Don’t be a tool, lock up your ute – that’s the message from Wyndham police, who have reported a spike in tool theft across the area in the past month.

Police say thieves are breaking into ute hard tops, canopies and metal tool boxes and stealing power tools while leaving behind other valuables, including wallets and mobile phones.

According to a post on the Wyndham Eyewatch Facebook page, most of the utes were parked on the street when they were broken into, with the bulk of offences occurring at night or in the early hours of the morning.

“In most cases, the offender/s use an unknown tool, most likely a jemmy or similar, to force open the locks, handles or windows of the utes. Each theft has seen a significant amount of tools stolen from each vehicle,” the post reads.

Police believe that the offender or offenders are using a vehicle to commit the offences because of the quantity of tools stolen and the different suburbs across Wyndham being targeted.

They have called on tradies to lock up their tools and park their utes in secure garages where possible.

Tools valued at more than $1.94 million were stolen in Wyndham between January 1, 2015, and September 30, 2017, according to the Crime Statistics Agency.