police Department. The investigators tracked the signal on the LoJack Police Tracking Computers installed in their patrol vehicles and quickly located the stolen backhoe on an empty lot in the incorporated area of Perris in Riverside County.

While the investigators were surveying the scene, the backhoe was loaded onto a truck and driven to a residence in the 21700 block of Garza Road, approximately seven miles away. RAID quickly contacted the Riverside Sheriff’s Helicopter STAR-93 to request air surveillance on the backhoe until they could arrive. The flight officers tracked the equipment and advised the investigators that the stolen backhoe was now being operated by a male adult suspect on the property.  A Perris Station uniformed deputy, who had also responded to the scene, detained the suspect until the RAID investigators could arrive.

Once at the scene, the investigators arrested the male suspect, who admitted doing work on the property, as well as another male suspect, who arrived some time later. Both were arrested for Auto Theft and Possession of Stolen Property. At the scene, the RAID investigators discovered another piece of stolen equipment — a John Deere Loader (non operational), reported stolen to Riverside Police on November 21, 2011. RAID estimated the value of this recovery at $100,000.00.

The LoJack Vehicle Recovery System was installed on the Caterpillar by United Rentals of Huntington Beach on August 8, 2004.