Tools of trade stolen in ‘crippling’ worksite theft
A BIZARRE theft could cripple a Hervey Bay small business and force its owner to cut staff hours.
Ben Christie, owner of BJC Master Painters, was baffled when his painting trailer was stolen from a worksite in Urangan last week.
The trailer was safely secured with wheel clamps and chains, which the thieves cut through, Mr Christie said.
He said while the heavily-branded trailer would have little value to anyone else, it would cost him about $15,000 to replace it and the tools inside.
"It's crippling. I can't just go out and buy a new trailer, I simply don't have the funds," Mr Christie said.
"It's going to slow us right down. I already am saying no to jobs but now it's going to get worse."
He is now down to one trailer and one vehicle, forcing him to start jobs later and cut his workers' hours.
"It's the tools of our trade for our team," Mr Christie said.
"I've got eight people. We were trying to work out of two trailers, which was just getting us by.
"Hours are going to have to be cut if I can't get tools to a location. Not a lot of the our team have tools and part of what I do is the tradesmen don't need to bring their tools in."
Mr Christie has insurance but he's not sure how this process will work, having never made a claim in his 10 years in business.
Mr Christie took to social media to help find his gear and had painters from as far afield as Brisbane reaching out to offer tools.
If you have information that could help, phone Policelink on 13 11 14 and quote reference number QP2001477828.