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Heavy Equipment Thieves Thwarted by GPS Device

St Petersburg, FL, October 01, 2011 --( Sunstate Trees Inc, A Longwood Florida based tree company, was on its way to aid the areas that were damaged by Hurricane Irene in North Carolina and Virginia when they ran into a little problem. Sunstate trees Inc had "rented to purchase" a new large wheeled Bobcat skid steer from Orlando Bobcat. (This is program offered by Orlando Bobcat that allows the customer to rent the Bobcat and purchase it at a later date). Prior to sending it out, the dealer installed a GPS anti theft device sold by TM Fleet based out of St Petersburg, Florida to help them keep track of their rental and rent to purchase inventory. Mike D'Elia who is the Orlando Bobcat GM does this for two reasons. 1) to protect his investment and 2) to protect the customers investment. Orlando Bobcat strongly advises the purchase of these devices to existing customers and new customers.

According to reports by SunState Trees Inc and Orlando Bobcat, on the morning of September 13th, Mike D'Elia was informed by his salesman that SunState Trees Inc discovered that their Bobcat and trailer were stolen from the parking lot of the hotel where they were staying at in Virginia. Upon hearing the news, Mike D'Elia immediately logged onto his account and performed a locate on the unit and discovered that it was parked in a driveway at a residential location in Brandywine, Maryland. This location was about 109 miles north of where it was stolen from in VA. Mike zoomed in on the map using the "birds eye" feature on the website and he could tell it was parked about 60 yards from a rural road at the end of a driveway. Mike gave the address of the location and the latitude/longitude to his salesman and he passed it along to the Sunstate Trees Inc. They immediately contacted the local police who in-turn contacted the Brandywine, MD police department with the information.

Mike received a call about an hour later from the owner of the tree company and claimed that the the Brandywine police department sent a deputy to find the stolen machine. Apparently the police car that was dispatched to the address could not find the machine at that location. The owner of the tree company asked Mike if he was sure that the address he gave him was the correct address. Frustrated by the call Mike then performed a 2nd locate on the Bobcat and it was still reporting in the same location and was not moving (0 mph). Randy (the owner of Sunstate Trees Inc) called back to the Brandywine police department and insisted that the machine was still there in the location that Mike originally gave them.

A short while later, Mike performed a 3rd locate on the stolen Bobcat only to find out that it had moved about 20 yards closer to the road, but still in the same driveway. Mike found this to be a little odd and his concerns were even higher. A Bobcat is not registered like a automobile or motorcycle so once you lose possession of the equipment it is very difficult to get it back. Mike decided to keep locating the equipment to track any further movement and then be prepared to update the customer if need be.

Another hour passed and the owner of the tree company called back and explained that the lieutenant went to the address personally and found the machine in the driveway where Mike had originally told them it was. Mike was told that during the first attempt to find the equipment the deputy didn't drive onto the property and only performed a visual search of the area. When he did not see the equipment he assumed it was not there.

The next day Mike did his follow up and called the customer to find out more details on what had happened. When they discovered the Bobcat missing they called the police department who found out from the hotel that the theft was caught on surveillance camera. They were told 2 guys broke the window to the customers truck, jammed a screwdriver in the ignition switch, and took off with the truck, trailer, Bobcat, spare tires, fork grapple, tie down straps, and hydraulic fluid. They then hid the stolen goods 60 yards away from the road out of view of passersby.

To the thieves’ surprise, they may have done a great job of hiding the equipment from the view of the police but they could not hide from the GPS tracking devices using the satellites orbiting the earth. The lieutenant on the second attempt pulled into the driveway while the thieves were driving out in the stolen truck with the trailer and Bobcat in tow. The 2 thieves jumped out of the truck and bolted away only to be apprehended very shortly thereafter.

Not only were the bad guys caught but Sunstate Trees inc recovered their truck and trailer along with the Bobcat. Had this Bobcat not been fitted with a GPS anti theft device it would have been unlikely that the connection between a stolen truck, trailer and Bobcat in Virgina ever have been made with the equipment sitting in Brandywine MD. "He is extremely grateful," Mike explained when describing how the owner of Sunstate Trees, inc felt. According to Mike Bobcats are in such high demand that the timeline for his replacement Bobcat to arrive would have been quite lengthy. Not to mention the hassle of dealing with insurance, police etc. Once you lose possession of the equipment it can be a very difficult and long recovery process.

About TM Fleet
While TM Fleet sells the full spectrum of GPS devices from Real time tracking to personal trackers they are very focused on anti theft devices. Mark Butcher the company VP of Business development points out "In the United States a car is stolen every 24.7 seconds, a motorcycle is stolen every 7.5 seconds. However people think that heavy equipment is harder to steal because of the size." He went on to explain that heavy equipment is just as easy, consider the rural locations that they sit at for days even weeks at a time on a job site. Many times these units are already on a trailer and ready to be taken by anyone with a tow hitch.

“For many years heavy equipment owners and dealers were forced to buy devices that were over kill in features and also came with a monthly fee,” states Hector Fernandez the VP of sales at TM Fleet. “Until now heavy equipment was outfitted with the same devices that track work trucks and service vehicles. Do you really think the owner of a Fork lift should be worried about, speed, rpms, driving directions, 2 minute updates and other features that are costly and useless to that market? Of course not,” Mr. Fernandez went on to explain that the devices that they sell the most of come with no monthly fee and usually sold with three years of service. “We sell the right product for the right job.” Motorcycles, heavy equipment, cars, boats and snowmobiles are a few of the other markets that can benefit by using GPS anti theft devices.

Contact Information
TM Fleet
Mark Butcher
941 718 1483
877 466 0104

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