The tracking unit led the police right to the van that contained seven stolen machines.
In the beginning of July, GSGroup's search team receives a phone call from a customer. The man works for a machine rental company and said that one of their construction machines with a value of NOK 100,000, had been stolen.
- The customer contacted GSGroup and told us that one of their machines was stolen. We immediately started a search operation to retrieve the stolen goods, says CEO Espen Virik Ranvik in GSGroup.
It was Ole Kristian Gullerud from Ekspert Maskinutleie AS ( Expert Machine Rental AS) who reported the theft of the machine. Ekspert Maskinutleie AS was established in 1998 in Ski in Norway, and has a rental park of well over 2100 objects. Gullerud suspected that two machines had disappeared, but only one was equipped with a tracking device. Nevertheless, the hope was that both machines would be in the same place.
GSGroup is a leading European provider of services for mobile data collection, and have since the early 90's, developed tracking and recovery solutions.
Ranvik says the thieves know what they are looking for and that they have experienced an increase in the number of thefts of construction machinery and equipment.
- Theft of machinery and equipment has become an increasing problem. Construction machinery are often very costly and has significantly more technology in it than its predecessors. It makes them popular objects to steal, something we see in our search and tracking logs.
The construction machines that were first reported stolen in Norway, were quickly driven across the border to Sweden, but their final destination is unclear. Gullerud in Ekspert Maskinutleie says the event is by no means unique.
- It's not the first time we experience theft of machines and equipment. It is irritating and incredibly time consuming to search for equipment and machines, he says.
Search teams, partners and police in Sweden were contacted, and approximately twelve hours after the machines were stolen, the police opened the doors of a white van in a parking lot in Ljungskile, Sweden. Inside the van the police found both of the two stolen machines, as well as five more. Later, it turned out that most of the stolen goods came from Ekspert Maskinutleie, even though the thieves had done their best to remove the identification numbers of the machines.
- We are happy that the machines were found. The machines are worth around half a million Norwegian kroner, which is a considerable amount of money. We wish that people would leave other people belongings alone, but some are looking to make quick money by stealing from others, selling it, or using the equipment themselves, Gullerud says.
Espen Virik Ranvik in GSGroup commends everyone who participated in the operation.
- Seven machines, which together have a value of around half a million Norwegian kroner, is of course of great importance to the customer, and it is good that they have gotten their machines and equipment back, says Ranvik.
Expert Maskinutleie AS currently has 47 employees, divided into six departments in Norway. Customers are small, medium and large contractors, and state and municipal businesses, and the company has good profitability. Operations Manager Arvid Vegge commends GSGroup for their effort in bringing back their stolen machines.
- We are very pleased with the response from GSGroup, Vegge says.