Feeling a bit pinched...
Well, it finally happened. Thirty years living in one house. Arrived home to find it burgled. Never had anything nicked before, even from ragtop Landies or a ‘Cruiser with a tin trunk on its flat-deck. Lucky, I s’pose. Pretty security conscious but not OTT about it. Never had an alarm, just an old siren box out front, I guess it worked for a while!
So I’m more SC (security conscious? Ed) now. Is it a sign of the times? Is it worse? I don’t know. Seems to be. Or is it more reported these days? Lots of news of vehicles broken into at trail heads, car parks, on the street, up drives even. Many of them 4WDs, especially those with bling, like winches.
They are more likely to have stuff in them than a car. 4WDers are often hunters, trampers, climbers, fishers or your ordinary picnic family. Catch 22 – do you leave an empty vehicle and carry everything – or leave some survival gear and rations in case you are late back?
Bought a car with an alarm at one stage. It worked but was difficult to get the sensitivity right. Too light it would sound at passing traffic, other way and it never went off. But it was old and not an expensive model. Car was never nicked though! I’m sure current alarms have much better sensors and modes.
It does seem that modern OEM alarms give bother sometimes and the so-important keys are easily damaged and expensive to replace and programme. Lose the key when parked in the wilderness and you’re there for a while.
No blood. Bugger!
My ‘burg’ – entry was by punching a pane out of a leadlight and squeezing a small hand through to release the catch on the inside. Jagged glass but no blood, dammit! The Police that attended next day were as disappointed as I over that. My tightly squeezed fist just fit through the hole.
Part of my disgruntlement was that on moving to this house I identified that leadlight as a security issue and screwed a sheet of clear Polycarbonate on the inside of the door. Years later my spouse wanted to strip the door of varnish so I removed the panel. It got put behind something, lost from sight and forgotten. Its replaced!
Vehicle-wise, security is something we should always be aware of whether city or urban. If there’s an alarm use it. If there isn’t consider fitting one. Some of our older trucks like Cruisers and Patrols are becoming rare and in demand. They are coveted by the current go-hard brigade so usually have all the fruit, tyres, winches, jacks, lifts, racks, ropes, GPSs, radios, etc. Just the thing for getting serious but also just the goods for tending the crop or stripping out for resale. Must be a lively black market out there.
They are relatively old-tech so easy to burgle. Lock-picking and car-breaking tools are easier to source than one may think.
You can buy ‘learner’ padlocks – with clear sides and a set of tools so you can practise picking them! A backward move I reckon, shouldn’t be allowed. I bet the lock shops hate it.
Rowan Atkinson had the berries with the bolt and staple on his Mini door! Makes a lot of sense. Unalarmed vehicles only need a window broken to allow full access. Doesn’t take long to bust a window! Bang, its gone. Speed is of the essence for burglars. Bang, click, grab, gone!
Security has three main rules: Stop them getting in, make a lot of noise if they do, and make it difficult to get anything out.
Be aware, don’t park in dark spots, hide everything. Make it look as if it's empty. Be sure it’s locked, windows up. Avoid areas with easy escape routes like dark alleyways to other streets. Secure removable items like fridges or winches. Padlock the fridge in place. If a winch is bolted in place it can be unbolted – a minimal splash of weld on a nut will slow them down! Same for spotties. Wires can be easily cut. Don’t leave a GPS or other goodies in sight. Ropes or straps looped over a high lift on the spare wheel or bush bar are easy targets.
It’s wise to be insured but, believe me, insurers don’t like to pay out and there’s always an excess to take off. You need to supply a record of the price, purchase date and supplier and all model and serial numbers for each item. Otherwise it won’t be covered.
Photographs may help so get out there tomorrow and take lots of pix of the items as well as their name plates. Keep receipts!
It’s taken a full couple of weeks to get all my numbers together. Most I had to hand but a couple were difficult. One item was a recent gift and I hadn’t collected its details. You must log a Police report and pass its number on to the insurance co. Cops will arrive for a thorough look round so try to avoid splashing your fingerprints over everything.
It’s wise to also log onto Trade Me, Cash Converters and pawnshop websites to file ‘stolen item’ reports there. They are obliged to hold items for only two weeks before they can go on sale. I thought the hold period was three months and was a day late filing mine. But so far there’s been no response from that angle.