If you own tools, you might want to take extra steps to ensure they are locked up and secure.
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are reporting a significant increase in the theft of tools over the last few months.
Cst. Kelly Brett says one trend is tools being taken from vehicles and from job sites, where items are left insecure or visible overnight.
“When tools are stolen, it often affects the livelihood of some and can cause significant financial strain on the trades, which is why we want to ensure that everyone is taking the proper measures to properly secure and identify their tools.”
Mounties provide the following tips to secure and identify your tools:
*Keep an eye of your tools: It’s not easy to watch over your tools every second of the day, however if you know you will be leaving a room or area for more than a few minutes try and secure or put your tools away.
*Put your name on your tools: Put your name or an identifying mark on your tools by engraving it, making it harder for thieves to mask or resell. Engrave deep into the tool to avoid sanding the name or markings off and do so in multiple locations on the tool.
*Lock up your tools when you leave for the night: It is best to take your tools home with you each night, however not always practical. Do not leave the tools in your vehicle. Use a job box for your small power tools. Be sure to secure your job box so it cannot be easily loaded into the back of a truck. Chain up your bigger tools like table saws and miter saws.
*Use technology to your advantage: Add an alarm system to your job box or a siren alarm padlock to your larger tools. Small GPS trackers can easily be hidden in a job box or attached to a larger tool.
*Write down the serial numbers for all your tools: By recording the serial numbers on your tools, this allows police to add it to a National data bank so when a tool is pawned or recovered, Police are able to track down the rightful owners.
RCMP are also seeing an increase in thefts from locked utility trailers and storage containers, where tools are the main target.
“Securing your trailer or storage unit with heavy duty locks and placing the unit where it is not visible or easily accessible is the best theft deterrent,” says Brett.
Police say a major no-no is buying stolen tools.
“Stop the cycle. If someone is selling tools at a very low price, the chances are they are stolen. Check to see if the tools have names or markings on them. Don’t buy tools out of the back of a truck or from someone you don’t know,” adds Brett.