LoJack Aids Snohomish County and Lake Stevens Police in Recovery of Stolen Caterpillar Excavator

  • October 23, 2012
  • recovery stories

On the morning of October 2, 2012, the owner of a 2005 Caterpillar 303CR mini excavator arrived on a job site in the 8300 block of 10th Place SE in Lake Stevens, and discovered the excavator was missing. The equipment was last seen at 6:00 p.m. the previous evening. The company immediately contacted the Lake Stevens Police Department to report the theft of the machine. 

Lake Stevens Police verified the theft and entered the vehicle identification number into the state and federal crime computers. That process automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the excavator.

Minutes later, Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force detectives and a Lake Stevens Police Department sergeant both received the silent LoJack homing signal transmitting from the stolen Caterpillar on the Police Tracking Computers installed in their patrol cars. Following the directional and signal strength cues on the LoJack computers, the detectives and sergeant tracked the excavator to a rural area in the 4700 block of 147th Avenue NE near Lake Stevens. There, they observed tracks in a horse pasture, but could not see the excavator from the road. Upon searching the area, they located the excavator, hidden in a ravine next to the horse pasture. The undamaged equipment, valued at $31,000, was recovered, processed for fingerprint and DNA evidence, and released to the owner.

The LoJack Vehicle Recovery System was installed in this Caterpillar mini excavator in January of 2006 for a private company in Renton, Washington.