Sheriff’s Office stresses importance of protecting tools from thieves

Published 12:01 am Friday, June 3, 2022

SALISBURY — When it comes to the theft of valuables, many people think of their phones, wallets, purses or electronics. While these things are all important to keep safe and secure whenever possible, a different popular target for thieves around the area recently has been tools.

Everything from chainsaws to power drills and just about anything else that may be used for handiwork around the house or job site is being stolen from properties around Rowan County.

In the past week alone, over $9,600 in tools has been reported stolen to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. All of these incidents occurred in Salisbury and all of them involved the removal of property from the victim’s residence or vehicle.

Tools have always been a popular target for thieves as they oftentimes are quite valuable and can be easily traded in at pawn shops or sold online without any detection.

Fortunately, local law enforcement officials believe that solving this problem and curbing the thefts requires just a few simple steps.

Maj. John Sifford of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office explained that one of the first things you should remember is to “store any valuables, including tools, in a locked and secured location.” Often, the tools that are stolen are left open and exposed to the public.

Sifford also noted that a good piece of advice is to purchase an etching tool, which aren’t expensive and can be found at tool stores or hobby shops.  “A citizen can use the etching machine to etch their driver’s license number on tools so that it can be seen by anyone that would inspect the property,” he said. “ Law enforcement anywhere can run a driver’s license number and find out who the property belongs to. This is the quickest and best way that we have to link property back to the true owner.”

For those that want to go a step further, Sifford also noted how helpful it can be for owners  to record the serial numbers of their property.

If the property is then stolen, police need  the serial number to be able to enter the property into the NCIC system, which allows it to show up as stolen property if the serial is checked into the NCIC system by any law enforcement agency in the U.S.

These tips serve as a helpful reminder as summer nears and more people do work on their vehicles, homes and job sites. Losing valuable tools to a thief can’t always be prevented, but following the tips can drastically reduce the chances of someone making off with your items.