Reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Uniting to save tools of the tradies

Brett Rhodes
Brett Rhodes

Police have teamed up with tradies to help return stolen tools.

Officers behind Operation Resolve, established by Auckland City Police in March after a Herald investigation revealed more than 93 per cent of burglaries went unsolved last year, have approached tradies' website builderscrack.co.nz.

The website's founder, Jeremy Wyn-Harris, said builderscrack had a database of about 10,000 and it made sense to team up with police.

"They have recovered a whole lot of stolen tools so they approached us."

Operation Resolve's Detective Senior Sergeant Iain Chapman said police had unclaimed tools dating back "three or four years ".

"It hasn't been easy tracking down the owners of the tools and that's our biggest issue," Chapman said.

Albany builder Brett Rhodes was in hospital when his tools were stolen from his van.

The 48-year-old lost more than $7000 worth of equipment in 2014. "After they were stolen, I reported the theft to police but, because I was sick at the time I didn't deal with it well - I just wrote them off."

Rhodes got in touch with police after seeing the new partnership on builderscrack and was able to identify two collated screw guns and a timber router.

Though he didn't get all his tools back, he was glad the man who had taken them had been caught.

"When you're a builder your tools are your livelihood."

At the end of May, Operation Resolve had made 71 arrests, laid 32 new burglary charges and 24 receiving property charges, 18 search warrants have been executed and 43 arrest warrants actioned.

- Herald on Sunday

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