During the late evening to early morning hours of November 4 – 5th, thieves broke into an equipment storage area at an equipment rental store. They cut cables and locks securing a two-axle equipment trailer and a Kubota BX25 tractor equipped with a backhoe and front-end loader. The theft was discovered by the store employees whom reported it to the Longview Police Department. The police verified the theft and entered the equipment’s identification numbers into the state and federal crime computers. This process automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the Kubota tractor.
The machine was taken to a rural part of Lewis County and had escaped detection until November 7th when a Washington Patrol trooper received the silent LoJack homing signal transmitting from the stolen Kubota on the Police Tracking Computer (PTC) installed in his patrol car. The information was relayed to other troopers and to the Washington State Police Aviation Section. A pilot in a Cessna equipped with a LoJack tracker along with troopers on the ground isolated the signal to a field off of Jackson Highway. The stolen Kubota tractor was covered with a silver tarp. A occupant living in a motorhome on the property was questioned and provided the police with a list of suspects. Also recovered on the property were four stolen motorcycles.
The approximate value of the Kubota and trailer is $35,000. The LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System was installed in February 2012.