Surge In Tool Theft

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Updated: November 13, 2018

Victoria Police has identified a significant rise in the theft of tools from utilities, vans and trailers belonging to trades. The crimes are happening in residential streets and at work sites.

Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said tradespeople were being targeted by opportunistic criminals on the lookout for unsecured tools that can be sold for quick cash.

“We know offenders often target tradespeople’s trailers and cars because they carry expensive tools and equipment and can be left unlocked for ease of access,” he said. “Police are looking at ways of tackling theft from motor vehicles, which has emerged as an increasing problem in our community.”

What is the impact of this crime on small business and sole business owners?

“The cost and inconvenience for an individual when the tools vital to their trade are stolen is significant. We know these offences can have a real flow-on effect for both individuals and business owners.

“By making sure your ute or van is locked, your trailer secured and your tools out of sight, trades people can reduce the risk of having their property stolen.”

How to stop theft of tools and equipment:

  • When leaving tools in your vehicle overnight, park it in a garage where possible. Do not park in dark, unlit or isolated areas
  • If you have a driveway, use it. Don’t park your vehicle out on the street where it is easily accessed and secure your trailer so it can’t be broken into or removed
  • Lock your vehicle when it is unattended, even at work sites. Wherever possible keep tools out of sight so that thieves are not tempted
  • Secure any tools left inside the vehicle with visible locks. Use hardened steel padlocks, shackle protectors and chains. Large, visible locks on toolboxes can be a deterrent
  • If you drive a ute, consider investing in a sturdy, lockable ute toolbox and bolt it to the vehicle’s tray
  • Alarm your tool box and vehicle

Other actions:

  • Keep an inventory of all of your tools. Photograph and/or record model and serial numbers
  • Engrave or mark your tools for easy identification – the letter V followed by your Victorian licence number is recommended
  • Report any suspicious behaviour to police. If you see people loitering on site or around vehicles and believe they are stealing or up to no good, ring Triple Zero (0)
Are you the victim of crime or have you got tips for other tradies, Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000

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