Thieves got a nasty shock after taking tools stashed in four vans in Bristol last week – one of the tool chests they had helped themselves to contained a GPS tracker device.
That meant police were easily able to follow the signal transmitted from the GPS Tracker to recover the tools and catch the culprits red-handed.
Not only did they have the tools from the previous day’s van break-ins, but, as the police photograph below shows, an Aladdin’s cave of tools and machinery stolen over a long period of time.
GPS Tracker had been fitted to a tool chest
Avon & Somerset police explained: “We had at least four calls reporting work vans had been broken into and tools were stolen.
“One of the victims had fitted a GPS Tracker to his toolbox, which led officers to a location in Gloucestershire.
“We and colleagues from Gloucestershire Police visited the location identified by the GPS Tracker and seized a large number of power tools and other items.
“Some of the items have already been identified as being stolen from vans in Bristol and returned to their owners.
“We’re reviewing the other items for identifiable marks and will be working hard to reunite them with their owners too, but expect that this process will take some time and it may be several weeks before people hear from us.”
GPS Tracker signal led to two arrests
Two were arrested – a man on suspicion of handling stolen goods, and a woman on suspicion of theft.
The police advise people to avoid leaving tools or other valuables in vans overnight. But if you have to there are precautions you can take:
- Permanently mark tools with your business name or postcode
- Keep them inside a secure storage cage or box anchored within the vehicle. Set the alarm as well as locking the van whenever you leave it
- Park it in a secure garage or with the doors against a wall or another vehicle to make access more difficult
- Fit secondary locks
- Invest in a GPS Tracker to protect valuable tools, tool boxes and the van itself.
- If you see anyone trying to break into a van, call 999 immediately. If you see something suspicious but aren’t sure then ring 101.
The police spokesman added: “Don’t help create a market for stolen goods – officers would also like to hear from you if you see tools offered for sale, online or in person, at a suspiciously cheap price.
“If you don’t want to speak to the police, you can pass on information through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask your name or trace your call.”
Double protect with a GPS Tracker and tool insurance
For most tradesmen their tools are the livelihood and they are pretty much useless without them. With that in mind it’s worth considering Adrian Flux specialist tool insurance.
Check out the Adrian Flux advice on how to keep your van and its cargo safe from tool thieves.
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