Rarely does a story about a stolen crane end in its return to the rightful owner but ICST is pleased to report a notable exception. It is the Liebherr LTM 1300-6.2 wheeled mobile telescopic crane stolen from Hovago in the Netherlands in 2017.
The stolen 300 tonne capacity wheeled mobile telescopic crane which sits on a six axle carrier was found near Antwerp in Belgium. It was stolen from the specialist crane supplier Hovago’s yard in Dordrecht, Netherlands, on 1 September 2017.
Marcel Riemslag from Hovago takes up the story, “For the last five months we were informed from various sources that the crane was being offered for sale. From the photos we received it was clear that somebody was trying to sell our crane by using various traders around the world. But the search for the crane went on without result.
“You can imagine our surprise when earlier this month, Hovago received a call from the Federal Police of Antwerp. They have a team, formerly known as AULA, that specializes in this kind of crime. In one of their operations, they recovered the Liebherr on an industrial area in a village somewhere in the Antwerp area.”
The crane is too big to quickly ship overseas, or to drive overland across borders, Riemslag continued. Its size and weight make it impossible to travel unnoticed, “especially since you need special road permits in most European countries to travel with this crane,” Riemslag said.
The crane appears to be in good condition but is being inspected by the manufacturer as a precaution.
Hovago expressed thanks to the many colleagues and organisations participating in the search for the crane and, of course, to the Federal Police of Antwerp.