© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Hundreds of tradies line up to get tools engraved to stop theft

Police set up to engrave tradies tools  Ryan Anderson

PlaceMakers and the NZ Police teamed up to engrave drivers license numbers into tradies tools so they could better identify them if they get stolen.

Tradies said stolen tools are emptying their pockets as insurance doesn't cover them.

On Friday morning PlaceMakers played host to tool engraving as around 300 tradies lined up to protect their expensive equipment.

Ultraspec building systems foreman Willie said having to replace tools constantly is expensive.

"My insurance only covered me if [my tools] were in the van, so if it was on site it wasn't covered, so more or less you have to replace it yourself."

Police said they were cracking down on trade tool thefts by putting as many preventative measures in place as they could.

Senior Sergeant Stephen McDaniels said engraving helps return expensive tools to their rightful owner but issued a warning about purchasing tools in the first place.

"Make sure you buy your tools from reputable places rather than shady deals - if we can stop the receiving we can stop a lot of that [tool theft]"

PlaceMakers said they saw workers come in every week looking to replace stolen gear.

Promotions Co-ordinater Angela Gibbs said the programme had been rolled out across the country in a bid to help prevent thefts.

"We have one-to-two builders a week have their tools taken from site. Some of the tools are [worth] up to $2,000 per item."