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Stolen tools

Hi All

While working at a wholesalers maintaining their ground in a Leicester   I had a load of tools stolen.

We all know what it's like when we need three or four power tools to be used one after another and obviously the best and safest way is to return each tool to our vans when not in use. Well I didn't and put them into a shopping trolley and trundled them behind me. In it was a Dewalt radio naturally tuned to Radio 2, Stihl strimmer with 145 degree hedge cutter attachment, Stihl blower , Stihl battery operated hedge cutter and a few hand tools  I was about 20 yards from the trolley when a new Ford Edge (with heavily tinted windows) raced up parallel with the trolley and the passenger jumped out and emptied the trolley and sped off out of the car park All of this took place as I was running and shouting towards the car!

I am absolutely gutted   The replacement cost is about £1600 ! The companies cctv manage to capture the vehicle leaving the car park but due to the speed couldn't read the registration plate

No I don't have them insured as because the tools were not brand new ( less than a year old) the insurance companies will only pay out a derisory amount after your excess because of depreciation   The last time I claimed the policy was £97 and they paid out out only £90 for a stolen Stihl blower worth £280 ! So what's the point

My main question now is

Do any of you know of a Stihl dealership which gives favourable rates to trade ?

Do any of you know how to mark the tools so if they are recovered they can be identified

I now  see that some of the hand power tools have a chip in them that talks to an App on your phone so the tools can be deactivated when not in use I wonder if this will ever be adopted by Stihl

Regards Kieron in The Peak District 

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  • PRO

    Firstly, find an insurer that will pay out the cost of the tools when you brought them, wether thats new or used, most do i thought, mine did and some of the equipment was several years old.

    Otherwise like you say, whats the point!

    Secondly, when ever i buy new kit, I remove any covers, air filter etc and spray the inside with blue paint, as well a few spots on the outside. Try to get it into crevices where its almost impossible to remove by rubbing/sanding. Tools are usually sold on pretty quickly so it's highly likely the light fingered twats wont check porperly, if you have photo's of the painted kit to give to the police, it cant hurt!

    Thirdly, I never leave anything out im not using, and always lock the van and use the deadlocks, even if i know i'll be back in a few minutes. It only takes a few minutes to empty the van, so an extra 10 secs turning a key in a dead lock is neither here nor there!

    Sorry you had your stuff nicked, sooner or later one of these scrotes is going to get seriously injured or killed by someone defending their lively hood, then maybe the powers that be will take notice!!

  • Can't help with your main question but having a Stihl blower and strimmer nicked once i made sure it never happened again.  Self discipline is the only answer, as said always lock your vehicle, no exceptions for a second .Your tools always in sight and in easy reach..

    How I lost mine and continued to be a temptation is when your working at the front of your customers property and the customer wants to show you something around the back. In your eagerness to accomodate it's so easy to pop around literally abandoning your tools at the front.

    Once was enough and from there on I had to politely explain that I would be a few minutes as I couldn't leave tools unattended due to possible theft..  Most were understanding, no problem, although some would insist

    they would be fine "we never have any trouble like that here"

    lit didn't make any difference I would take them with me around the back or lock in the vehicle..

    Strict self discipline is the only answer, not easy but beats the alternative..






  • The Stihl Dealer I have traded with for about 14 years is very good, they give that old fashioned personal service and really look after you. They even drop bits off at my home as the parts guy lives near me, at no cost that is. To trade customers they will sell you the Stihl item for the pre-vat price, but including the vat. Or maybe a little better, if they can.  I am not sure if I am allowed to name them here [advice on this would be good]. Also if they are a long way from you then that's no good anyway.

    Tell us where you are.

    You can buy some Stihl gear online, like blowers, with no 'hand over' required and it is priced well, but I think that having a good relationship with a Dealer is far better. You buy online, then there's a fault or break down, what do you do then? The online firm may be hundreds of miles away. 

    • PRO

      It’s fine to ‘recommend’ a local dealer - it’s not a problem for LJN.

      Most Stihl dealerships will work with legitimate contractors to offer a good trade price - as you say this is where building a local dealer relationship scores highly

  • PRO

    Sorry to read your news Kieron.

    when the car was stationary could you not get the Reg then?

    i recently took out a policy With Hiscox, of course only a claim will tell how goo they are.

    i spray all my tools with a coloured paint in areas, thinking they would be recognisable amongst all the stolen stuff for sale on flea bay and Facebook.

    Tbe app sounds like a plan a  developer should take on board to help all industries with hand held power tools

  • Hi All

    many thanks for your advice

    i contacted my insurance broker today Wye Insurance and came up with a new company for me who will replace new for old upto £2500. I'm off to read the theft section tonight

    Im thinking of taking all the covers off the new equipment that I'll buy and spraying them bright pink. For one I'll notice them on eBay. Also I hope it just might make someone thinking is it worth nicking it as who'd want to buy a bright Pink   Stihl hedge cutter or blower etc

    Also  ive been reading up on Smart Water  Has anyone had any experience of its advantages if only just to give an edge on the villains !

    Cheers Kieron


    • PRO


      Not sure how smart water works...

      But there is a big stone wall near one of my clients with signs on about stone marked with smart water..

    • PRO

      Smart water is worth it. But obviously it only works if the tools are recovered and checked for markings


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