On The Tools – Thieves Prosper In £100 Million Worth Of Robberies

A van with a smashed window

Research by property maintenance solution provider Help me Fix has revealed that £137,438 worth of tools are stolen each and every day across the UK.

The research shows that over the last two years, almost 59,000 offences involving the theft of tools were reported across the UK, with the value of the items stolen totalling a huge £100.3 million.

That means that each and every day, 81 cases are reported on average, with each theft seeing the average tradesmen some £1,705 in the red when replacing their tools.


What can you do to prevent being a victim?

Help me Fix have put together six top tips.


Storing tools correctly

Of course, the most obvious action is to take your tools home or your business premises at the end of the working day. The majority of thefts are from site or vehicles overnight.

Displaying a sign that states no tools are left in your vehicle overnight can also be a smart move. You may use it to call a thief’s bluff but it can also prevent expensive damage from attempted break ins even if no tools are stolen.

Another good idea is to have a van with windows in the rear – so thieves can look in to the back and actually see there are no tools stored (but keep the windows clean).


Prevention parking

This not only applies to how you park but also where. Parking with rear or side doors tight to a sturdy fence or wall can make it much harder for thieves to operate successfully.

Parking in busy public areas during the day or well-lit locations at night can also be a deterrent, as can parking in an area with visible CCTV cameras.


Making your mark

If the worst does happen, it’s vital to have some sort of identifying mark on your tools in the event that they are recovered. This can be in the form of a unique code or company name and can be written or painted on. Using a UV pen is a good way to ensure your personal markings aren’t removed but the most concrete method is to have your details etched into your tools.

You should also join a register such as Immobilise or SelectDNA which could help return your tools wherever they end up across the UK.


“It’s always heartbreaking when a tradesperson wakes up to their tools being stolen and their van broken into. More than the cost of the items, it’s the fact that they can’t work while they have no tools.”

-Ettan Bazil

CEO, Help me Fix


Make a record

Record all the serial numbers of the tools you purchase. It may seem a little time consuming but it could save you a considerable sum of money further down the line.


Track high value items

Even if you don’t have big ticket items such as scissor lifts with a built-in GPS, you can replicate this safety measure with your smaller items by fitting smaller portable GPS trackers, such as Air Tags, which you can then track using your smartphone.


Get insured

It may seem like a straightforward tip but should the worst happen and you can’t retrieve your stolen tools, you can at least replace them at a minimal cost. Always keep receipts and photos of each tool as this will massively streamline the process of an insurance claim.

Picture: Tool thefts from vans keep rising in number.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
30th June 2022


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