ACT Policing and the Master Builders Association (MBA) of the ACT have joined forces to urge builders to secure their construction sites and tradesmen to secure their tools in the lead up to the holiday period.
The warning comes after police identified a group of people from Young in NSW, believed to be responsible for at least 43 thefts from toolboxes and utility vehicles in the Gungahlin region between August and October.
Last month, police executed two search warrants, one at a house in Forde and the other at a house in Crace. As a result of the warrants police seized carpentry tools, toolboxes, drills and a generator all suspected to be stolen. Police also seized 100 tablets, suspected to be steroids, from the house in Forde.
A 20-year-old man is expected to be summonsed to face the ACT Magistrates Court at a later date charged with theft. It will be alleged he stole a quantity of tools from over 100 vehicles and trailers over the past six months.
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A 19-year-old man is expected to be summonsed to the ACT Magistrates Court at a later date to face charges relating to receiving stolen property.
Officer-in-Charge of Gungahlin Station, Sergeant Jeff Knight, said the outcome of this investigation demonstrates how important it is to report theft to police, as a chain of offences may become apparent and assist the police investigation.
“This was a primarily intelligence-led investigation by Gungahlin Patrol who worked closely with AFP Forensics, ACT Policing Intelligence and Criminal Investigation detectives which generated this outstanding result.
“It was due to members of the public reporting the thefts to police and Crime Stoppers reports which enabled police to track the increase in thefts in the Gungahlin area,” Sergeant Knight said.
Master Builders ACT Executive Director, John Miller, has joined ACT Policing in imploring his members and the broader industry to ensure the security of their building and construction sites in light of recent thefts that have occurred particularly on residential sites.
“Each year we deal with issues where theft has impacted both in terms of time and cost on projects and in a number of cases some more diligence in securing tools and valuable equipment may have prevented losses. With the approaching Christmas and New Year period I would remind the industry to double check their sites, particularly those in more remote locations, before vacating for the holiday season,” urged Mr. Miller.
“It doesn’t always require an expensive technology or alternative security option to protect tools and equipment, sometimes it is just a more conscious awareness in thinking about how to remove or reduce any vulnerabilities,” he concluded.