Thieves target tradies and building sites
With housing construction in Auckland ramping up, so too is the number of tool thefts from tradies’ vans and building sites, police say.
Builder Willie Tau had his van ransacked of tools while it was parked outside his Royal Oak home.
‘‘People are going around breaking and entering and stealing tools, they smashed and grabbed out of my van,’’ Tau said.
‘‘They are very crafty and cunning and do it on a stormy night when there’s gale force winds.
Tau had more than $5000 worth of tools stolen including framing nail guns, a rare jig saw from the United States and other items.
‘‘I feel gutted as that’s my bread an butter.’’
Thieves were targeting buildings sites in the wealthier suburbs, Tau said.
One of his colleagues had his van broken into four times with tools stolen.
Tools were being sold on the ‘‘black market’’ to unsuspecting buyers who couldn’t afford new tools, Tau said.
Registered Master Builders Auckland president Ross Faulkner said tool theft was a ‘‘major problem’’ in Auckland.
‘‘It’s not only unproductive and inefficient but you’re essentially robbing them twice,’’ he said.
‘‘The cost of insurance is sometimes prohibitive and with so much theft going on, thieves would quickly on-sell them.’’
Inspector Joe Tipene of Mt Wellington police said there had been a spate of tool burglaries from building sites recently.
‘‘With all the construction going on and the expansion of Tamaki Makarau (Auckland) more of it is happening,’’ Tipene said.
Police prevention teams were making site visits and educating
Willie Tau had more than $5000 worth of tools stolen from his van in Royal Oak.