Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Local Pilferage And Badness

Saturday, we found a note stuck in our door (and what looked to be similar ones at many of the neighbors): three houses down, a car had been broken into. Nothing appeard to have been taken.

Monday morning, my car showed signs of a hasty search: contents of the center console piled on the driver's seat, ashtray out, a plastic bag in the back seat holding my motorcycle raingear* had been dumped. Door was unlocked. Footprints led up the alley to my car door and then up towards the garages of The Democrat and The Other Female Engineer.

During the day, Tam and OFE crossed paths. Someone had gotten into OFE's garage Sunday night; she'd noticed the light on, seen other worrying signs, and called the police. They cleared it and had her check for missing items: a leafblower'd been nicked.

Tam (being Tam) followed the footprints as far as she could: all the way up our alley, no turning back.

Disturbingly, I had misplaced my spare car keys Saturday. I normally lock my car. I might've forgotten to do so; the last trip of the weekend was a big grocery run with Tam and we'd made multiple trips bringing them in. You'd think our thief would've clouted my car if he'd found the keys; maybe he's just not ambitious, maybe there's no real market for eight year old, bottom-of-the-line Hyundais. Maybe he was hoping to find a garage door opener (nope!) and get access to smaller, more easily-fenced items. Anyway, I've been parking inside the secured perimeter ever since; tomorrow, I'm having all my car's locks replaced. Car alarm system may follow.


And buddy? Wrong house. Majorly wrong house.
* Also useful for outside work in wet weather.


Ritchie said...

Just after New Year's, my car's rear side window was broken and a backpack and flashlight taken. Replacement glass was obtained, and the auto glass guy in the next building installed it. He says that after Thanksgiving, side glass replacements go up about sixfold, and now I notice a lot of other cars with plastic taped over (former) windows. Sorry to hear about your excitement.
WV: burged-thanks, I noticed.

Turk Turon said...

"Majorly wrong house."

Truer words were never spoken.

John B said...

Yeah, the pickup got rifled during our Nov 2 escapade. I now have the house cams working again. The cops are trying their best, but since I know who did it, I may just have to saddle up a private lawyer and take everything they have,or ever will have.

I think for people that stupid, slavery should be reinstituted.

But then I'd have to hire an overseer. Maybe a Hell's Angel? Nah, the Stones learned their lesson on that!

Tam said...

"He says that after Thanksgiving, side glass replacements go up about sixfold..."

I had to park on the street when I lived in Midtown Atlanta, first my 924S and then my Fiero. I had detachable faceplate stereos, and I just left nothing of any value in the car and the doors unlocked. I figured that if somebody was actually going to boost the whole car, it didn't matter whether the doors were locked or not, and I didn't want to have to replace a $100 window just so some vagrant could assure himself there was no change in the ashtray.

(WV: "shagingh". Sikh nookie.)

Rabbit said...

I'm just a reactionary old fart but when I hear of anti-theft systems for vehicles my first thought is of claymores and mercury switches.

When I was in high school I had problems with people lounging on/in my old car. I put a 12 volt battery in the trunk and configured a Model T coil to the body with a mercury switch for momentary contact. When someone would lean against the car and grounded, they'd get a little surprise. Hidden disconnect SPST switch in the fenderwell.


sam said...

If you are going to investigate a possible break-in:

First, consider not doing that. Your life is more valuable than any inanimate object. Call the cops. Maybe they'll send a "community services officer" to take a report. At least get it on record.

Second, backup. Both human and/or canine, if possible, and weapon-wise.

Third, communicate. Let someone know what you are doing AND have a means of communication. If you don't carry a Motorola for a living, at least a cellphone.

Majorly wrong house. Spounds like!

Stranger said...

Rabbit's system still works well, and you can make a neat trigger with a small ring of #12 copper wire and a common "no snag" fishing sinker.

Get the sinker first, and make a ring so there is around 1/8" of clearance. Mount this improvised momentary contact switch on a rigid base, mount VERTICALLY. IT WILL NOT WORK HORIZONTALLY! (Murphy's law!)

Use a latching setup for an alarm, or not for the spark coil.

Works, slick, as sensitive as you make it - and it's cheap. Even cheaper than the canine bark box that adopted us - but it will not trigger on footsteps coming up the driveway.


Joseph said...

Heard a story from a co-worker that over the Christmas season, a friend of his was working on his fence in his back yard. Two miscreants running from the law jumped into his yard, and one pulled a knife.

Bad Move.

The gentleman working in his yard is a former college football player and did a stint in the USMC. Said gentleman proceed to hit the knife-wielder in the head with the hammer he was using, while the other miscreant was playing tag with his two...rottweilers. Said encounter did not end well for these two. For some reason, I don't feel the least bit sorry for them.

Anonymous said...

It dawns on me that if I've run mains out to the car for the block heater, then I could wire up a fence energizer too............


Seems fitting

Roberta X said...

Sam: I'm not "investigating" anything in progress; but if I am out there (or in here) and a fellow come onto my property and puts me in fear of my life, he's gonna hear "Get on the ground get on the ground GET ON THE GROUND." He can comply or run away as fast as his little legs will carry him, either one's okay with me. And that would be a sure sign of having picked the wrong house.

Joe Huffman said...

I once suspected my van had been "borrowed" for the evening. I'm pretty sure it was in a different parking spot than I had left it the previous night. This was in a city 300 miles from home so I'm pretty sure no one I had given a key to had borrowed it without telling me.

When I got back home I asked a locksmith about changing the locks. It would have been multiple hundreds of doors so I decided not to have them changed.

Did you get a cheaper quote on the lock changing for your car?