A tool thief has recently avoided jail after admitting in court that he had stolen the tools, and livelihood’s, of tradespeople.
Pleading guilty to his crime, the thief admitted to stealing power tools in the North Somerset area. Admitting to two counts of theft, specifically from motor vehicles, he also plead guilty to eight counts of handling stolen property too. The thief in question though, Mathew Rickwood was only handed a suspended sentence of fifty eight weeks.
He was also ordered to pay £4,600 in compensation. A spokesperson described: “Ten victims have been identified and more than 30 items have been returned.”
“We are continuing to find owners of the remaining tools.”
“A 25-year-old woman, who was also arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods, as part of the same police investigation remains released under investigation.”
Take a look at how you can protect yourself against tool theft here.
But is a suspended sentence and fine really justice? Justice for the tradespeople who are trying to scrape the cash together to replace the tools that were stolen? For those worrying about their finances because of all of the missed work?
Well, for tradespeople in the UK, they believe more needs to be done. Specifically, tougher sentencing!
A petition, set up by tradesman Lee Watts, is currently going around, campaigning for more to be done about tool theft. He described: “Our Government must look strongly into the growing problem of tool theft from vans and must impose much tougher penalties on those convicted of these crimes.”
“Not only that but I will also be looking for our Government to put stricter guidelines and laws in place for selling second-hand tools.”
“It is an increasing problem countrywide for all tradesmen and women.”
“It takes years of hard work and a large expense to build up a toolkit and a van that enables you to earn an honest living.”
“More and more people are being affected by this crime and it needs to be stopped.”
Consequently, he has launched this petition to try and get these changes put in place. Take a look at how Lee plans to get there, and how you can sign the petition here.
It’s not just theft that is proving an issue within the industry though. It is also the buying of these stolen tools too. A recent report found that one tradesman purchased some stolen tools because the price was just “too good to be true”. Take a look at the full report here.
So what do you think of this? Should more be done to prevent tool theft? Should there be tougher sentencing? Let us know what you think in the comments below.