Tradies hammered by callous tool thieves
TOOWOOMBA builder Stuart Hopkins is fed up with having his livelihood threatened by callous thieves who steal his tools.
The building contractor said, anecdotally, there appeared to have been a rise in thefts from building sites for him and his fellow tradies.
This was despite police saying the number of tool thefts had decreased since earlier in the year.
Mr Hopkins experienced the frustration of being burgled yesterday after someone broke into a house which he was building in the new Sanctuary Rise estate on Greenwattle St.
Hand tools, a Makita radio and an 18 volt battery charger were among items taken between 4.30pm Tuesday and 6.30am yesterday.
"They have taken anything they could get their hands on pretty quickly," Mr Hopkins said.
A hole had been punched through a wall which had no external brickwork.
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- Tradies hammered by tool thefts
It was then just a case of reaching through the hole to unlock a nearby window to climb in.
He had written his name on the tools with a permanent marker but was yesterday unsure if that would be enough to have them returned.
The theft came about eight weeks after Mr Hopkins had tools including a nail gun and trimmer stolen from a Long St job site.
"Obviously, if your gear goes missing you can't do your job.
"It is the inconvenience of it."
He said he had to wear the cost because claiming tools on insurance didn't really pay off due to excess charges.
"It is just more the down time than anything and it is your livelihood.
"We've had gear knocked off in the past but it is getting more and more."
The resident has CCTV security cameras which overlook a section of the estate.
"If they want to continue this behaviour, I am watching," the resident said.
"My cameras are rolling 24/7."
Darling Downs district officer Detective Acting Inspector Paul Hart said a community awareness project aimed at increasing security for tradespeople was working.
The Lock Up! Tradies Project was run earlier this year to remind the community, in particular tradies, to properly secure their vehicles and all of their equipment in their vehicles.
"The motto of the project was 'lose your tools, lose your job', which is a very real possibility for workers who rely on their tools," Det. Act. Insp. Hart said.
"Since running the project, the number of these types of thefts has decreased, but police are still aware they occur from time to time.
"Even when police recover tools that are suspected of being stolen, we often find they haven't been engraved or they have no identifiable markings and most people don't record the serial numbers.
"It would greatly assist police if people clearly marked their property and took the time to secure their equipment."