When a Plymouth plumber couldn’t work because his tools had been stolen from his van, Wolseley’s Plumb Center stepped in to help.
Wolseley branch staff spotted his story in a local newspaper and gave him a replacement toolbox full of essential plumbing products, after thieves raided his van and took up to £1,700 worth of tools. The merchant has pledged to continue to help out victims across the UK, as and when these incidents are reported.
Plymstock Plumb Center branch manager Keith Whitley and his colleagues rallied round to source replacement tools from suppliers including John Guest, Rothenberger and Milwaukee.
The plumber, who asked not to be named, said: “I’ve had friends let me borrow tools but it’s not the same. I’m trying to get back on my feet and buy the tools back, but I don’t want to buy the cheapest – I need decent tools. I’m grateful to Wolseley for the kind donation and think it’s important that industry leaders continue to raise awareness of this issue.”
Keith Whitley said: “This guy is a good customer of ours and it was infuriating to hear that he’d been a victim of this selfish crime. When someone decides to take tools from a tradesperson, they’re taking more than their property: they are also jeopardising their livelihood. I think it’s vital that companies like Wolseley continue to support tradespeople with this issue and ultimately help put an end to it.”
Van theft is becoming an increasing problem for the trade, with recent statistics* claiming it happens every 23 minutes in the UK. The research found there have been 22,749 tool thefts from vehicles in the past 12 months.
* BBC 5 Live Investigates – figures received from 30 UK police forces.