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

You may have a “No kidding, Sherlock” response to a report from the Oakland Police Department that the theft of power tools is on the increase. After all, we’ve been hearing stories of stolen tools and robbed garages for months.

But NBC Bay Area reports this warning is different. Per that report, the suspects are armed and conducting the robberies at gunpoint, and the patterns at play indicate this is an organized group repeatedly using the same tactics, while striking in the specific region of the Oakland hills.  

“The crimes tend to occur between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM,” according to the public safety advisory from the Oakland Police Department. “Many of the recent incidents happened in the Oakland Hills when two to four armed individuals confront the victim, take their property, and leave the area in an awaiting vehicle.”

If you have power tools, whether or not you live in the Oakland hills, the OPD recommends keeping as much of your stock locked up as possible, and being particularly aware when loading them or unloading them. They also recommend engraving your name or number on the  tools, and removing their batteries when they’re in storage, as it is more difficult to sell the tools without their batteries or chargers.

They also recommend not leaving the tools visible (in the backseat of truck bed) when they’re not in use, or even adding GPS tracking units to the tools.

The OPD’s public safety announcement indicates they have some degree of physical description of the suspects, but they’re still looking for more information. If you’ve been the victim of tool theft in Oakland, they ask you call the OPD at call 510-238-3426 with any detail you can add.

Related: ‘Police Did Nothing Vol. XXIV’: Local Man Tracks Down His Own Tools Being Sold on Mission Street [SFist]

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