April 10, 2022

Gamblers Bet Against the Wrong Tech Company


NEW ORLEANS – “Minus, it not getting stolen. I don't know how much better you want,” said Scott Kern, General Manager of the New Orleans EquipmentShare branch. 

Kern got a call from one of his drivers on his way to work Wednesday, April 6. The driver said someone had gone through his truck and he was missing his jump box and some tools.

As soon as Kern pulled up to the New Orleans yard, he saw the corner of the fence was cut open with an abandoned bike next to it. He also noticed tire tracks in the dirt and could tell someone had stolen a cart. It ended up being a Yanmar 2-seat cart, which is an owned asset, equipped with T3, that lives at the New Orleans yard. 

Along with noticing the missing cart, Kern saw a big pile of welding lead had been tampered with. Welding lead, which is a giant piece of coated copper that welders use to weld iron, is very valuable. Kern immediately flagged EquipmentShare’s team in charge of stolen assets.

Next step, Kern called the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Deputies called a detective to help investigate, along with a crime scene investigator to swab the bike for fingerprints and DNA. 

Once the cart’s stolen mode was activated in T3, it pinged four miles away at a truckstop in Belle Chasse, La. Detectives went to verify it was there and found it at the State Oil Fuel Center, a local truckstop. The cart was parked next to the gas station.

“From the time we realized it was stolen to the time that cart got back to the yard - it was 4.5 hours. We recovered the asset. The sheriff’s department arrested the guys who did it. I can’t emphasize enough how flawlessly this all went,” said Kern.

Once the deputies got into the truck stop, they reviewed the security cameras. They saw the thieves pull up to the truckstop, park the cart and walk across to the nearby casino. 

The deputies entered the casino and were able to identify the thieves from the security footage. They walked right up to the thieves-turned-gamblers and questioned them. The two men admitted to scrapping the welding lead at a scrap yard and using the money to gamble. The deputies drove to the yard and found the metal. 

Because you have to show ID to scrap metal, the deputies were able to close the loop and prove the thieves who stole the cart also scrapped the stolen welding lead. Deputies recovered the cart, took fingerprints, swabbed everything and arrested the thieves.  

T3, some efficient deputies and attentive EquipmentShare employees saved the owner of the 2-seat cart $14,000.

Kern said, “When I was looking at it on the app, you knew immediately when it got put into stolen mode and you knew immediately where it was at. If you’re using just regular GPS, having that stolen mode, we didn’t have to wait another 12 hours. Do you know how far you can get in 12 hours? It would have been impossible to recover.” 

Kern has worked for rental companies in the past that only had GPS. He said he remembers a stolen Bobcat excavator that wasn’t recovered for three months.

“As soon as it came on (in stolen mode), it texted me a link so I could click on it and immediately pulled up where the asset was. In turn, we gave it to the detectives. This is a live feed. This is where it’s at. Go get it. That saves them a lot of time, too.”

“We could have rented that cart yesterday afternoon to a customer because it was recovered so quickly – start to finish,” said Kern.

Kern and his service manager took the welding lead that was recovered to a scrap yard. The thieves had rendered it unusable so they scrapped it for money. They plan to use that money to throw a party for the deputies who helped them. 

“Got some of the deputies’ phone numbers and we’re going to invite them to come have some crawfish. Just a thank you for how ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ they were,” said Kern.

Interested in learning more about how EquipmentShare can enhance security on your jobsite and protect your machines? Click here.

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