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Stolen tools: Wide range of tools recovered in search warrant

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Retrieved tools included various Makita and Milwaukee power tools, an electric skateboard and various specialised electrical tools. Photo / NZ Police

Stolen tools valued at more than $30,000 have been returned to their owners thanks to equipment being engraved with identifying information, police say.

A 39-year-old man was arrested and a wide range of tools were recovered following a search warrant executed in the Western Bay of Plenty on November 1, a police statement said today.

The man is due to reappear in the Tauranga District Court on June 26 on six charges of receiving property over $1000, and two charges of unlawfully carrying a firearm.

Police said, thanks to tools and equipment being engraved with identifying information, they were able to reunite five sets of tools valued at more than $30,000 with their owners.

Police said the items included various Makita and Milwaukee power tools, an electric skateboard and various specialised electrical tools.

Some had initials on them.

Western Bay of Plenty prevention manager Inspector Zane Smith said tool thefts were often opportunistic.

Western Bay of Plenty Inspector Zane Smith. Photo / George Novak
Western Bay of Plenty Inspector Zane Smith. Photo / George Novak

“Often, we are able to locate stolen items, however due to them not being engraved with identifying information police are unable to return them to their owners and they often go unreturned,” he said.

“Every theft of a tool should be reported to police, so we can follow any lines of inquiry and put offenders before the courts,” Smith said.

“We know these items are a big expense, and it can be frustrating and disheartening to have them stolen.”

Andre Buitendag of AD Electrical, who previously had his companies’ tools stolen and subsequently returned by police, said: “Having my tools and one of our work vans stolen caused a lot of disruption to jobs, having to replace the necessary tools to be able to continue operation.”

He recommended some ways to prevent tool theft.

“Legally tinting or blacking out windows, and parking them in a way thieves can’t see in.

“In case you do have your tools or work equipment stolen, it’s a good idea to invest in tracking equipment for any high-value tools, toolboxes and your vehicles; recording all tool serial numbers, and taking photos of all your tools.”

Smith said: “As with most theft, the taking of tools is an opportunistic crime and there are measures tool owners can implement that deter would-be thieves.”

Please get in contact with 105 and quote file number 230803/1235 if you believe any of this property is yours.

Police encouraged all tradies to properly name their tools to allow a quick and easy reunion should they be found.

Ways to reduce the risk

• Engrave your tools with names and phone numbers.

• Keep a record of the serial numbers.

• If you work on a construction site, be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.

• Take your tools home with you, or lock them up in a shed on site.

• Second-hand dealers and the public should be wary of tools being offered to them at a price that’s too good to be true.



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