Crime spree leaves tradies without tools

Chris Mullen is one of about 12 tradies who have had their tools stolen. Thieves seem to be taking advantage of the high number of tradies in the city.
Chris Mullen is one of about 12 tradies who have had their tools stolen. Thieves seem to be taking advantage of the high number of tradies in the city. Mike Knott

THIEVES have threatened the livelihoods of dedicated tradies working around the clock to help rebuild the community.

Thousands of dollars worth of work tools have gone missing in a five-day crime spree.

Bundaberg Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Joe Hildred said since Thursday the "unscrupulous" thieves had broken into 13 tradies' vehicles and trailers in specific suburbs including Thabeban, Avenell Heights and Avoca.

"We are getting an increase in the amount of labourers coming into the town who will be here for the next couple of months," he said.

MZO Services refrigeration and air-conditioning technician Chris Mullen said overnight on Thursday he had about $3000 worth of gear stolen out of toolboxes secured to his fully locked work ute, parked in the driveway of his Avenell Heights home.

Mr Mullen said the thefts were a blow to the business, which had been extremely busy since floodwaters receded.

A refrigeration and air-conditioning gas reclaim unit - worth $1500 - was one of the biggest items stolen, along with a battery drill set, electrical fittings and refrigeration gauges.

"It means I have to borrow those tools off other blokes when I need them," he said.

Mr Mullen said the thefts had slowed his operations and had him fearing the thieves would return.

"You get up with every noise you hear in the night - it disrupts my sleep," he said.

Det Snr Sgt Hildred urged tradies to record the serial numbers of their tools.

"People who have these vehicles need to make sure that if they can't lock them up in a garage, make sure the doors are locked and that they are parked in well-lit areas," he said.

Topics:  crime spree thieves

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