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May : Important Advice on Recovery of Stolen Forestry Machinery & Parts – Mark your Machinery

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13 May, 2013

Important Advice on Recovery of Stolen Forestry Machinery & Parts - Mark your Machinery


FSA received the following advice from Pieter Knipschild, Chairman of the Lowveld Timber Theft Forum in Mpumalanga. Thank you Pieter!

This advice is proffered following an operation conducted by various Lowveld Timber Theft Forum members in early May 2013 to recover a Bell Logger which had been built from stolen parts (wheel motors, pump, engine, rotator, grab etc.).  Unfortunately only one part - a wheel motor, was marked with the rightful owner's name.  Consequently, despite the suspect's activities being know to members, the police were obliged to hand back the rest of the machine to the suspect due to lack of evidence. The bottom line is that owners cannot claim stolen items back if they cannot prove that they rightfully belongs to them.

Members are therefore strongly advised to take the following precautions:

  • Engrave, weld, punch or "data dot" your machinery with a unique "mark" - e.g. number, name, symbol etc.
  • Make these marks on as many parts of the machinery as practical (e.g. chassis, boom, rotator, grab, wheel rims, engine, pumps etc. etc.)
  • Record these markings for identification purposes (photographing them is also advisable)
  • If machine stolen, give Police marking details when reporting the theft.
  • If machine stolen, also circulate details to neighbors.


The above precautions could also be applied to smaller equipment such as chainsaws, knapsacks, brush cutters etc.