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Murphy Surveys Ltd. recovers stolen instrument

2 August 2018

Stolen instrument recovered, calibrated and back on site within four days

Survey instrument theft is a problem that’s showing no signs of abating and unfortunately Murphy Surveys Ltd. are the latest KOREC customer to fall victim. However, in this case the company was lucky enough to recover its stolen instrument and have it back on site, fully cleaned and recalibrated, within four days, thanks to Trimble L2P tracking, the fast response by the local Gardai and KOREC and Murphy Surveys Ltd. staff working through the night.

Based in the UK and Ireland, Murphy Surveys Ltd. report that although this theft occurred just outside of Dublin, they have suffered more theft incidents in the UK than Ireland, where thankfully this type of event is relatively infrequent. In this case, on Friday 29th June 2018, a Trimble S5 Robotic Total Station was stolen from a site at midday. The theft was immediately reported to the Gardaí, along with the make of vehicle driven by the thieves.

Around 5.00pm Murphy Surveys Ltd. contacted KOREC Ireland on the off chance that the instrument Trimble L2P was protected and were delighted to hear that it was and that we could trace its whereabouts. A quick log-in to our system and we could see that it was currently at rest in a residential area to the south-west of the city, about 30km from the site.

The Gardaí were quick to follow up on a series of screen grabs we sent them and Murphy Surveys Ltd., pinpointing the S5’s location. Although they searched several vehicles in the area, they were unable to recover the instrument. This was due to the number of cars and buildings in close proximity and because there was no sign of the vehicle that Murphy Surveys Ltd. had described.

Not to be put off, KOREC was able to track the journey of the S5 in detail, thus revealing that the instrument had clearly been moved from one vehicle to another, but until it was active again, it was impossible to pinpoint exactly which vehicle.

KOREC therefore set up a ‘geo-fence’ on their L2P tracking software and waited….

Around midnight the geo-fence alarm was triggered and a few minutes later the instrument was shown to be stationary in a green area. The Gardaí were called and the instrument was immediately recovered. It was returned to KOREC the following Monday morning for cleaning and recalibration, and was back on Murphy Surveys Ltd. site, fully functional, by the middle of the week.

The chain of events that led to the recovery of the S5 demonstrates that early police activity in the area had alerted the thieves to the possibility of the instrument being tracked and that they had consequently decided to abandon it.

This is another great example of how promptly the Police, in this case the Gardaí, can respond when supplied with real-time tracking information and coordinates. It’s also an early sign that instrument tracking may eventually prove to be a deterrent to thieves as well as a means of instrument recovery.

Raymond Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Murphy Surveys Ltd. said, “We were thoroughly impressed with the tracking capability of the Trimble S5. The fact that we were able to pin point the position of the instrument so quickly, and with the support of the Gardaí retrieve the kit was the best possible outcome. As an industry we are being targeted by criminals and we’re not the only survey company falling victim to these senseless crimes. As a business and employer we have a duty of care to our employees and we simply do not stand for this behaviour. We are continually reviewing and strengthening our security polices and we welcome new technology and initiatives to help protect our industry.”

Our thanks to Murphy Surveys Ltd. for sharing this story with us.

KOREC was able to provide the Gardaí with coordinates of the stolen S5’s position

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