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Thread: OT: Warning about car thefts

  1. #1
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    Friends,

    This note is off topic, but I think worthy of passing along to any who park their cars in an unsecured parking lot during the work day.

    We've recently had a car stolen from the parking lot at my place of employment. The parking lot is fairly well monitored via closed-circuit TV cameras and even roving security guards. But it is not controlled access.

    What makes this theft notable is that within 30 minutes of stealing the car, the thieves were pulling up at the owner's home. They had obviously used the car registration to learn the address of the owner and drove directly to what they figured was likely to be an unoccupied home. They then used the garage door opener in the car to enter the garage and from there, went through the unlocked interior garage door into the home. My co-worker's wife was actually at home and fortunately her screams scared the thieves off. The car was found fairly well stripped later in the day.

    This is the second time in a couple of years that this same scenario has played out: car stolen from work parking lot, registration used to find home address, garage door put up with opener in car, and unlocked interior garage door providing easy access to the home proper. In both cases, wives/mothers were at home and fortunately, the thieves were scared off without harming anyone.

    Another associate reports an incident at his former apartment complex in which there was a rash of smash-and-grab thefts from parked cars. Notably, the thieves were not going after stereos or other obvious valuables. Instead they were taking car registrations, check books, and other paper items with personally identifying information on them.

    As costly and unpleasant as a car theft can be, or even a smash-and-grab that costs you a new window and ipod player, ID theft or home invasion would be far worse in a host of ways.

    Just a few thoughts:

    1-Be sure there is nothing visible in your car that might attract a smash-and-grab. This includes empty backpacks and shopping bags that could possibly have something in them.

    2-Consider taking garage door remotes into the office with you rather than leaving them in the car. Do not leave house keys in the car.

    3-To the extent possible--and it can be difficult with children or other family members at home during the day--keep the door between your garage and home locked.

    4-Contact your State legislator about removing your home address and other personal information from the registration that has to be kept in the car. In a day of wireless computer communications there is very little need to have this information printed on a document you have to keep in your car. I should think that vehicle description with VIN number, license plate number, and expiration date is all that is really needed; MAYBE the name of the registered owner.

    5-Clean out all other documents from your car that have your name, address, or other personal information on them. This includes letters and bills. Keep the car clean so if it is stolen or broken into, there is less to be taken.

    6-If you have a P.O. Box or private mail box somewhere you may consider using that for your vehicle registration rather than a home address.

    7-You may give serious thought to investing in a small car safe. I've have one from "Center-of-Mass" <http://www.center-of-mass.com/Store_...unSafe.htm> that is thin enough to slip under the seat in my compact commuter car, but durable enough to at least slow down any thief who isn't carrying power tools around with him. The ~$50 seems a very good trade off to reduce the odds of a thief being able to easily get my personal information. My registration and insurance cards are now kept inside this lock box that is secured to a seat post, rather than inside the plastic, unlocked glove box. There is still plenty of room for a self-defense firearm for those places or occasions where it is not prudent to carry on my person. Larger, heavier, and more expensive units are available from other manufacturers (google "car gun safe" for starters) depending on your budget, the car you drive, and your personal tastes.

    Charles

    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  2. #2
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    Myself and another individual were actually talking about break-ins last night. He knew of a guy that was breaking in to cars around the neighborhood and decided that it would be best to put as many of the cars in the garage as possible. We had a party at his place, and he has a 3 car garage, where one of the three is a deep garage. We were able to fit 5 of the 7 cars that were there, in the garage. Not too shabby. As I was reading your post, I thought about putting my registration into my car safe. As it would turn out, you and I have the same car safe. I have used it for my pistol, and like it quite a bit. I guess I'll have to cruise out today and put my info in it. These are great little safes, and I would recommend them to anyone.

  3. #3
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    Reminds me of a co-worker's personal story. He had work done on his car and the repair shop "lost" his keys and paid to have them replaced. Whoever stole his keys at the shop found out from an invoice where he lived. Late in the night, he used the keys to open the garage and take the car. Sneaky people out there...

  4. #4
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    langzaiguy wrote:
    Reminds me of a co-worker's personal story. He had work done on his car and the repair shop "lost" his keys and paid to have them replaced. Whoever stole his keys at the shop found out from an invoice where he lived. Late in the night, he used the keys to open the garage and take the car. Sneaky people out there...
    As a matter of course I will NEVER leave anything other than the car keys with a mechanic, valet, or anyone else. I have two key chains connected together: one has my car keys on it, the other my house and other keys. When I leave the car with a mechanic or valet, I separate the two rings and leave only the car keys. My home keys and garage door opener always go with me.

    Charles


    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  5. #5
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    One related thought....



    if you have a GPS unit in your vehicle and it has "HOME" as a waypoint saved within said GPS it doesn't take a rocket scientist to FIND YOUR HOME!


    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
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    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

  6. #6
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    utbagpiper wrote:
    langzaiguy wrote:
    Reminds me of a co-worker's personal story. He had work done on his car and the repair shop "lost" his keys and paid to have them replaced. Whoever stole his keys at the shop found out from an invoice where he lived. Late in the night, he used the keys to open the garage and take the car. Sneaky people out there...
    As a matter of course I will NEVER leave anything other than the car keys with a mechanic, valet, or anyone else.* I have two key chains connected together: one has my car keys on it, the other my house and other keys.* When I leave the car with a mechanic or valet, I separate the two rings and leave only the car keys.* My home keys and garage door opener always go with me.

