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NER offers equipment theft trends, prevention tips for Memorial Day

By Brock Huffstutler

May 24, 2024

The National Equipment Register (NER) is encouraging equipment and event rental operators to be vigilant against theft during the Memorial Day weekend. The Memorial Day holiday is one of the most active equipment theft periods nationwide as summer demand for equipment ramps up.

According to the NER, job-site and dealer yard burglaries over the holiday remain an issue. Machine thefts from storage locations including contractor’s shop yards and farm outbuildings also are prevalent.

The NER says equipment rental fraud and conversion thefts have plagued the industry since a surge in 2018 — and the trend is not stopping in 2024. NER anticipates that fraudsters and “smash and grab” thieves will be active throughout the spring, particularly leading into and over the summer holiday weekends.

The top three targeted states in the past five years from the Thursday before Memorial Day to the Wednesday after are Texas, Florida and California, with a combined total loss value of $11.6 million. The top targeted equipment types stolen includes mowers, skid steers and trailers. During that time, 542 equipment theft incidents have been reported.

NER offers numerous security tips and best practices, including:

  • Ensure alarms and lighting are all operating properly. A high number of false alarms may be a test of your responsiveness.
  • Test cameras in daylight and after dark to confirm you capture usable images of license plates, faces and vehicles.
  • Don’t assume fences and gates provide a complete barrier to adjoining businesses and vacant land. Walk your fence line to be sure everything is intact. Thieves have partially cut fence posts or stack materials near a wall in preparation.

Click here for NER’s full list of tips and best practices.

To report any theft or fraud, go to NER online, or email NER at with as little as the machine make, model and serial number, and the date and location of theft, and NER will enter it for you.

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