Deterring Service Vehicle Theft

Joe Jaremko has been the victim of theft in his Miami service area. Here's how he combats it.

Deterring Service Vehicle Theft

Joe Jaremko

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One of the costs of doing business in Miami is crime, says Joe Jaremko, owner of Arko Plumbing. He has firsthand experience with it. 

“There is nothing like seeing your vehicle being stolen on a video cam,” Jaremko says. “I watched on a housing camera. The guy was in the truck faster than if he’d had a key!”

Jaremko searched for the truck and came close to finding it before the police did. “I got the truck back in perfect condition, but all the equipment was gone.”

The equipment carried by service plumbers in work vans includes fairly high-end items — battery-powered tools, inspection cameras and other modern tools of the trade. So a work van wrapped brightly with logos and other branding art can be a beacon to a thief wanting to make some quick money. 

To frustrate such theft, Jaremko doesn’t have anything on the sides of his Nissan 2500 vans that identify them as work vans. Plain Jane. They don’t have ladder racks on them either. This not only makes it harder for thieves to target his equipment, it also lets Jaremko’s crew members park their work trucks at their homes without running into Dade County officials who object to work trucks being parked in residential neighborhoods.

He has also outfitted his vans with three hidden GPS units, one of them hardwired.

“I know where the trucks are at any time,” Jaremko says.

Tools that might be taken in a theft are locked in a gang box that’s bolted to the floor. 

Eleven years ago, Jaremko was the victim of theft that occurred right outside his home. He had a brand-new 2012 pickup truck at the time and, one week after the purchase, a neighbor knocked on his door and told him he’d been robbed.

Jaremko walked outside and found his truck still sitting there. Unfortunately, it sat on blocks. The rims and tires of the vehicle had been removed. He didn’t recover them, of course. In response to that incident, Jaremko installed a camera on his property that scans the front of his house and immediate neighborhood. 

“That’s Miami,” he says.

Read more about Arko Plumbing in the January 2024 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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