Look After Your Tools!


Police from Melbourne’s south-east are calling for tradies to secure their gear after a spike in tool thefts.

The problem isn’t only in the South East. Techs, Subbies and Tradies in all areas of Melbourne are urged be aware at all times.

Between July 2015 and September 2016, more than $1 million worth of tools were stolen from the Cardinia, Casey and Greater Dandenong areas.

Southern Metro Proactive Policing Unit Sergeant Brad Johnstone said tradies are being targeted by opportunistic criminals on the lookout for unsecured tools.

“While this isn’t a new problem for us we have seen a recent spike particularly in the areas of Berwick, Narre Warren and Endeavour Hills,” Sgt Johnstone said.

“Most cases involve thieves who roam residential streets overnight searching for easy targets like an unsecured trailer. Unattended or unsecured vans and trucks onsite are also easy pickings. “

“The inconvenience for an individual when the tools vital to their trade are stolen is huge. Unfortunately tools are easy to steal and can be sold for cash, often to other tradies.” Sgt Johnstone said. “The reality is that a number of these crimes can be reduced by some simple preventative measures.”

Tips to prevent tool theft:

  • When leaving tools in your vehicle overnight, park it in a garage where possible. Avoid dark, unlit or isolated areas.
  • Lock your driveway gate.
  • Flood your driveway with sensor lights.
  • 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.
  • 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 (000) or Crime Stoppers1800 333 000.

Authorised by John Ellery, Secretary, CWU (T&S) Vic, as a member service.

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