Oakland police are warning of a spike in power tool thefts at gunpoint

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There’s a new wrinkle in the rampant theft of power tools as OPD says suspects in one particular Oakland neighborhood are striking while homeowners are home and taking tools at gunpoint.

You may have the answer, “No kidding, Sherlock,” to the Oakland Police Department report that theft of power tools is on the rise. After all, we’ve heard stories about stolen tools and garages were robbed for several months.

But NBC Bay Area reports that this warning is different. According to the report, the suspects are armed committing robberies at gunpointand the patterns of the game show that this is an organized group that repeatedly uses the same tactics when striking a specific region of the Oakland Hills.

“Crimes tend to occur between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.,” the Oakland Police Department said in a public safety advisory. “Many recent incidents have occurred in the Oakland Hills where two to four armed individuals confront the victim, take their property and leave the area in a waiting car.”

If you own power tools, regardless of whether you live in the Oakland Hills, OPD recommends keeping as much of your inventory locked up as possible and taking extra care when loading and unloading them. They also recommend engraving your name or number on the tools and removing the batteries if they are stored, as it is more difficult to sell tools without batteries and chargers.

They also recommend not leaving tools visible (on the back seat of the truck body) when not in use, or even adding GPS tracking devices to the tools.

OPD’s public safety announcement indicates they have a definite physical description of the suspects, but are still looking for more information. If you are a victim of tool theft in Oakland, you are asked to call OPD at 510-238-3426 with any information you may have.

On the subject: “The Police Did Nothing” Vol. XXIV’: A local man tracks down his own tools for sale on Mission Street [SFist]

Image: Rahmat Suvandi via Unsplash

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