July 19, 2022

T3 Helps Disrupt Organized Theft Operation in Texas

Illustration of some of the equipment recovered

“They had no idea they’d been hit until we contacted them,” said EquipmentShare Regional Safety Director Michael Karabanoff.

During a routine traffic stop over Memorial Day weekend, Baytown, Texas Police noticed something unusual. The people driving a vehicle hauling welding equipment couldn’t explain how they got it. Police suspected theft - and saw the EquipmentShare logo on the unit.

“They picked the wrong machine,” said Karabanoff.

Using T3’s advanced equipment tracking capabilities, EquipmentShare was able to connect the welding equipment to one of our customer’s laydown yards near Vidor, Texas - more than 70 miles away from the traffic stop. The customer relies on a combination of T3-powered EquipmentShare assets, as well as machines from other vendors. Our team quickly pinged the T3-powered portion of the customer’s fleet and noticed five EquipmentShare units off site.

“It was a holiday weekend, and it looked like someone broke in and stole welding machines,” said Karabanoff.

After verifying the welding unit from the traffic stop was indeed stolen, EquipmentShare worked with the customer and local law enforcement agencies across the greater Houston area to recover the stolen assets - even as some were still on the move. Within hours, missing equipment was located via GPS and information was relayed to police. What they found was far more than anyone bargained for.

“We pinged one stolen unit in a Harris County storage unit,” said Karabanoff. “We met Harris County officers at the storage facility and verified that it was ours. There were also two air compressors from our client’s yard that were rented from a competitor. Another storage unit allegedly rented by the same person had even more of our customer’s equipment, rented from yet another company, and a bunch of other items.” 

By tracking T3-powered equipment and working with local law enforcement, EquipmentShare assisted in the recovery of more than $500,000 in construction equipment, riding mowers, survey tools and stolen vehicles connected to multiple thefts across several jurisdictions. More than $100,000 of that total was EquipmentShare equipment alone. 

“The bad guys were operating out of Houston – 70 miles away from the jobsite,” said Karabanoff. “This was an organized thing, not someone taking welders over the weekend for a side project. This is what these people do.”

Karabanoff believes other equipment is still out there.

“Had we had T3 connected to the customer-owned or other third party rental equipment, I believe we could have recovered even more,” said Karabanoff. “But, we got the bad guys. So it’s still early. We could see even more recovered for this customer.”

EquipmentShare rentals come with T3, and it can be installed on your owned assets, as well. To find out more and enhance the security of your jobsite, click here.

Get started with a tech-powered rental here

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