Police warning after spate of tool thefts from vans and sheds
Police today appealed to the public to be careful with tools and equipment after a string of thefts.
A police spokesman said vans and sheds had been targeted and that sheds should be secured with a high quality padlock and hardened steel chain.
He warned that cheap padlocks and cable locks could be cut easily, but hardened steel chain and high-quality padlocks were harder to remove.
A heavy-duty tool box was also recommended – with wheels removed and stored separately to prevent thieves from rolling away high value equipment.
The spokesman added that tools could be made distinctive by alterations to their heir appearance, such as removal of brand nameplates.
But he said that serial numbers on tools and equipment should be left intact.
Owners of tools can also mark them to make it more difficult for a thief to sell them on.
Batteries and chargers should be kept separately from power tools.
The spokesman said thieves often targeted vans for tools and recommended a lockable cabinet for tool storage.
Valuable items should be photographed and their serial numbers recorded.
The spokesman added that anyone buying tools should request proof of ownership.
Suspicion of theft should be reported to police by phone to 211 number or the main police number at 295-0011.
A description of the individual selling the items as well as the items should also be given.
The police spokesman highlighted that a Magistrates’ Court conviction for handling stolen goods carried a penalty of a fine up to $10,000, imprisonment for five years, or both.
Conviction in the Supreme Court would mean a $150,000 fine, imprisonment for 14 years, or both.