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The Saint John Police Force headquarters, located at One Peel Plaza. Image: Staff photo

Tool thefts on the rise in Saint John

By Brad Perry Jan 11, 2024 | 5:23 PM

Many police forces across Canada are reporting an increase in thefts of tools, and Saint John is no different.

There was a 27 per cent increase in tool thefts during the last half of 2023 compared to the first half, and a 36 per cent increase over 2022.

“Tools are often targeted for the reasons of their resale value, the ease of which they can be sold on online platforms and pawn shops, and the fact that they’re portable,” Chief Robert Bruce said during Tuesday’s Saint John Board of Police Commissioners meeting.

Police said tools are often targeted in many break-ins involving vehicles, homes and businesses, especially construction sites.

Bruce said a look at the force’s crime map for 2023 showed the thefts are taking place throughout the city.

There are steps the public, contractors and businesses can take to prevent tool thefts and aid in the recovery of stolen tools.

  • Mark your tools: Engrave or mark tools with unique identifies to make it easier to identify and recover tools.
  • Record serial numbers: Keep a detailed inventory of your tools, including photographs, serial numbers, and proof of purchase.
  • Secure your tools: Tools should be stored in a secure and locked location when not in use. They should never be stored in plain sight or left unattended.
  • Report suspicious activity: The public should report any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood, especially persons loitering around properties, sheds and construction sites.