    Charles

    Here, here. I've been using a small carabiner and have my house/everyday keys on one ring and each of my car keys on their own ring. If I take car A, I just attach car A keys to the biner holding my house keys... real simple and I am only carrying what I need that day.

  7. #7
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    JoeSparky wrote:
    if you have a GPS unit in your vehicle and it has "HOME" as a waypoint saved within said GPS it doesn't take a rocket scientist to FIND YOUR HOME!

    Just set "home" to the police station located nearest to your house and then imagine the look on the crooks' faces as they follow the GPS to your "home". :shock::shock:
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  8. #8
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    LOL, nice...

  9. #9
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    utbagpiper wrote:
    Just a few thoughts:

    1-Be sure there is nothing visible in your car that might attract a smash-and-grab. This includes empty backpacks and shopping bags that could possibly have something in them.

    2-Consider taking garage door remotes into the office with you rather than leaving them in the car. Do not leave house keys in the car.

    3-To the extent possible--and it can be difficult with children or other family members at home during the day--keep the door between your garage and home locked.

    4-Contact your State legislator about removing your home address and other personal information from the registration that has to be kept in the car. In a day of wireless computer communications there is very little need to have this information printed on a document you have to keep in your car. I should think that vehicle description with VIN number, license plate number, and expiration date is all that is really needed; MAYBE the name of the registered owner.

    5-Clean out all other documents from your car that have your name, address, or other personal information on them. This includes letters and bills. Keep the car clean so if it is stolen or broken into, there is less to be taken.

    6-If you have a P.O. Box or private mail box somewhere you may consider using that for your vehicle registration rather than a home address.

    7-You may give serious thought to investing in a small car safe. I've have one from "Center-of-Mass"...
    Good suggestions, UTB.

    Thanks




  10. #10
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    utbagpiper wrote:
    JoeSparky wrote:
    if you have a GPS unit in your vehicle and it has "HOME" as a waypoint saved within said GPS it doesn't take a rocket scientist to FIND YOUR HOME!
    Just set "home" to the police station located nearest to your house and then imagine the look on the crooks' faces as they follow the GPS to your "home".
    bah-hahaha LOL! Nice one Charles!

    I never even gave my GPS favorites a single thought till now, i will be renaming my "Home" as soon as i get to my truck, it make sense.

    Good call guys.

  11. #11
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    ProtectedBy9mm wrote:
    utbagpiper wrote:
    JoeSparky wrote:
    if you have a GPS unit in your vehicle and it has "HOME" as a waypoint saved within said GPS it doesn't take a rocket scientist to FIND YOUR HOME!
    Just set "home" to the police station located nearest to your house and then imagine the look on the crooks' faces as they follow the GPS to your "home".
    bah-hahaha LOL! Nice one Charles!

    I never even gave my GPS favorites a single thought till now, i will be renaming my "Home" as soon as i get to my truck, it make sense.

    Good call guys.
    I always thought it was kinda funny to need a GPS to find home,:? but that's just me...:P

    ETA: This is another reason I will not just hand over my wallet or keys to a mugger/carjacker. I don't need them showing up at my house with or without my keys later on.


  12. #12
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    jaredbelch wrote:
    ProtectedBy9mm wrote:
    utbagpiper wrote:
    JoeSparky wrote:
    if you have a GPS unit in your vehicle and it has "HOME" as a waypoint saved within said GPS it doesn't take a rocket scientist to FIND YOUR HOME!
    Just set "home" to the police station located nearest to your house and then imagine the look on the crooks' faces as they follow the GPS to your "home".
    bah-hahaha LOL! Nice one Charles!

    I never even gave my GPS favorites a single thought till now, i will be renaming my "Home" as soon as i get to my truck, it make sense.

    Good call guys.
    I always thought it was kinda funny to need a GPS to find home,:? ....
    Very convenient if you find yourself stuck in traffic having to navigate through roads you have never driven before. it helps keep the forward momentum, instead of being stopped at every stoplight and every traffic jam like the rest of ya'll. Lol, it helps.

  13. #13
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    ProtectedBy9mm wrote:
    jaredbelch wrote:
    ProtectedBy9mm wrote:
    utbagpiper wrote:
    JoeSparky wrote:
    if you have a GPS unit in your vehicle and it has "HOME" as a waypoint saved within said GPS it doesn't take a rocket scientist to FIND YOUR HOME!
    Just set "home" to the police station located nearest to your house and then imagine the look on the crooks' faces as they follow the GPS to your "home".
    bah-hahaha LOL! Nice one Charles!

    I never even gave my GPS favorites a single thought till now, i will be renaming my "Home" as soon as i get to my truck, it make sense.

    Good call guys.
    I always thought it was kinda funny to need a GPS to find home,:? ....
    Very convenient if you find yourself stuck in traffic having to navigate through roads you have never driven before. it helps keep the forward momentum, instead of being stopped at every stoplight and every traffic jam like the rest of ya'll. Lol, it helps.
    Touche'

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