POLICE are warning tradies in Monash to be more vigilant after a spate of thefts on construction sites around the city.
Leading Senior Constable Biljana Luccio of Oakleigh’s crime prevention squad said construction zones around Monash were being targeted by opportunistic thieves who were scanning sites for unlocked cars.
‘‘Tradesmen have a knack of leaving all their cars unlocked because it just makes it easy for them to go from their construction site to their vehicle,’’ she said.
Police were recently called to a site in Oakleigh where tradesmen reported a man loitering around the area and looking over fences.
‘‘When he felt no one was watching, he’d go around and test all the cars to see if they were unlocked. We had one tradesman there who actually scared him off,’’ Leading Senior Constable Luccio said.
She encouraged workers to schedule delivery of the products they were installing on the day works took place to avoid being targeted.
Whitegoods, copper piping, doors and taps that were left unsupervised were at risk of being stolen.
Leading Senior Constable Luccio said that while security was a concern for some workers, it wasn’t always a priority.
‘‘When they’re working, that’s a secondary consideration and what I’ve found is a lot of them don’t record their serial numbers.’’
Tradesmen are being asked to engrave their tools with their licence details to help police identify and recover stolen property.
‘‘When we’re doing our patrols, if we’re pulling over vehicles or people or even going to our second hand dealers, we can look out for these specific items.
‘‘At the moment, we do have quite a bit of property but we don’t know who it belongs to because people report things and they say they’ll get the serial numbers to us but ultimately they never do.
‘‘With digital cameras and even mobile phones, just take a photo of the product and you can zoom in at the back where it’s got model numbers, serial numbers and all that information. Or even a photograph in addition of your receipt so you’ve got your price there as well.
‘‘If the worse case scenario happens, you can just draw upon that and it’s there.’’