This is a crime that can take away a person’s ability to earn their living. Theft from commercial vehicles has a huge impact on tradespeople and small businesses in Reading. Not only is there a high cost in time and money to replace tools and to fix the damage caused, it stops people from being able to work, leading to loss of earnings and huge financial impacts.
One of our trustees has had first-hand experience, Micky Leng shared with us his dismay; “Theft of tools from Tradesmen’s vans is an evil crime, seen as trivial by some. It can take weeks to replace tools, although for many a whip round usually gets people by. Often the Police are overwhelmed or unable to act and this leads to frustration, anger, sadness and a loss of respect. These can be highly organised gangs, they steal high-end cordless tools, testing equipment etc. It goes to London is offered for sale or is shipped abroad. Trackers in stolen vans have been traced and telescopic forks have been tracked to Europe and further. Sometimes found in containers with £100,000’s worth of tools.”
Currently, there is no separate crime theft from a commercial vehicle, but just as metal theft was made a specific offence, creating a new offence of theft from a commercial vehicle could help to deter this crime.
Locals like Micky Leng, Mark Russell, local Councillor Rachel Eden and other tradespeople are campaigning for parliament to change the law to ensure that this carries a sentence which is proportionate to the cost which includes: replacements; repairing damage; business disruption; customer reimbursement and compensation.
Please sign and share the online petition: