Whenever you have crews you are gonna have problems. I have not had problems with thief, but often have equipment broken because people are careless. If you can prove they stole it charge them or have them arrested. I do not think you can deduct pay unless yo have prove that it was stolen.
Be glad you have control over your temper.... Personally i would be beating them right now!!!! hehe j/k like said earlier if you cant prove it then your kind of stuck. If you know the employee and there worth while let it slide, if there worthless now is the time to say goodbye!!!
Well how ever you handle it make changes for the future.
asign equiptment to each to keep up with especilly if they work with that tool all day. make them sign a paper asumming responsibilty agiainst loss just so you have something you can put in their face if need be (court)
hetc if you were in the motor pool in the army you have to sign out for the tools you use and be responiable for it .then just dock their pay.forgeting about puting equipt back on the truck is very easy to do when you don,t have to pay for it, just one of those "cost of doing bussiness expences" that are occured.
What Eric and Bushmaster siad is the best thing to do. 1) Do a police report so if it does show up they can contact you, take all serial # of all equipment and record them. 2) asign equipment to particular employees. Its up to you to contact your insurance company to see how much they will give you for a replacement. (This is a option but we have engraved our business name and number on all our equipment for this very reason, if it pops up at a mower shop they will contact me.)
Last summer when 2 of my guys went to luch at Mcdonalds they both went in at the same time, wait in line...get food....come out one of the trimmers is gone. Damn straight i made them pay for it! If they don't have enough sense to watch the tools they should pay. Actually i made them pay 1/3 each and i picked up a 3rd, told them if it happens again it's all on them. They were lucky whoever took it didn't get the other trimmer,blower etc.