After losing several tools to theft, Mitch Thon used ONE-KEY™ to successfully track down a critical piece of his inventory.
“The fact that you’re able to disable the tool from your app just made it clear as day that he had my equipment.”
This was the second SAWZALL® stolen from Mitch Thon in a week.
But this time was going to be different. This time he, had ONE-KEY™.
The 28-year old Thon lives in the woods near a small rural town about 30 minutes outside Traverse City in northern Michigan. His hobbies include woodworking, fishing, motocross, and snowmobiling in the winter.
He got his start out of high school working the oil fields in Texas, then moved on to carpentry. Now, he owns his own residential and commercial construction company, Thon Services. An independent general contractor, he specializes in timber framing and large-scale custom home builds. He was in the middle of finishing the masonry border of an infinity pool for a client’s home that overlooks Lake Michigan when he shared his One-Key story with us.
“From the home’s living room, it’ll look like the water that spills over the infinity edge of the pool is spilling into the bay,” he said.
Thon’s One-Key story begins two years ago, when his Sawzall was stolen from a jobsite. For the replacement, he wanted something with beefed up security features, a tool he might have a better chance of getting back if it too were to up and vanish.
“When it comes down to tools, you don’t let a lot slide,” he said. “It’s the livelihood of most contractors.”
One-Key tracking is made possible with Bluetooth technology, which is lighter, less-expensive, and less energy intensive than GPS (it also doesn’t require cell service). One of the tradeoffs is that Bluetooth doesn’t show real-time coordinates like GPS does. Instead, the location of a tool—whether it’s equipped with a Bluetooth Tracker or part of the One-Key product line—is revealed whenever that tool comes within the 300 foot range of a mobile device that has the One-Key app downloaded on it.
This is what happened with Thon’s Sawzall: Fortunately, his neighbor also had the One-Key app, and the tool had pinged off the neighbor’s phone when it came within range.
“By the time I was able to get over there, my app was able to pick it up and take me the rest of the way,” Thon said.
The trail took Thon to another house a few doors down. There he found the occupant working in the garage—with a Sawzall.
Cool as a cucumber, Thon opened the One-Key app and activated the “Lockout” function.
“I kill the saw, he’s looking at it like something’s wrong with it, and I say ‘I think that’s mine,’” Thon said.
The man handed over the tool, and that was that.
“I didn’t press charges, I just wanted my stuff back,” Thon said. “But I don’t think he’s ever going to steal from me again.”