Over 12,000 tools have been stolen so far this year, and the Metropolitan Police Service would like to raise awareness around the importance of marking your tools with SmartWater®.
Police regularly recover stolen tools, however identifying the owners continues to be a huge problem.
Thames Valley Police recently highlighted this issue after 2,000 stolen power tools were recovered during a multi-force operation, in which the Metropolitan Police Service’s MetTrace team were also enlisted to help look for traces of SmartWater® and identify some of the victims.
However, no traces could be found and a spokesperson for the MET had the following to say:
“Unfortunately, none of the tools had been security marked by either SmartWater, a forensic property-marking product, or other products. Had they been so, the process of identifying the owners would have been quick and simple.”
Thames Valley Police did however manage to identify some of the owners through months of hard work, by checking serial numbers and crime reports.
Detective Sergeant Shay Harper, of Thames Valley Police, said: “Unfortunately only around 12 per cent of the stolen tools had any identifiable marks or security tags on them. A small number of the remaining 88 per cent had distinctive marks; scratches or memorable words written on them, but most were not registered making it incredibly difficult to ascertain who they belonged to. If we are unable to prove beyond all reasonable doubt who the true owner of a stolen item is, then we will not be able to return it.”
“I urge anyone who owns tools, regardless of whether they are kept in a van, garage or shed, to mark them and make a note of the serial numbers. This could just be taking a photo of them or, preferably, registering them on a national database, as this will help us to prove ownership when we make seizures of stolen items.”
Unique new insurance package to get smart with tool thieves
In response to this tool theft epidemic, a new insurance package with a difference has been launched.
Available from SmartWater Insurance Services, this includes robust SmartWater® protection to forensically mark insured tools and deter would-be thieves, as well as insurance specifically created for covering tools that are routinely carried in a vehicle.
This unique combination of SmartWater with Tools in Transit insurance (underwritten by RSA) also includes access to a mobile app designed specifically to allow policyholders to record details of the covered tools, their costs and receipts, all in the palm of their hand, so that, should a loss occur, a claim can be processed and managed with minimum delay. You can even purchase a policy through the app, which is available for Android and Apple devices.
To find out more or get a quote – visit SmartWater Insurance Services here>