Thieves target tools for drugs
Tradespeople are increasingly being targeted by drug addicts looking for something to trade for their next high.
Police are concerned by the number of tools found when carrying out drug search warrants.
Waitemata¯ Police Sergeant Aron McKeown said 42 power tools were recovered, valued at more than $40,000, during a recent search in Auckland.
‘‘We believe that these stolen tools are used as a commodity to buy methamphetamine and other drugs.’’
A West Auckland painter and charter boat skipper, who asked not to be named for safety reasons, said the thieves that targeted his van recently were not what he expected.
‘‘They weren’t rough looking at all. They were clean shaven and were wearing smart clothes.
‘‘They looked like they were coming back from church,’’ he said.
The Glen Eden resident’s van was parked under his bedroom window on Solar Ave.
When he heard the glass break, he looked out the window and saw two thieves breaking into his vehicle at 5.30am. ‘‘One guy looked straight at me.’’ The thief threatened to return and kill both him and his dogs, he said.
‘‘We have always been security conscious but now even more so. We are putting security cameras in.’’
While he normally takes his tools out at night, the resident had readied his van the night before for an early shift at work.
McKeown said thieves often targeted tradespeople’s vehicles as they could contain high value items.
He called on tradespeople to either empty their vehicles at night or use a quality lock box, secured to the vehicle, to store tools.
McKeown also encouraged tradespeople to engrave tools with their drivers licence number so that police are able to track owners of recovered items.
Waitemata Police have been attending trade events since the beginning of the year and offering free tool engraving to the tradies.
‘‘We have engraved over 2500 tools at present and have other events coming up,’’ McKeown said.
Lastly, McKeown said people shouldn’t buy second hand tools from uncertified online groups.
‘‘If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is,’’ he said.
Tools have been found during the execution of a number of drug-related search warrants in West Auckland (file photo).