Tools and Equipment Security

Tradie tools can be an easy target for thieves. Thousands of dollars can be lost in wages and valuables if you don’t make your tools tough to take.

If you have tools or expensive property in the back of your ute or van, make sure it is secure. If you have your tools marked with a UV pen or other mechanism, there’s also a chance they can be returned to you if police officers find your property.

Tools and equipment left in trade vehicles are common targets because of their value and ability to be sold for quick cash. Thieves hope you are distracted at work or at home and seize those opportunities to steal unsecure items, so it’s important to spend the extra few seconds to make your tools tough to take at all times. Thieves will look into vehicles to see what items can be easily stolen, so remove anything that is not secured.

Tips to protect your vehicle:

  • Park your vehicle off the road and if possible, in a secure area.
  • Keep keys secure and do not hide them in the vehicle.
  • Lock your doors, windows and tool box even if you are only going away for a few seconds.
  • If you have an older vehicle, install an alarm or immobiliser and activate it every time you leave your vehicle.
  • Check out lock and hide to protect your ride for more tips.

Tips to protect your tools:

  • Toughen your toolbox, use a heavy-duty lock and fix it to your vehicle.
  • Large tools and equipment should be locked with a heavy duty chain and padlock.
  • Get in the habit of locking your tool box, even if you are only stepping away for a few minutes.
  • Make use of a heavy-duty site box if you can, or take your tools home, don’t leave them lying around on site.
  • Don’t leave tools visible in your car, ute or van.

The simple security measures above can help reduce the likelihood of theft, but it won’t eliminate the risk entirely. Once you are storing your tools securely, also think about the following additional levels of protection:

  • Cover your tools with the right insurance 
  • Record the make, model and serial number of your tools and keep an inventory of your tools and equipment
  • Mark your property with a high-quality UV pen with your driver’s licence details with the letter ‘A’ for ACT” or your ACT Builders Licence number. If they do get stolen, it will help police get them back to you.

Tips on UV Pens

There are a lot of UV pens on the market, with the cheaper options not being suitable for marking tools.  An Oil Based ink is recommended for marking shiny surfaces like the plastic casing on most tools. Oil based UV pens are usually more expensive than those that are water based because the quality of the ink is higher and is also waterproof, heatproof and long lasting. 

What to do if your equipment is stolen

If you are a victim of building site or tool theft follow these steps:

  • Contact ACT Policing immediately to file a report.
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim within 24 hours of your items being stolen.

Who to contact

  • Police Assistance on 131 444 to report a crime that is NOT life threatening or a time critical emergency  
  • Triple Zero 000 in an emergency or life-threatening situation
  • Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to report information about illegal activity, suspicious activity or information which may assist in solving a crime.



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