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Angie Venekamp, your ARA regional director, talks equipment theft

By Angie Venekamp, ECP-SM

June 6, 2023

Angie Venekamp, ECP-SM

Angie Venekamp, ECP-SM

Hello, ARA of Canada, and welcome to the first of what is expected to be a regularly occurring equipment theft-themed edition of the In Your Region newsletter.

The thieves are definitely out and about. In Western Canada we have seen a theft ring that targets particular makes and models of machines (John Deere 324G skid steers or 35G excavators are some examples.) They request delivery to an empty lot right beside a large construction site, then have a transport company pick them up and move them to a different location. Several members have been targeted by this ring and unfortunately the thieves were successful in taking some of their machines.

Some good things to teach your staff are processes for dealing with suspicious characters who display the “red flags” that could indicate a fraud. Here are some good processes I have seen among members:

  • Put the brakes on a questionable rental.
  • Require a mandatory verification call for charge account clients.
  • Insist on seeing the renter’s registration and proof of insurance.
  • Verify the status of the rental truck if the renter arrives in one.
  • Empower the counter staff to say they require management approval for anything they feel is questionable.

I feel that the most important thing is to train your staff to recognize risky rentals. When someone you don’t know starts requesting specific models of machines, it should make you wonder why.

Also, many rental people are using multiple versions of GPS on their units now — everything from the manufacturer’s built-in GPS to a third party GPS with telematics and often even an Apple AirTag. Why? Because thieves are looking for your GPS; if they find one, they often will think that they have found them all and stop looking further for more.

Those are just a few of my thoughts. Many more theft trends, tips and ideas are included in this issue, so please read on — your security of your inventory may depend on it.

On a different, happy note, an ARA of Canada golf tournament is being planned for September in Alberta, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for further details.

And the ARA’s 2023 Women in Rental (WIR) Conference and Young Professional Network (YPN) Conference will both be held in Clearwater Beach, Fla., in October. Registration for each conference opens July 5. The events sell out fast, so be sure to secure your spot early. Find full details on each conference and registration access at the links below:

2023 WIR Conference, Oct. 23-24

2023 YPN Conference, Oct. 25-26

Until next time!

Angie Venekamp, ECP-SM, ARA Region Ten director
Rental Network
Squamish, British Columbia