The owners of a 2014 John Deere 35G Mini Excavator contacted the Concord Police Department to report that their vehicle was stolen. The national equipment rental company reported their rental customer was unable to provide any details about when or how the equipment had been taken from a construction site off Bruton Smith Blvd, near the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Concord PD verified the theft and entered the vehicle information into the state and federal crime computers which automatically activated the LoJack® System concealed in the John Deere.
A short while later deputies from the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office picked up the silent LoJack signal from the stolen John Deere with the LoJack Police Tracking Computers (PTC) that are installed in patrol vehicles and aircraft. Following the directional and audible cues from the PTC, the deputies tracked the John Deere to a property used for parking at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. There the track signal led deputies to a wooded area to the rear of the parking lot, approximately a half mile to the east of the theft site. The equipment was found about twenty yards into the wooded area. Tracks could be seen where suspect(s) had driven the equipment through an open field at the parking lot, hid the equipment in one location in the woods and then moved the excavator into the wooded area where it was recovered. Through the woods and into another vacant parking area about a quarter of a mile away was a surplus construction equipment auction being staged having hundreds of trucks and equipment readied for auction.
The Concord PD responded to the recovery location which was just outside their jurisdiction. The police had the excavator towed and stored for safe keeping until the rental company could take possession. An investigation continues by the Concord PD.
The LoJack® System was installed in the John Deere 35G mini excavator in January 2015 as a Commercial installation for the rental company.