THP Aviation Unit Finds Stolen Construction Equipment - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

THP Aviation Unit Finds Stolen Construction Equipment

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(Image courtesy THP Aviation Unit) (Image courtesy THP Aviation Unit)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – High-tech tracking equipment led law enforcement agencies to some pricey stolen construction equipment.

Officials said the Tennessee Highway Patrol Aviation Unit and the Criminal Investigation Division were able to track down two stolen mini excavators on December 26.

One was found stolen from a job site in Rutherford County. The other was taken in Williamson County. Both machines were valued at about $100,000.

The first theft happened two days before Thanksgiving. Officials with the Murfreesboro Police Department said the owner of a 2007 Kubotoa Mini Excavator reported it missing.

The excavator had a theft recovery transponder. It was activated when police entered the machinery information into state and federal crime computers.

While helping with a search and rescue operation in Putnam County, THP's Aviation Unit came across a signal from the stolen excavator. The Criminal Investigation Division was able to later return to the location and found the machine at a homeowner's construction site.

During their investigation, officials found information that led to the second excavator. They said a 2010 Caterpillar Mini Excavator was stolen on December 5. It was recovered at a separate location.

Officials said the theft recovery system from LoJack was the only system operated by law enforcement. Two of the THP helicopters have the tracking equipment installed, and this was the first time equipment has been recovered by the unit.

Details about possible arrests were not available.

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