More than $12.8 million in stolen construction equipment assets were tracked and recovered by LoJack Corp. in 2004, a 42 percent jump from 2003. This is according to LoJack's recently released annual Construction Equipment Theft Report. The study showed a significant rise in the number of professional theft rings and chop shops discovered by law enforcement through tracking stolen construction equipment protected with a LoJack system.

“Professional thieves view construction theft as a highly lucrative business opportunity and we see this problem increasing year after year,” said Richard T. Riley, president and COO of LoJack.

The types of equipment frequently stolen are (in order): loaders, skid steers, generators, air compressors, dump trucks, welders and untethered trailers, light utility/work trucks and forklifts. These equipment types represented 81 percent of all construction equipment recoveries documented by LoJack last year. More than 72 percent of the equipment stolen and recovered was five years old or less.