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An ounce of prevention sure would have helped

The start of the new year has had several significant events. The impeachment trial and coronavirus outbreak probably come to mind, and the Super Bowl, especially if you’re a Chiefs fan. But I’m thinking about having my tools stolen.

Yes, I’m a victim of jobsite theft. Yippee.

I didn’t think it could happen to me, but it did. And I might as well have left the doors unlocked. I’ve been working at a vacant fixer upper in a good neighborhood, so I thought nothing of leaving my tools behind. The house is surrounded by neighbors who have certainly noticed my activity. But I also had a dumpster out front and most of the power shut off, making it an inviting target. One night, somebody broke a window and stole my tools. It wasn’t a huge haul, but I’d like to have them back.

I don’t want this to happen again, so I’ve done some research about preventing jobsite theft: Here’s what I’ve learned:

Photograph, document and record the serial numbers for your tools and equipment. This will help for insurance purposes and the police in their investigation.

Store your tools in a safe and secure location. I did the crook a favor, organizing my tools in a convenient and unsecure location. It was like a hardware store.

Don’t leave materials lying around, especially in plain sight. Schedule deliveries as needed.

Check on the site, especially at night. Drive bys are recommended but call the police if there’s any suspicious activity.

Add motion-censored or extra security lighting.

Post a sign that reads, “24 Hour Video Surveillance”. Even better, install 24-hour video surveillance. Trail cameras are a quick and relatively inexpensive solution.

Set up some kind of barrier protection, such as a fence or single point of entry.

Most of this is either common sense or common knowledge. Apparently, I was lacking in both. I’ll never forget the feeling of arriving at the site and immediately realizing what had happened. There was an open door, broken glass and empty spaces where tools were left. I’m still kicking myself for making it so easy. If I’ve missed any obvious solutions, please share.

Upcoming events

Grizzly Industrial will hold its 2020 Tent Sales on May 2 in Bellingham, Wash. and June 6 in Springfield, Mo.

These annual one-day events present an opportunity to purchase dented, scratched and one-off woodworking and metalworking machinery and accessories at discounted prices. For more, visit

Biesse America will hold its Spring 2020 Inside Biesse event on Mar. 19-20 at the company’s 23,000-sq.-ft. showroom in Charlotte, N.C.

Attendees will see Biesse’s latest machine lineup, learn from product managers about how the company’s technology can increase your production and improve your bottom line, and discuss tooling, software, finance and much more with over 20 of Biesse’s industry partners. For more, visit

This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue.

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