According to Mine Lifeline, which operates the site, the national database from MSHA – which included serial numbers, manufacture date, status of service and a mine ID – showed 17 matches with missing self-contained self-rescuers that have been recovered through the site in the last six months.
Operations manager James Nagle said late last week that while hundreds of units have been reported stolen from US mines, the 17 located appear to have come from the same operation.
“The SCSRs were being reported stolen from WV Mine Power, a coal mine located in West Virginia, and they were showing up at a different mine in Virginia," he said, adding that the operator was contacted as soon as the discovery was made and, in turn, its representative Steve Malcomb had reached out to local authorities.
“On the last of February the sheriff's department sent two deputies to these locations to investigate why these mining operations had possession of the stolen property [and] the rescuers were returned to our company on March 3,” said Malcomb.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this property would not have been recovered without [MineTheft.com's] assistance."
Nagle pointed out that MSHA does collect information on SCSRs from mines across the US, but there is no process in place to verify if a unit has been reported missing from another operation. Going forward, the two will continue working together thanks to this success, he said.
“When buyers of stolen equipment finally realise that they can and will get caught, thieves will realise that there is no market for their stolen goods,” Nagle said.
“Now that MSHA is requiring reports of SCSR records, there is no way to hide stolen equipment across state lines."