Spike in thefts at building sites concerns tradies

Tradies across the country say the industry is rife with theft and are pleading with people to stop targeting building sites. 

Police have noticed a spike in tool thefts and warn stolen gear is increasingly being used to buy drugs. 

The site Auckland builder Eibher Daly is overseeing has been hit twice by thieves in recent weeks. 

"Between the two robberies [it was] maybe thirty grand worth of tools all up," he said. 

It's happening far too often, according to Daly, and the police agree. 

"Every week if we're doing a search warrant we'll find [stolen] tools at the address," Waitemata Sergeant Aron McKeown told Newshub. 

He is urging tradies to get their tools engraved at special events with drivers licence numbers, so police can easily return them. 

With 70,000 builders in Auckland alone, McKeown says there are endless opportunities for thieves to make a quick buck. 

"They've got high value when you talk about resale value to second-hand dealers, or even trading them for drugs."

It's a nationwide issue according to the New Zealand Certified Builders Association.

Chief executive Grant Florence told Newshub builders need to be sensible about where their tools are being stored. 

"Simple things like that.. Get good advice from insurance partners and just keep wary," he says. 

Daly learnt the hard way and says it'll take him months to get new tools. 

"I can't afford to get robbed again. It will finish me."