It was 1903. It featured all the latest plumbing technology. It was a “Model House”, and it has piqued Master Plumbers heritage curator Peter Jensen’s interest.
Tool theft is on the rise, remaining one of the most commonly reported crimes. Victoria alone has had a 4% increase in the past 12 months.
Tradespeople are often targeted by opportunistic criminals on the lookout for unsecured tools that can be sold for quick cash online or at second-hand dealers.
The cost and inconvenience for an individual when the tools vital to their trade are stolen is significant. These offences can have a real flow-on effect for both individuals and business owners.
So let’s get smart. Make vehicle security your top priority and if you are keeping your tools in your ute, truck or van, make sure you keep them safe.
Four top tips to stop theft of tools and equipment from vehicles
Lock them up!
Lock your vehicle when it is unattended, even at work sites and even if it’s just for a few minutes. Even when your tools are inside a locked vehicle, secure them 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.
ID your property and record an inventory
Keep a list of all your tools, including model and serial numbers (photos are a great reference too). Engrave or mark your tools for easy identification - Victoria Police recommend the letter V followed by your Victorian licence number.
Keep them out of sight
When leaving tools in your vehicle overnight, park it in a garage where possible and avoid dark, unlit or isolated areas. Don’t park your vehicle out on the street where it is easily accessed and secure your trailer so it can’t be broken into or removed. If you have a driveway, use it! Also, wherever possible keep tools out of sight so that thieves are not tempted.
Keep them properly insured
Your tools are a big part of your ability to earn an income as a tradesperson, so it is worth making the effort to protect your investment. Have peace of mind that if you do fall victim to theft, it’s not going to affect your business too much. There are plenty of options to insure your tools and equipment.
And of course, help the local authorities by reporting 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 Stoppers 1800 333 000. You’d hope that anyone would do the same for you.