Theft Prevention | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Theft Prevention

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Byron Eby

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Influencer II

2,652
Sacramento, CA
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I hate to cast a cloud over everyone's great day but some dick head stole my firestik cb antenna and spring right off of the mount on my truck. In addition, almost every neighbor on my street has been hit either taking tools, money, electronics, or anything of value.

So my question/concern is how do I prevent the loss of my accessories on my truck without having to remove them every time my truck is unattended? It is not so much the cost of the products lost but the amount of irritation and discomfort of losing our hard earned possessions.

Please share any advice or experience you may have or have had involving said situation.
 

4xFar Adventures

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I used to have a nice back strapped behind the driver's seat. It had a small-ish first aid kit, a couple knives, a headlamp. You know, a nice day bag. Anyways, during the reception at a friend's wedding I went to the truck to get a bottle opener and the rear window was smashed and the bag was gone. Now its replacement stays in the house and only gets strapped in for trips.

Before this, there was a break in a few months after getting the truck and I got a Tuffy lock box. It worked, but it made the ARB fridge on top a little high. Even for me at 6'4". To get the fridge on a slide (and the cargo floor), I got rid of the Tuffy box and made a wooden enclosure for 2 Pelican 1550 cases next to it.

The latest thing I've been working on is securing the entire cargo area. First was a Mantec rear window guard. Next was a custom built dog guard that ties into the seat belt mounting points. The last step will be caging the side windows for the cargo area. They will be on the interior, so should anything get loose, it will prevent the glass from getting smashed. I hope they will be enough of a deterrent from someone trying to get through from the outside too.

For something like offroad lights, or whatever doesn't need to be removed very often, try some Barri Nuts.
 

TreXTerra

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Salt Lake City, Utah
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For things like antennas, try to put them on tight enough that you would need a tool to remove it. If a bored kid can unscrew the antenna and make off with it, he will. Things like spare tires, fuel cans and so forth, go to the hardware store and make yourself some security cables. Get them to cut some coated steel cable to the right length and buy a kit to make closed-end loops (the kits say to use a hydraulic press, but smacking it with a hammer works fine). Then lock all your stuff to the car.

There's not much you can do against a determined thief, you can just make your stuff look less appealing or slightly more difficult to get than it is worth. If you park in front of your home, consider a home security camera with a DVR. I would also put a laminated sheet of paper on the dash saying the area is being watched by video.

Beyond that, you can really just remove stuff from the vehicle so it is less appealing. I know when my parents visited parts of Europe that were prone to break-ins, my dad cut the top off of tissue box and covered the car stereo with it (this was back in the 70s) so it looked like it had no radio to steal. They also emptied the car every day and left the glove box open to show there was nothing inside. Even when most the cars on the street were hit, theirs was unscathed.

I'm pretty fortunate. I live on a quiet dead-end street between a couple Marines, across from a detective (whose sons also work for the PD and are frequently here with their patrol cars), and near an older lady who seems to love large-caliber revolvers. Everyone on the street knows each other - at least in passing, and if there is a car we don't recognize we take notice. You could try forming some relationships with others in the area to combat the burglaries.
 

pl626

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McLean, VA
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Unless you're traveling, I'd keep the bare minimum on your rig if you have to park in the street or outside. You don't need all the gear to go mall crawling...


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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First State Overland

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This was one of my chief concerns when buying a Wrangler. When the top is down or even just the soft top on for that matter, it's completely exposed. I do tend to run the hard top for overlanding mostly.

Luckily the JKs have lots of accessories. I have a Tuffy steel lock box under each front seat and one in the center console. My sliding drawer in the cargo area will lock. My Bartact seat covers have some almost hidden zippers on the bottom front that I take the sPOD touch display off and put in there along with the EZPass transponder. (yes, people take those too) Because the Jeep hood opens with just two fasteners on the outside, there a hood lock behind some grill inserts that protects my under-the-hood improvements. My only real worries (on the inside) right now are the ARB fridge which is strapped in and my recovery kit which is in a bright orange ARB bag that shouts "steal me!"

On the outside, my LED lights, they are pretty much never coming off without a torch. I've used some sort of security nut on each with red lock tight and then covered the rest of the mounting bolt thread with JB weld and in most cases put a vinyl cap over it. If they can get through that, they deserve it. the jack on the back is locked with a Rotopax lock and is not coming off without a torch. The Maxtraxx are mounted on top with the locking pins with a security cable running through them. The awnings are a little concerning for me because I need to be able to take them on and off. I'm probably going to get some security nuts for them too. The roof top tent is the same thing - it needs to be able to come off and on frequently so it's just the standard bolts. If I'm somewhere I'm not using it frequently, I'll take it off just for peace of mind. When it's on, it the Jeep won't fit in the garage so I park it under my security light each night.

