For Werrington resident Jonathon Lees, it was business as usual when the 32-year-old got up before the sun to start his day at work recently.
But after packing his things into his car, the tradesman of 10 years was furious when he discovered all of his tools were missing – $6000 worth.
With the back of his ute cleaned out, the local business owner was forced to fork out the money for replacement tools in order to continue his day on the job.
Mr Lees said he was devastated but knew there was nothing he could do.
“It happened on bin night, we have a lot of people going through the bins trying to collect cans so we don’t really take much notice of the noise anymore, when the dogs go off we assume it’s just that,” he said.
“There was a lot of tools taken, there’s no way only one person was carrying it all, there would have had to be at least two and a van to store them.”
A large amount of battery operated tools, including drills, nail guns and hand tools were stolen.
“People shouldn’t be able to go through your bins on bin night, it’s creating a big problem for our area because people are no longer looking out for suspicious noises,” Mr Lees said.
Mr Lees warned fellow tradies to be on high alert.
“Make sure everything is locked and get cameras, you can’t stop people from trying, so it’s best to be prepared,” he said.
Following the incident, Mr Lees installed CCTV security cameras to protect himself in the future.
This comes as a spike in tool theft saw 25 incidents reported to police in one week alone late last month.
Detective Sergeant Steven Peroni warns locals to lock everything.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in steal from motor vehicles particularly utes being targeted and tools stolen,” he said.
“We urge all tradies that keep tools or expensive property in the back of utes, to make sure that they are secure.”
The most prevalent areas affected are St Marys, North St Marys and Oxley Park, with most incidents occurring on Thursdays and Fridays.
Detective Sergeant Peroni urges tradesmen to report all incidents to their local police station.
If you have any information regarding tool theft, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.