Stolen Tools

God forbid you come home from work, head out to the shop to find a busted lock and missing tools.  Thankfully I haven’t experienced this.  But I can imagine the horror.

I’ve been lucky in my life.  I haven’t had many things stolen from me.  Personally, my wife’s Iphone was stolen out of my unlocked truck (I forgot), and my church’s sound system was stolen from the youth room.  Interestingly enough, both items were later returned.

The phone was returned to us by a parent whose child bought the phone at school.  We “bricked” the phone once it was missing so it would not activate and only displayed my number.

Our sound system was returned when a youth recognized it at a friend’s house.  (The kids that had it said that they got it from a different guy, knowing the other guy I find the story believable-ish).  Anyway, we got the equipment back and had him make a statement to the police.  They later came to my office and personally apologized.

This and things that happened to my In-laws (someone stole a TV and pistol) prompted me to start taking precautions in-case I am ever robbed.

I take the same precautions with my tools as I do with my firearms.

Being from a small town I got to know my insurance agent pretty well.  In fact, he was my Sunday School teacher for many years.  His son also was a member of the same 4H Shooting Sports club as me (and an Olympic Contender).  He told us that if you are ever robbed the insurance company isn’t going to take your word for what you own, especially with firearms.  I needed to have pictures, make, model, and serial numbers.

This does two things.  First, you have a record to submit to the police so they can file the serial number with a database that pawnshops are required to check.  Secondly, haven’t pictures, product information, and serial numbers proves ownership to the insurance company so you can be reimbursed correctly.  It should go without saying that you need to be properly insured.

One of the Deacons at my church had a stolen firearm returned to him recently that was missing for 10 years.  Pretty cool.

Thankfully,  I don’t earn my primary living from my tools.  Though it would be tragic if my tools went missing.  It would not be as devastating as a Contractor finding his tool trailer empty on Monday morning.

What I’ve done for my firearms (and am working on for my tools) is make a PowerPoint with a good picture, a picture of the actual serial number and make and model, and a written description of the item.  I then save it and upload a copy to one of my cloud storage drives (such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive) this way if my house burns down and I loose my PC I’ve still got a copy.

A final thing I do with all of my tools is write my intials and/or paint my logo on them.  Engraving would be a good step since paints can be removed.  This mainly helps keep your stuff from ending up in someone else’s tool box at a work site.

What precautions do you take in-case of theft?

Robert

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