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Tougher sentence call over tool theft 'epidemic'

By Jamie Brassington | Crime | Published:

‘It’s a major problem, it’s crippling people’.

Lee Watts

Those are the words of angry carpenter Lee Watts, who has started a petition calling on tougher sentences for tool thefts.

Lee believes there is an epidemic in the country where traders are being targeted by thieves and their livelihoods are being ruined.

So far more than 2,300 people have signed his petition.

The 43-year-old from West Bromwich, who has been a victim of tool theft himself, said: “There is an epidemic which is taking place across the country.

“We have got a major problem and it is crippling people.

“Thieves are targetting work vans and peeling doors off. They are stealing tools and damaging livelihoods.

“It is affecting families as well. These people are committing crimes.”

Mr Watts, who runs his own company called Koncept Interiors, said he is determined to get a ‘strong petition’ together.

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He said: “I have been targeted myself and had tools stolen, I know how difficult that is to recover from for a business.

“We just don’t get enough help, I don’t blame the police, I think the courts need to take more action and give out stronger sentences to these people.

“These aren’t petty crimes, this is a big thing and these thefts are organised in groups.

“I am going to get a strong petition together and at the very least raise awareness of how serious this problem is.”

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Lee’s petition states: “Our Government must look strongly into the growing problem of tool theft from vans and must impose much tougher penalties on those convicted of these crimes.

“Not only that but I will also be looking for our Government to put stricter guidelines and laws in place for selling second hand tools.”

Lee’s petition can be found at you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/tougher-sentences-on-tool-theft

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter covering Dudley, Sandwell and Wyre Forest. Also dabble in sport. Call me on 01384353205 or email jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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