Thieves Targeting Snow-Removal Equipment

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (CBS) ––  The snow drought this winter is hitting local snow-removal companies hard. But they’re also facing a crime wave — an expensive series of thefts targeting their vehicles and equipment, including high priced trucks.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.

K.C. and Maggie Downer are well known in the business, even making the cover of the industry magazine “Snow Business.”  But their business is dicey right now, what with little or no snow and a rash of equipment thefts.

One of their plow trucks was stolen Monday in broad daylight from a mall parking lot in Bridgeview. Another truck in the same lot had the plow assembly ripped off and taken away. And last week, a $6,000 snow pusher unit was removed from its vehicle and stolen from a storage lot in Hickory Hills.

Downer concedes the snow pushers are easy to steal, saying it can be removed and stolen in about a minute.

The agent who insures the Downer family business says these crimes are happening across the snow belt and are often international in scope.

American Family Insurance agent Sam Rolph says it’s hard to track stolen equipment. Serial numbers are easy to grind away.

“A lot of this equipment ends up overseas in container boxes going to third world countries now,” Rolph says.

The thefts have now prompted the Downers to install GPS tracking devices on their equipment.

“You live, you learn,” Maggie Downer says.

The Downers estimate they’ve had theft losses of more than $100,000 in recent weeks.

More from Mike Parker
  • GovIsaDiseasePosingAsTheCure

    You mean thieves stealing from thieves. The gubement did not earn the money this booty was purchased with….

    • Jannet


      If you read the article you will see, this is about privately owned equipment being stolen not Government equipment. None the less no matter who it belongs to stealing is wrong.

  • Tea Party Hero

    I said it once and I’ll say it again.

    We need to stop stealing from rich, wealthy job-creators and “redistruting” their money in taxes to lazy blacks and ILLEGALS.

    Let’s take back our country!

  • Roberta Waker

    Weren’t there any working security cameras at the mall when the truck was taken? A GPS device, alarm or security cameras are a worthwhile investment if you have expensive equipment. Hope they catch these thieves because in the long run we will ALL pay for these thefts.

  • Gary

    We had six plows stolen from us in November.

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