Van drivers warned over ‘Thievesy pickings’

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A shocking survey has found that 59% of tools that were stolen from tradespeople were taken from their vehicles.

Despite that statistic, 15% of tradespeople leave their tools in their vehicle every night.

The data from Direct Line Business also reveals that, on average, tradespeople will leave their tools in a vehicle 10 nights every month.

The findings also show that 22% report having tools stolen from their van in the last year.

Security measures to prevent too theft

And just 28% of tradespeople have installed extra security measures in a bid to prevent tool theft – even though 62% say they have been a victim of tool theft in their careers.

And a surprising 34% have had their tools stolen on more than one occasion.

The most frequent location where tools are stolen are vehicles in 59% of thefts.

However, the survey found that thieves are brazen, often breaking into vans that are parked outside the homes of tradespeople.

Vehicles broken into on the street account for 26% of thefts – with 22% of vehicles parked on the tradesperson’s own drive, 21% parked on site and 19% were parked in their garage.

Just 4% of thefts were from vehicles parked in a carpark.

The most common tools being stolen

The theft of tools can affect tradespeople financially with loss of earnings and the most common tools being stolen include:

  • Hand tools (29%)
  • Compressors (27%)
  • Power washers (26%)
  • Rotary multi tools (22%),
  • Hedge trimmers (20%),
  • Electric drills (17%),
  • Electric saws (16%),
  • Angle grinders (16%)
  • Nail guns (16%)
  • Electric wood working power tools (16%).

What tradespeople do when tools are stolen

Along with installing extra security, other steps tradespeople take include informing social media groups (27%), keeping their insurance up to date (21%) and putting tools in a secure, locked building (20%).

Tradespeople also keep up-to-date information such as photos, serial numbers and identifying marks (18%), engraving or using invisible ink to mark tools (16%) and using tracking devices (15%).

Alison Traboulsi, a product manager at Direct Line business insurance, said: “The frequency of tool theft is a growing concern, with recent research showing that tools were stolen every 15 minutes across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2022.

“Our latest data reveals vehicles remain the primary target, with nearly two-thirds of all tools stolen from this location.

“Because of this, it’s important to consider tool security when getting insurance.”