HONOLULU (KHON2) — An electric business owner, who didn’t want to be identified by name, said his work van went missing on Sunday in Hawaii Kai. It was recovered two days later by police. However his van was found trashed and emptied.
“We had mostly small tools. They’re kind of crucial to accomplishing different tasks depending on what your trade is, and what you need to do,” said the man.
The various small tools ranged from a $100 electric screwdriver to a $20 wire stripper.
The business owner said the thieves got away with thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
“We’re a small business so we had to do a lot of rescheduling, just pushing things back,” said the business owner. “You know there’s a lot of uncertainties, and that’s aside from the time that’s going to be spent and the money to kind of set up another vehicle, and get it ready to go on the road again and do service calls.”
Sgt. Chris Kim with Crimestoppers said that work vans are often a target because of what’s inside.
“If there are work vans out there with the company’s name on there then typically thieves will know this is some type of work van. The chances of some expensive equipment being in there is highly likely,” said Sgt. Kim.
He said thieves will often re-sale the items online or even on the street to people with the same profession.
However for people with equipment and tools worth a lot, he recommends to take pictures and note the serial numbers, just in case.
“If you ever come across an item that was stolen from you and you’re able to prove the serial numbers, go ahead and call police,” said Kim. “Go ahead and call police. We can actually recover it, if anything hold it into evidence, and then you know once you provide all the proper documentation, the police department can release it back to you.”
Police warn that if you are buying tools, to make sure they are being sold by a trusted seller and are acquired legally.
He also has a tip for people who use work vans and park them outside their homes.
“If you’re going to have that type of equipment in your van, invest in a good alarm system. Have an anti-theft system installed in there with an ignition kill switch,” said Kim.
Police are still searching for the thieves who stole the van and the tools. If you may have seen anything, you can contact police here.