Preventing Employee Theft in Fleet Management

May 23, 2018

Jimmy Song

Preventing Employee Theft in Fleet Management

How can fleets save money? Some people might suggest managing fuel or upgrading vehicles. Other people might suggest training drivers. All of these suggestions are valid ways to save money. However, what about preventing employee theft?

Preventing employee theft is an unfortunate reality in businesses, and fleets are no different!

Stats about Theft

Preventing employee theft is not as simple as watching your pen or notebook at work. (Shame on all of the pen thieves at ZenduIT!) Employee theft is much more complex and costly.

According to a study, American businesses lose about $50 billion annually from employee theft. This number makes up 7% of annual revenue. Ouch!


Preventing employee theft in fleet management means controlling key areas, including:

  • Small asset theft
  • Equipment theft
  • Time theft

Small Asset Theft

Small asset theft includes anything from stealing fuel to stealing customer packages. Although the dollar value of each theft is small, small asset shrinkages add up!

Case: Small Theft, Big Problems

A moving company had an issue with theft. Some of their customers complained that their possessions went missing after the move.

It was a huge headache for everyone in the business. Firstly, customer service reps were burdened by complaints and investigations. Secondly, customers left nasty Google reviews and sales noticeably decreased.

Solution: You’re on Camera!

The moving company decided enough was enough. They revamped their theft controls by adding multiple security cameras around their trucks. These cameras captured both footage around the truck and footage in the cargo area.

After installing the cameras, the moving company noticed 2 results. Firstly, the cameras caught several thieves in the act. Secondly, after thieves were caught and fired, customer complaints stopped. News spreads quickly in a company and other movers realized that they are on camera.

Equipment theft

Equipment theft is also a serious issue. Although equipment theft occurs less frequently than small asset theft, each equipment theft costs much more money.

Case: “Getting Even”

A plant faced a strange stolen equipment problem. Plant supervisors were puzzled because the stolen equipment had no use outside of work. It was also a big problem because the equipment costed up to a million dollars and the plant was losing productivity.

To try to solve equipment theft, the plant installed surveillance cameras. Unfortunately, even after installing cameras, the thieves got away and theft actually increased. Why was this happening?

Solution: Psychology

The plant hired a consultant to solve their problem. The consultants gave a surprising conclusion. Disgruntled employees started stealing equipment to “get even” with the plant. However, this quickly turned into a game. Employees started bragging about who stole the most expensive equipment. After cameras were installed, bragging rights doubled.

The plant had an equally surprising solution. They started a program where employees can sign out items for free. The program worked! Employees no longer got a thrill from stealing free stuff and equipment theft stopped.

Time Theft

Employee theft is not always about stealing assets! Theft also includes stealing time.

Case: Cheating the Books

A school bus manager received a strange call. A parent said that they saw one of the school busses pick up students from another district. The parent wondered if that was allowed. Absolutely not!

It turned out that several drivers were stealing company time. Bus drivers were using company time and company busses to do their own side jobs.

Solution: Route Control

After their rude awakening, the school board completely transformed bus operations. One of their initiatives was to use a route management board.


The route management board displayed all drivers on a live map. Managers tracked bus drivers and their route completion. Whenever bus drivers deviated from their planned routes, managers directly messaged their drivers. As a result, the route management board efficienized route planning and cut time fraud.

Brandon Gaille: 27 Jaw Dropping Employee Theft Statistics
Psychology Today: A Strange Effective Way to Stop Employee Theft