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Police Work To Reunite Tools With Owners Following Western Bay Of Plenty Search Warrant

Police are working to reunite tools with their owners following a Western Bay of Plenty search warrant where a man was taken into custody and a wide range of tools were recovered.

The 39 -year-old man is due to reappear in the Tauranga District court 26 June on six charges of receiving property over $1,000, and two charges of unlawfully carrying a firearm.

Following the Wednesday 1 November search warrant, thanks to tools and equipment being engraved with identifying information, Police were able to reunite five sets of tools valued at over $30,000 with their owners.

Police believe the rest of the tools seized were also stolen from the local area. These include various Makita and Milwaukee power tools, an electric skateboard, various specialised electrical tools. Some of these have initials on them.

Inspector Zane Smith, Western Bay of Plenty Prevention Manager says: “This type of crime is not limited to one offender and Police see it too often. This is an opportunistic crime and the tools taken often vary depending on what thieves can easily access.

“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 says.

Police are wanting to prevent tool theft as it can have a big effect on people’s ability to earn a living and their livelihoods, those who decide to steal tools could face up to 7 years in prison as per section 223 of the Crimes Act 1961.

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

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

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 recommends 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.”

“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,” Inspector Smith says.

Follow this advice to reduce the risk of offenders targeting your tools and increase the prospect of having your property returned if we track it down:

• Engrave your tools with your driver licence number. That way, if we find your tools, there’s a better chance of us getting them back to you.

• Keep a record of the serial numbers.

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

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

• For construction companies that own tools, we would support the engraving of company names and phone numbers onto the goods.

• 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.

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

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

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