Police are warning tradies to stop leaving their work vehicles unlocked and in plain view.

Papamoa Sergeant Phil Gillbanks says a lot hard work done by police to educate tradespeople about how to prevent theft had gone unheard. He has released CCTV footage of a vehicle towing a trailer containing builders' tools that was stolen from the Golden Sands subdivision in Papamoa East on Monday evening.

"I have personally done a lot of work with the local community in crime prevention education, I have issued advice through the media, social media, and building companies.

"I have had police staff visit numerous tradespersons at their work sites educating them in ways to prevent themselves from becoming the victims of theft. We have spoken to tradespeople about how to mark their tools or record serial numbers to assist police in identifying any property should it be stolen.


"Sadly, a lot of this hard work has gone unheard and still tradesperson's vehicles are left unlocked or in plain view without any form of anti-theft system. Trailers too are either left unlocked in plain view, or with just a ball lock and no wheel lock allowing the trailer to be quietly rolled away."

Mr Gillbanks said police searched properties daily for stolen property but were often unable to recover items or proceed with prosecution as the owners of the items could not be identified.

"We are often hamstrung by the complacency of New Zealanders who continue to make it easy for thieves to ply their trade.

"We need people to record the serial numbers of their property and to mark their other equipment for easy identification. www.snap.org.nz is a fantastically easy way to record serial numbers and gives individuals the opportunity to put photographs of their items and personalised markings on the site as well."

Police were "extremely concerned" at the number of trailers and tradespersons tools that were stolen annually across the Bay of Plenty and Waikato and police were aware how much those thefts affected the victims and their ability to work.

Mr Gillbanks said the stolen vehicle and trailer travelled up Paxton Rd and turned right on to Tara Rd before heading toward State Highway 2. It passed through the Baypark roundabout and the Welcome Bay State Highway 29 roundabout at just before midnight. It was heading towards Oropi but may have continued on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Range into the Waikato region, Mr Gillbanks said.

Police would particularly like to talk with the occupants of a white utility that the vehicles passed near the Gull Service Station on Parton Rd at 11.35pm, and would also like to talk to the occupants of a silver vehicle that was followed by the suspect vehicle through the Welcome Bay roundabout.

- Any information in relation to this particular incident or any other incident can be given anonymously at your local police station or through CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111.