Industry Applications - Tools

Case Closed for Stolen Tools

Whether you're a master technician or a new mechanic, you'll likely spend thousands of dollars over time expanding your tool inventory. From simple and specialty tools to the boxes that hold them, tools represent a sizeable investment for you and a rewarding lure for thieves.

When tools are stolen, the insurance paperwork, inventory of tools (or lack thereof), lost man-hours, and burden of replacing uninsured gear amounts to a serious, stressful and common problem. Visit almost any pawn shop, and you'll likely find tools on the shelf. Not every tool in the shop has been stolen, but unmarked tools can easily be fenced. Consider this actual account.

"In 2007, I owned an off-road shop and we had a break-in just two days before we were to update our security system. The police said the crooks were probably pros; they took big-ticket items including $30,000 of tools that belonged to a master technician. We never caught the thieves, but the tech did finally locate his tools in a local pawn shop. Most mechanics know their tools – maybe from a dent or scratch, it might be a tool they got from their dad or grandfather, a specialty tool that's out of production, things like that. This mechanic knew these were his tools, but there was no way the pawn shop or police could positively identify them as belonging to this particular mechanic. As a result, he lost a lifetime of tools that could have been recovered if they had been marked with DataDots."

The Solution

A DataDot Tool Marking Kit marks your tools with a unique code, much like DNA. Your kit's unique PIN is registered on the DataDot International Database with your contact information. If your tools are stolen, law enforcement can access the database to find your information and return the tools, regardless of how far away they are recovered.

Unlike engraving which grinds an identifier onto an item, DataDots won't diminish the appearance of your tools or void tool warranties. DataDots are also impervious to most acids, solvents, salt and heat, and when properly installed, virtually impossible to remove or fence. All it takes is one DataDot on a stolen tool to arrest a burglar for possession of stolen property. Because of this crime deterrent, DataDots was selected by Matco Tools to engineer an exclusive marking kit for the chrome plating used on Matco tools and other high-end apparatus.

For more information on DataDots and how they can protect your tools, click here or call 1-800-710-8155. To learn more about Matco Tools or to locate a Matco distributor in your area, visit

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