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Power Tools Are a Hot Commodity Among Thieves

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RALEIGH — Crooks steal cars, money, jewelry, expensive and entertainment equipment, but hammers and drills? Tools might not top your list of most desirable items, but it turns out they are more lucrative than you may think.

The Triangle's housing boom has created another boom -- a tool boom. Contractors need tools, and thieves are stealing them.

"It's devastating," says contractor Brian Hippman. "It's all the tools I've been collecting since I started this business."

Hippman had $20,000 in tools stolen this week. His tool trailer was stolen from the parking lot at his north Raleigh apartment building. Police records show that tools were stolen from his neighbors the same night.

Eric Hester with theDurham Police Departmentsays the stolen tools are being sold at pawn shops, flea markets and even at job sites.

Good security is necessary to keep tools safe. Hester suggests tool owners engrave their tools with their names and driver's license numbers. He also says owners should take pictures or video of tools and be sure to write down serial numbers.

It is too late for Hippman. He had no insurance and must start over again.


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