Chicago-Area Snow Plow Thefts Pile Up
Chicago-area snow plow truck drivers are on alert after a recent string of thefts in the suburbs.
Kevin Van Sessen is the owner of highly rated Blade Cutters Landscaping in Crown Point, Indiana, and the president of the Northwest Indiana Landscapers Association. Van Sessen recently was the victim of snow plow thieves who stole one of his trucks from the company’s fenced lot. Van Sessen lost about $17,000 in the theft between his $10,000 truck and $7,000 blade, he told the Times of Northwest Indiana.
According to Van Sessen, the plow trucks are stolen solely for the blades, which are stripped by thieves and sold online.
“They are not scrapping the plows. They are selling them,” Van Sessen tells the Times. “We are talking about a piece of equipment that costs $4,500 to $8,000, and people want them because the snow was so bad last year. The thieves know they can get a good penny for them, and they are able to sell them on eBay or Craigslist without a title and get the big money.”
While stealing a snow plow seems like a big and difficult job, the profitability of pushing snow in a harsh winter can make the crime more attractive to thieves.
Plow owners have taken to installing GPS sensors on their trucks and blades to track them when stolen. Plow manufacturers also recommend owners etch the serial number in an inconspicuous spot on the blade.
Owners are also encouraged to install padlocks through couplers on the blade that will prevent essential steel pins from being removed.