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New Zealand Police



Theft of tools is becoming a common problem whether taken from vehicles or on site or out of your garden shed.

Police officers are asking all tradies and DIYers, to engrave their tools with their owners’ drivers licence number. Police have been attending Trade Breakfasts throughout NZ engraving tools for free.

It’s a great opportunity for community engagement,” says Aron. “We’re there to have a chat, and also offering to engrave their tools while they have breakfast.

As construction grows, we’re seeing an increase in construction site burglaries and tool thefts. Tools are highly valued items because they are easily portable and have a high resale value.”

Many tools are recovered at drug-related search warrants. “This indicates that offenders are using tools as a commodity to buy methamphetamine and other drugs in our community,” says Aron.

Police are often unable to return tools because the serial numbers have not been recorded or don’t have other identifiable marks such as a drivers licence number engraved into the item.

The aim of the engraving work is to assist with this in the future and, of course, to prevent tools being stolen in the first place,” says Aron.

Working with the trade sector, attending events, passing on prevention messaging and engraving tools has been really rewarding work. We’ve had a really positive response from the Tradies just seeing us doing something for them. It’s important to work together to break the cycle.”

Our advice to Tradies is to:

·         Engrave tools with a drivers licence number – Police will have a better chance of returning them if stolen.

·         Record serial numbers or take a photo and keep the details somewhere safe.

·         Secure tools using good locks on sheds and containers.

·         Report any suspicious activity or incident to Police

·         Break the cycle by only buying tools from a reputable business. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Police understand that it’s time-consuming to remove all valuables from your vehicle, but don’t leave tools in vehicles – particularly at night, even if it is parked in your driveway, they are an easy target,” says Aron.

If tools are being kept in a vehicle:

·         use a quality lock box secured to the vehicle to store them

·         get a quality alarm with a glass break sensor

·         Store your vehicle in a secure garage if possible.