Stolen Skid Steer Tractor Sold on Craigslist — Equipment Recovered in Minutes, Arrest Pending

  • February 13, 2012
  • recovery stories

On Thursday morning, January 19, 2012, the victim returned to a job site in Stockton and discovered that unknown suspects had stolen a 2005 Melroe skid steer during the previous night. The victim contacted the Stockton Police Department to report the theft.

The reporting officer prepared a stolen equipment report and had the stolen tractor’s information entered into the state and federal crime computers. This routine police action automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the tractor and initiated the tracking of the equipment.

Less than 10 minutes later, officers with both the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department and the Stockton Police Department began to receive the silent signal from the stolen skid steer. The officers then used the signal strength and directional cues from their onboard LoJack Police Tracking Computers to track the silent signal emitting from the LoJack transponder hidden in the tractor. The officers quickly located the tractor, covered with a tarp, in a parking lot in Stockton. The officers contacted the Delta R.A.T.T. auto theft task force, who responded and set up surveillance of the tractor, in hopes of catching the thief.

 A short time later, a person arrived and attempted to take the tractor; members of the task force intervened adn confronted the individual. The individual claimed to have purchased the tractor for $2,000 on Craigslist (note: the value of the tractor is approximately $20,000).  This person supplied information on the seller, and investigators are working to secure an arrest warrant for the seller.

The victim was contacted and responded to the scene to take possession of the valuable tractor — thus enabling  the crew to resume work on their project that same afternoon.