Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011 | 1:55 a.m.
Las Vegas ranks among the nation’s top five cities for the theft of seemingly difficult-to-conceal items — heavy equipment such as backhoes and bulldozers, according to a report released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
There were 59 heavy equipment thefts in Las Vegas last year, tying the city for fourth place in the category with Conroe, Texas. The top three cities, in order, were Miami, Houston and Phoenix.
Thieves stole 6,474 pieces of non-mower heavy equipment last year nationwide, according to the NICB. Loaders led the list of stolen equipment, which also included tractors, backhoes, forklifts and bulldozers.
Overall, Nevada ranked 29th for the number of heavy-equipment thefts in 2010. Texas topped the list with 1,023 thefts — almost double that of the second highest state, California, which recorded 550 thefts.
The remaining top 10 states for heavy-equipment theft were, in order, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Maryland, Ohio and Alabama.
Five top-10 cities were located in Texas: Houston, Conroe, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.
Officials said 28 percent of the heavy equipment stolen in 2010 was recovered. In Nevada, 23 of the 69 items stolen were recovered. Among cities, Las Vegas tied for fourth with 18 recoveries last year.
Thieves tended to target heavy equipment manufactured by John Deere, followed by Catrepillar and Melroe, according to the report.
The report is produced based on data submitted by law enforcement agencies to the National Crime Information Center.