My future build out plans, include a front and rear dash cam that would be motion activated and on constant power. This is mostly because the whole setup tends to draw curious people at campgrounds and outtings. Most are friendly and just want to talk or want a tour, but I'm not naive and while I'm off hiking or exploring, I've seen enough to know that people walk through your camp.

Other than that, I am very particular about where I park, even if just going into a store for a few minutes. Just being aware of your surroundings and environment puts you ahead of most people. I'll walk a mile further if I think I can park in a safer place.
 

Byron Eby

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Sacramento, CA
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Thanks guys. Glad to get some input. All of my neighbors are spooked because they have been hit as well. I guess I will just put another back on with some tools. I really like that laminated paper idea @TreXTerra I think that might be the winner other than replacing what was lost.
 

Meta6981

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Dewey, AZ
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I have had radio equipment and my CD collection from my teen years into my 20's stolen from my car before. I have also had my windows smashed in. It stings like no other to have your personal boundaries violated. I have had freinds volunteer fire fighter turn outs smashed and grabbed as long as radio equipment. I know for the JK fellows there are alot of lock boxes and accessories. I want to make a locking drawer type system for my cargo area. Why can't the S*&^ Heads leave a mans gear alone?
 
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Byron Eby

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Sacramento, CA
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So I got the new spring and antenna in the mail yesterday. I mounted the spring and will leave the antenna off for now I suppose. I have came up with two theft prevention strategies:
1) Rub petroleum jelly on the spring so they cant grip it without pliers at which point they deserve it if they are that motivated
2) Put a paper on my dash board that says, "You are being watched so good luck stealing my spring again."
 

Meta6981

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What is curious to me is why would someone want to steal a radio antenna. Least here, not in high demand by the s-heads.

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Byron Eby

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What is curious to me is why would someone want to steal a radio antenna. Least here, not in high demand by the s-heads.

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The only people that I could think of is someone that wants one for their rig or a punk kid doing what is expected.
 

Craig M

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As inexpensive as they are, I am betting it was a kid (teen) and a crime of opportunity in the case of the antenna. I have had several cars burglarized over the years and it really sucks. Left me with that gut punch feeling for some time after each incident. I am now very careful about what is left visible in my vehicles, and try not to keep much inside them.

I no longer keep CD's in them at all, since I just have an old iPod classic that stays in my glovebox. Way cheaper to replace . Before I had a radio that would control the ipod, I would burn every CD I bought and keep the originals at home, and only copies in the cars. My wife's car is nice because it has a built in hard drive and automatically burns a new CD the first time it's played. Then you remove the CD and just play the music from the hard drive (Acura).

This is the same reason I don't leave my shackles on my bumpers. A number of people have asked why I don't, and it's as simple as that.

At home we have two cameras facing the driveway now (from both sides) and you can see the street as well. Obviously that won't stop anyone, but at least we will get video of the thief. No signs though, as I don't want them cutting or disabling the cameras.
 

Gary Stevens

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I just spent the weekend putting up security lights to each side of and in front of my rig. There is my first line of defense. In the last several weeks there has been a tweaker walking up and down my street. Real sketchy. I also have two security cameras aimed at my rig from the roof of the garage. I am in the process of installing a app enabled motion sensor. That said, First State Overland above hit on most of what I do. I will add I cable lock everything to any strong point. For my awning I have two eye bolts inserted in the back bar of the awning, with a cable lock to the rack system. I also use security screws on any simple things. I have a small single-line LED bar mounted low at the radiator. The security screws work perfect for that since there are no tie down points.
 
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The other Sean

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Minneapolis
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I remove both my CB and 2 meter radio antennas and store them in the truck until I am going to actually use them.

I'm also considering making up a fabric cover to cover up the area behind the front seats and below the window opening. Many times while loaded for a trip a person can look in and just barely make out objects on the back seat. I figure if I get the color of fabric and the mounting just right, through the tinted windows it will look like nothing is there.
 

Anak

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One simple thing I do is keep a couple of old towels in the vehicle. Those are then thrown over anything that might look to be valuable. This comes with the side benefit of always having a towel available for unpredictable situations, such as when a Varmint has been pushed into a lake by his ever loving sibling.

I believe another thing that helps is parking in close proximity to a dog that will bark when strangers approach. Those who would steal do not want attention drawn to themselves.

I think a car alarm can also be a deterrent. At the very least, it should keep them from taking their time searching through the entire vehicle.
 
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