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Stop Theft by Conversion


Theft by conversion is a type of white-collar crime that involves the unauthorized use of someone else’s property, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it. In the equipment rental industry, this type of theft can be particularly costly, as rental equipment can be quite expensive, and rental companies rely on their equipment to generate revenue.

Thefts by conversion occur in the equipment rental industry when a customer rents equipment but then refuses to return it. This can result in significant losses for the rental company, as they will no longer be able to rent out the equipment to other customers and have to repair or replace the equipment.

To prevent theft by conversion in the equipment rental industry, rental companies should take several steps.

First and foremost, they should carefully screen potential customers before renting equipment to them, looking for any red flags indicating that the customer may not return the equipment as agreed. This can be accomplished by:

  • Requesting to see a photo ID
  • Ask for a second form of ID to verify the validity of the initial ID
  • Confirm the order before delivery with a known contact person
    • The person whose ID was verified
  • Deliver equipment when the renter is present and not to a vacant job site
  • Pick up equipment as soon as the rental is finished
  • Record the renter’s vehicle information for walk-up renters
    • Make, Model, Color, License Plate
  • Install GPS tracking devices on equipment
  • Require a security deposit

In addition, rental companies can work with law enforcement to pursue legal action against customers who engage in theft by conversion. This can include filing criminal charges or seeking civil damages in a court of law.

Theft by conversion is a serious issue in the equipment rental industry, but by taking the steps outlined above, rental companies can help reduce the risk of this type of theft and protect their equipment and their bottom line.

Author Charles (Chuck) Kiser

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Charlotte, NC Insurance

4000 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209