Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Keep your guard up; thieves see landscape equipment as easy pickens'

John Levonsky, JK Landscaping, speaking to WINK News in southwest Florida, referred to the thieves that hit his company as “being like ghosts.” They cut a hole in the chain link fence at his company’s holding yard in Bonita Springs, FL, and selectively picked out and made off with thousands of dollars worth of his equipment.

“They came in, took it, closed the doors, put the locks back in their place and just disappeared,” Levonsky told the TV station reporter.

Similiar discouraging reports from across the United States and Canada have been filling the news wires. It almost seems like an epidemic this spring. Thieves apparently see landscaping equipment as easy pickens’. The small stuff is easy to fence for fast cash. Apparently, it’s no problem to move the big stuff, too — commercial mowers, skid steers, loaders etc. Thieves even make off with trucks with loaded landscape trailers.

There are two huge costs to equipment theft:

1. The monetary cost represented by the loss of the equipment. Make sure equipment is properly insured!

2. Downtown and loss of production while replacement equipment is rounded up. This will spoil any landscaper's day. Levonsky, speaking to the WINK reporter, took his loss more philosophically than most.

"You shut down for a day, you regroup, you can't let it get you down. You just gotta keep moving,” he said.

When we polled readers earlier this year, more than 60% of respondents said they had been ripped off at least once in the past three years; some said they'd been hit multiple times.

For great information about how to reduce the risk of theft of your stuff, click on our special spring report — "Theft: Lock it up."

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