Stolen Equipment Tracked to Remote Mining Location; Arizona Police Recover $500K+ of Stolen Equipment

  • February 28, 2012
  • recovery stories

On the morning of February 1, 2012, workers arriving at job site in the 3600 block of W. Van Buren discovered a semi truck and flatbed trailer loaded with two stolen excavators. The victims contacted the Phoenix Police Department to report the crimes. The police entered information about the stolen equipment into the NCIC police computer — a routine police action which automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the equipment.  

The next day, a CHP plane near Blythe, CA, began picking up the silent LoJack signal from the stolen excavators on the LoJack Police Tracking Computer installed in the police aircraft. The aircraft tracked the LoJack signal about 20 miles into Arizona; flight officers notified Arizona’s RATTLER Auto Theft Task Force was advised of the equipment’s location. RATTLER detectives tracked the LoJack signals into a remote mining location southeast of Quartzsite. At the mine, detectives observed the stolen excavators still loaded on the stolen semi and trailer. Detectives executed a search warrant and, assisted by several investigators from CA and AZ, recovered the following stolen equipment: 2006 Kobleco excavator, 2011 Melro excavator, 2003 Freightliner, 2001 Wallace lowboy trailer, 2003 Freightliner water truck, 1999 Sterling water truck, 2000 Case loader, 2003 and 1984 Flemming trailers, 1999 Kenworth dump truck, light tower, bobcat skid steer, and towable generator. All of the equipment was stolen out of Arizona, except the generator, which was stolen in California. One suspect at the scene was arrested and several more suspects are being sought.     

The LoJack Vehicle Recovery System was installed at the owner’s request on the Kobleco excavator in June 2006 and the Melro excavator in May 2011.