In early June an individual purchased a Lincoln welder from an ad on Craig’s List. After the purchase of the welder the new owner went to get the equipment inspected and found an the inspector found indications that it had belonged to an equipment rental company in Southeast Houston. The owner contacted the equipment rental store and indeed it was one of their units. The store then went and did an inventory of their trailered welder’s and found out that not only one welder was stolen but twenty- three had been stolen from inventory. A store employee called the Harris County PCT2 Constables office to report the missing welders. Out of those twenty –three welders luckily two were equipped with LoJack. A theft report was completed and the welder’s information was entered into the federal and state crime computers. This routine police action automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the equipment.
Later that week, officers from the Houston Police Department picked up the silent LoJack homing signals from one of the stolen welders on their Police Tracking Computers (PTC) installed in their patrol vehicles. Following the directional and audible cues on the PTC, the officers tracked the welder to a Welding Trade School in the 11000 block of Wallisville Road. The welder was located inside the training area of the school. The director of the school gave the officers consent to search the rest of the school. They found one more Lincoln welder that was identified as belonging to the equipment rental store.
At the same time officers from the Southside of Houston picked up the silent LoJack homing signals coming from the second LoJack equipped welder on their PTC . Following the directional and audible cues from the PTC, the officers tracked the welder to a storage warehouse. They found out that the renter of the storage unit happened to be the director of the Welding Trade School on Wallisville Road where the Houston Police were in the process of recovering the other LoJack equipped welder. The director of the school gave consent for the officers to search his storage unit. When the officer’s opened the storage unit they found the LoJack equipped welder along with three more welders that were identified as belonging to the equipment rental store. All the welders that were recovered had been removed from the trailers. The trailers were located in the same storage warehouse and were also seized by the officers. All the welders were released to a representative from the equipment rental store.
Investigation is ongoing.
Total assets recovered were six Lincoln trailered welders with an estimated value of $75,000.