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Steve Ricci, your ARA regional director, talks equipment theft

By Steve Ricci

June 6, 2023

Steve Ricci

Steve Ricci

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Eight members. Be vigilant; the thieves are out. I recently heard about a disturbing occurrence at a rental store over in Minnesota that you should hear about. Unfortunately, it’s probably something that happens a lot in rental stores, but it bears repeating as a caveat:

A man entered a rental business posing as a city public works employee, wanting to arrange the purchase of some new equipment, including concrete saws and a generator. The man produced his driver’s license but showed up in an unmarked vehicle with no official city ID and provided what turned out to be a false email address.

When the credit card the man wanted to use was declined, the store manager, sensing fraud, declined to sell the man the products and asked him to leave the store. The customer replied only with what was described as a “brief, stumbling rebuttal” and left the store without incident.

This rental store staff member’s quick thinking and ability to spot some red flags probably prevented the loss of thousands of dollars in equipment. The story serves to remind us all that thieves always are on the prowl; we need to be vigilant in spotting the signs that are dead giveaways of fraud and theft.

Here’s a quick and easy way to get theft prevention tips in the hands of your staff: Go to RentalU (ARA’s online training platform) and just type in “theft” in the search bar. That will give you instant access to items like ARA’s new “Preventing and Handling Theft” video that’s only a little more than a minute long; the National Equipment Register’s (NER) Spring Safety Tune-Up document; and much more.

Another way to receive some great theft-prevention ideas is to read the stories in this newsletter — the first of what is expected to be a regularly occurring equipment theft-themed edition of the In Your Region newsletter.

On a different, happy note, 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 and 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!

Steve Ricci, ARA Region Eight director
Bigfork Rentals
Bigfork, Mont.