"Theft protection on the big machines is beneath contempt. First, the personnel are loath to properly lock the machines. Second, many of the machines often have matching ignition keys. Therefore, it is enough to take hold of at least one set of keys to gain access to virtually all construction equipment in and around Stockholm. And today, it is the criminals have who the keys in their possession," Swedish Trade Federation's Security chief Per Geijer told Swedish Radio.
According to police, this "business" is very lucrative. The penalties are low, and the risk of detection is relatively small.
"Unfortunately, the heavy construction machines are very easy to steal. More often than not, they sit in unmonitored and unfenced areas that are not protected by alarms in any way," he told Swedish Radio.
From 2017, all construction machines must be equipped with anti-theft hardware and immobilizers, according to trade organization Maskinleverantörerna, organization president Björn Bäckström told Swedish Radio. Immobilizers are found in many modern cars; one needs a key and a code to unlock the engine and the ignition, thus preventing "hot-wiring."
At the same time, according to house rules among Swedish law enforcement organs as well as the mainstream Swedish media, stressing a person's ethnic origin or nationality should be avoided if "not pertinent" to the case, which most often leads to "imported" criminals being portrayed simply as "Swedes."