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Jaden Janssen had his $5000 trailer, filled with up to $25,000 of tools, stolen overnight on April 19 from outside his home on Russ Drive at Liffey Springs in Lincoln.
It was the second time ECL Builders, which Janssen operates with father Carl, had been hit by thieves.
The last time was at a building site about two-and-a-half years ago in Christchurch, when about $15,000 of tools were stolen from their locked and wheel-clamped trailer.
Janssen said it was frustrating to have it happen a second time.
ECL had not insured its tools nor the trailer, which had the registration 32T29, as the excess on these items was too high.
He said in this latest incident, thieves had detached the trailer from a work ute, parked on the road outside his home.
Generally, they wheel clamped the trailer or boxed it in with other vehicles, but had not done that this time.
“You are not in that mental state to always think to park behind it, because you are hoping no-one is going to steal it,” Janssen said.
As well as costing money to replace the tools, there was a cost in many hours of lost labour, as it took time to source the new items.
Janssen had heard of other similar thefts and believed thieves were stealing to order, for people buying tools on the black market.
He believed they were scoping out builders, finding out where they worked and what tools they had.
Another Lincoln resident, a landscaper who only wanted to use her first name of Lisa, was the victim of a similar theft in the early hours of April 11.
Lisa said her company’s landscaping tools worth thousands of dollars were stolen from her van, parked outside her home on the street at Ryelands Drive.
Thieves had smashed a side window and ransacked the vehicle. She also believed thieves were stealing to order, as some items were taken while others were left behind.
Senior Sergeant Dean Harker said such thefts targeting tradies were happening Canterbury wide.
The rate had increased in the last two months, and there was about one such theft a week in Selwyn.
In addition there had been an increase in trailers being stolen in the district, with at least a couple taken in the last few weeks alone.
Harker recommended tradies install alarms on their vehicles where tools were stored, and park their utes or tool trailers against outdoor walls so thieves could not access them.