Recent spate of van thefts leaves tradesmen and workers facing massive tool bills.
Last week the theft of somewhere in the region of €50,000 worth of tools were stolen from the van of a Roscommon man from outside a hotel in Dublin. Christy Swanick was staying in a hotel in the Tyrrelstown area in west Dublin and discovered that his van had been broken into and all his tools taken. Mr Swanick, a self-employed man who works in the refrigeration business, said this incident has been a “huge blow” to his livelihood and has done massive harm to his family. The equipment in question which was extremely high end and specialised will most likely, as is customary with cases like these, be sold second hand on the web or at car boot sales.
Christy is pleading with people to think before they buy second-hand tools from a car boot sale or indeed from anywhere else “If people didn’t buy from these scumbags in the first place, there would be no market and there would be no point in them robbing the tools in the first place”. This has been among a spate of robberies across the Dublin area in recent months; David Lee had €2,000 worth of tools stolen in broad daylight from his van which was parked outside a supermarket in the Swords area. He previously had €4,000 worth of equipment stolen in a separate incident. Similarly Gavin Skelly works as a carpenter and had around €2,000 worth of equipment stolen from his van which was parked outside his Tallaght home. The incident happened on July 25 and was reported to Gardaí, but the tools haven’t been located. A Garda spokesman said the investigation is ongoing.
The theft of such tools can have a massive impact on the livelihood of any tradesman who may have spent years building up the set of tools they have, and will ultimately face a massive financial strain trying to replace them. With the recent spate of thefts it is now more relevant than ever to keep the contents of your van safe.
Below we have a list of tips on how to best protect your van and it’s contents as well as make sure your insurance policy will cover you in the eventuality that you do fall victim to tool thieves.
- Avoid vehicles with glass at the back doors and ensure that your vehicle has a fixed metal partition between the driver and cargo area.
- If you are attending a site or premises to carry out work be mindful to check on the vehicle on a regular but not routine basis.
- Install a vehicle CCTV system/alarm internally which can report intrusion directly to your smartphone.
- When on Facebook, stop telling everyone where you are, think practical.
- When your commercial vehicle is parked at home etc. ensure that rear and side doors are visible to you from within the house.
- In the event of an intrusion/attempt on your vehicle DO NOT attempt to tackle the criminals, call the Gardaí, make plenty of noise, turn on lights and set off your intruder alarm.
- Consider a monitored solution. Whilst expensive please note that monitoring stations never sleep.
- Photograph and mark all tools with your own particular codes and keep a note of this for future reference or for Gardaí.
Source: Irish Independent