Three arrests after Hawke's Bay police recover large stash of stolen tools
Hawke's Bay police are warning tradespeople to mark their equipment after a spike in the theft of tools.
They are also alerting tradies to the consequences of being tempted to buy cheap, stolen tools.
Three people are facing court after police searched four properties and recovered equipment taken in a "large" burglary at a Hastings District Council works facility early on Wednesday morning.
Detective Constable James Forgie of the Hawke's Bay tactical crime unit said because the council had marked its tools they were quickly identified and returned.
* Police looking to return stolen power tools to owners
* Community offers to give burgled builder back his tools
* Thieves target tradies' tools in Wellington stealing spree
* Stolen trade tools treasure trove after Wellington theft wave
"There appears to be a trend of tools in particular being targeted and this is a focus of the police," Forgie said.
"With the high cost of insurance excesses on tools, owners are encouraged to record serial numbers and engrave their tools so that when police locate them we are able to return them," he said.
"Often tools are painted or marked to prevent a mix up on a building site but this is often not sufficient to enable police to locate the owner.
Forgie said while tradies and others could be tempted by offers to buy cheap tools – including through online trading websites – the consequences of receiving stolen property could be severe.
"Without people willing to pay for stolen property there would be no market for the burglars and police want to highlight that people caught in the possession of stolen property face charges that carry a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment."
In a separate investigation, Hawke's Bay police recovered a large $40,000 caravan and a boat that were stolen from outside the district.
"This again highlights the benefit of engraving and marking items so that if they are stolen police can identify and return them," Forgie said.
"Owners of such items are encouraged to take the extra steps to prevent their theft by utilising things such as coupling locks and wheel clamps."
Police were yet to make any arrests in relation to the theft of the boat and caravan.