A TINY transmitter has saved Toowoomba earthmoving operator Marcus Austin from losing more than $200,000 worth of equipment to thieves.
The Olivers Earthmoving operations manager said satellite tracking devices installed in the majority of his company's equipment about a year ago had proven to be a handy weapon against theft.
The point was proved at the end of last month when thieves took a truck, bobcat and excavator from Olivers' yard in Holt Dr.
Mr Austin said the transmitters emitted a signal from each of the three items.
"We told the cops where they were," Mr Austin said.
Police went to Redbank the morning after the theft to find the abandoned equipment.
"We picked it up at smoko, had it home by lunch and it was back at work that afternoon."
Mr Austin said it seemed as though there had been a recent increase in the amount of earthmoving equipment stolen in Toowoomba.
"There's obviously a bit of a market for it at the moment."
He said the tracking system had been installed so he could monitor how his equipment was being used, and its anti-theft properties were a bonus.
"I know a few people starting to get into it."
Toowoomba Criminal Investigation Branch officer-in-charge Paul McCusker said anything that offered businesses extra security should be considered.
"Any security for any earthmoving equipment is a great tool," he said.