All over the UK tradie’s tools and vans are being stolen by thieves who have no regard for anyone else apart from themselves. Nowhere in the UK is safe from Tool Theft, as 1 in 3 tradies have had their tools stolen. Yorkshire has reported in the past year over three-quarters of a million pounds worth of tools were stolen. Tool thieves are robbing with no fear directly from construction sites where many trades people are working hard to provide for their families. They are having their tools stolen which they can not work without, being assaulted which potentially puts them out for work even longer, but what can the police do to help?
Many feel the police are not equipped to pursue these thieves, due to the laws not being strict enough, and in some cases the police do not deem the tool theft worth pursuing because the minimal value of the theft is not worth an investigation. The Police even captured a culprit with £9,000 worth of tools and let him off, read more about this in an article by The Sun here. What can you do to prevent your property from being stolen?
Here are a few tips we recommend to keep your tools and van safe…
In the unfortunate event that your appliances are stolen, to prevent you from having to fork out potentially thousands for new ones, which could take you weeks to get back and lose potential jobs in the meantime it would be advised to get insurance. Not only get insurance for your van but your tools as well. Check over the policy you have for the valuables that are kept in the vehicle to make sure you are fully covered.
Marking your property
If your tools are taken, the marks will help identify them when they are sold on that they could be stolen. You can use a permanent marker to add your names, initials or something you can identify yourself to those tools, it would have to be something that isn’t easy to remove.
Better still, you can join a register such as Immobilise or SelectDNA, which can help police identify your tools.
- Photo evidence
Taking photos of your tools will help identify them in the event of theft, and help the police with their investigation. Pictures will be helpful when claiming against your insurance as you can see the total cost of your tools which will enable you to get the right amount of payout to cover the cost of the stolen items.
- Steering Lock
We highly recommend purchasing a Disklok to protect your vehicles steering wheel and deter thieves from driving off with your vehicle. Thieves are less likely to go for your vehicle if you make it that much harder to steal.
- Tool Safes
If you’ve got windows in your van, then thieves can evaluate the value of your tools to see if it’s worth breaking into. Tools safes/vaults are a great way to keep your tools out of sight and safe from potential thieves. These come in different sizes to suit your vehicle and will be secure to the vehicle itself. Therefore, making it harder for thieves to price up your tools and prevent them from easily gaining access to them.
- Tints and Grills
The use of tinted windows are ideal for side or back windows on your vehicle, but you cannot tint the front side windows or windshield. By tinting the windows it makes it harder for the thieves to see in and price up your tools to nick.
- Take Tools In At Night
We understand taking your tools in at night is obvious but is a lot of effort after a hard days work. However, it could prevent you losing your valuable tools and your van potential getting damaged by tool thieves breaking in. The two points above would help avoid you having to take your tools indoors every night, but there is a chance thieves could gamble on you having tools in your van overnight. Is the price of losing your expensive tools plus potential jobs worth not spending five-ten minutes bringing your tools indoors?
- Park to protect
If you are unable to bring your tools in at night or have to leave your vehicle unattended during the day for long periods, then it would be recommended that you park the vehicle in a certain way that prevents thieves from getting to your valuable equipment.
- Security locks
Add another layer of protection to your vehicle by installing an internal and external lock that will help prevent thieves from using a screwdriver or crowbar to damage your vehicle to create a gap between the door and back of the van. We recommend an Armaplate Sentinel which is built to protect the vulnerable area of vans with a stainless-steel plate.
- Security Camera
Security camera for your household can be expensive but can be worth the money to protect your house and vehicles. It will help alert you and your family if criminals are looking to break into either your home or vehicle giving you enough time to inform the police. Alarms for your vehicle are recommended as if an alarm is set off by thieves attempting to break in it will alert yourself by sound and by notification through mobile applications. Your surrounding neighbours will hear the loud alarm and probably contact yourselves or the police on your behalf.
Also, a dash camera can record inside and around your vehicle giving you the opportunity to catch thieves when they think they are no longer being watched. Using security cameras does provide you with options to capture the most information you can on the thieves, and gives police a better chance of catching them.
We are in full support of stamping out tool theft, and we have taken part in signing this petition by Simply Business https://get.simplybusiness.co.uk/stamp-out-tool-theft/