NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 10th, 2018.
South Flintshire Neighbourhood Police Team is asking tradespeople in the Flintshire area to make a log their power tools.
The call comes after vans were targeted in Wrexham on Tuesday night.
Police say they have no “specific information or intelligence” that vans will be targeted in Flintshire but in the “essense of crime prevention” officers are asking people to photograph and log the serial numbers of high value tools.
While making a log of power tools won’t prevent them from being stolen, “from previous experience this significantly assists in the identification process” if they are taken and recovered.
Flintshire was targeted last year by a gang of travelling thieves from the Leicestershire area, they raided vans in Caergwrle, Pentre Halkyn and Holywell taking thousands of pounds worth of power tools.
Despite best efforts police struggled to reunite the stolen tools with their rightful owners.
Police caught the gang while they were still in the area, four men later pleaded guilty at Mold Crown Caught to conspiracy to steal, they were jailed last month for a total of 9 years.
Thieves can be deterred or caught by clearly marking your tools, which makes them harder to sell on.
Police recommend engraving your postcode or house name/number onto valuable items, or using paint or a permanent marker if engraving isn’t possible. Your name and phone number are also useful identifiers.
If you register your tools with national property register Immobilise, any recovered items will be returned.
Ideally remove tools from vans overnight but if you have to leave items in your van, whether on the job or parked up for the night, make sure it’s as secure as possible.
Park in a garage or well-lit area. Many thieves are opportunistic, so if you have tools inside, keep them out of sight in a boot, locked in a secure storage container or chained to the chassis. Installing an alarm and immobiliser can also put off criminals.
When locking up with a key fob or any other electronic system, remember to double check the doors are secured. Some criminals use jamming devices to block the signal, leaving your vehicle open and exposed.
The final safeguard against tool theft is insurance. Every claim is different and is dependent on its own set of circumstances, but you should always keep a list of every item you own, complete with photos and serial numbers, and make sure they’re all covered by your insurance policy in the event of a robbery.