Tradies are being warned about becoming complacent as the year draws to an end, with Queensland Police noting a marked increase in the number of tools and vehicles being stolen from worksites.
From Ipswich to the Bayside, there've been several targeted attacks over the past few weeks, and detectives say it's common for several sites to be hit in the space of a single day or night.
Between late October and now, sites at Springwood, Beenleigh, Bahrs Scrub, Springwood, Redland Bay and Mount Warren Park have fallen victim.
Detective inspector Owen Elloy says tradies should be doing a personal audit of their property.
"This time of the year, unfortunately, complacency is probably our biggest enemy. The old Australia adage 'she'll be right on the night' mentality is happening", he said.
"A tradie reported his Toyota Hilux stolen yesterday. But when the young officer spoke to him, he's left it unlocked at the bottom of the driveway and with the keys still in it! It makes it a bit willing, I am afraid."
Detective inspector Elloy says tools are an easy target.
"They are easily re-sold and have a good re-sale value, making them valuable items for thieves," he said.
Often, the tools aren't appropriately labelled or recorded for insurance and investigation purposes.
"The Dewalts and the expensive tools are registered but a lot of tradies, unfortunately, don't even bother writing down the serial numbers of their AEG's or Ryobi's so when we get a load of tools back off these offenders, it's very difficult to find out who owns what," he said.
Elloy says labelling tools with something removable like paint isn't going to cut it, either.
"A splash of pink paint on the top of a Dewalt drill isn't going to take us too far.. it's not something we can really take to court and go 'it had a splash of pink paint on the top of it' you know what I mean? It's not going to hold, as opposed to a tradies' initials engraved under the hand grip."
There's more advice on the Queensland Police website, including:
STEP 1. Mark your property by engraving or micro-doting them. Where possible, mark your property with a code on the top right hand rear corner of the item or near to the manufactures serial number. Take a video or photograph of property that can’t be marked, such as jewellery. Go to our checklist for a list of items you should consider marking.
STEP 2. After marking your property, visit your local police station, police beat shopfront or neighbourhood police beat and tell them your code. You can also collect ID warning stickers to place on your engraved items and on your doors or windows to act as a deterrent to would-be intruders.
STEP 3: Keep accurate records. Write an inventory as this will help you make an insurance claim and assist police recover stolen items. List the serial, make and model numbers and keep the original receipts of valuable items and store this information along with any valuation certificates in a safe place.