A CARPENTER is considering packing up his tools for good after being persistently targeted by thieves.

Brighton tradesman Luke Stubbs has been a chippy almost his entire working life, but a third break-in on his van earlier this month has forced him to think about switching jobs.

The theft was the third time in the space of two years he has been targeted, costing him thousands of pounds to replace stolen tools and damaged vans.

And this appears to be the final straw for 28-year-old Mr Stubbs.

He said: “The first time it happened they nicked about two or three thousand pounds worth of tools.

“A year later it was the same amount.

“And this time they have pretty much ruined my van as well.

“I’ve been thinking about quitting this week and looking for something else to do.

“I’ve either got to buy loads of tools again or just give up – I just think it’s going to keep happening.”

Mr Stubbs is not alone in being targeted.

Brighton and Hove had a spate of thefts from vans at the end of 2017, with tradesmen losing thousands of pounds worth of tools in what some described as an “epidemic”.

Mr Stubbs has started sowing the seeds for a new business making and selling furniture.

He said: “I love what I do, but I don’t see a future in it now.

“You just think it’s going to happen again, and they take everything.

“I stupidly left some of my tools in there, and they even stole a hammer which is worthless.”

He added that it is also hindering his movement into a new job.

“Starting any business is hard at the best of times without someone stealing the tools I need for it,” said Mr Stubbs.

Despite the surge in thefts from vans last year, though, The Argus reported a drop in the crime last week.

Figures peaked in October, with 37 thefts reported to police, and 25 the following month.

But there were just six reported in December, though this rose to 25 last month.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police confirmed Mr Stubbs’s report.

Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to call police on 101 or online at sussex.police.uk quoting serial 892 of 03/02.