A thread for all those unfortunates who've been robbed.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mr. Magpie, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I feel so bad for the dudes on here that have gotten their stuff jacked. It's a damn shame that we live in a world where people are totally indifferent to other people's well-being.

    My brother and I have been expanding and we have been thinking about theft WAY too much that past several months. And we have talked to many many LCO's in the area about theft. We have been going so far as to begin thinking like thieves so that we can beat them before they get us! We are becoming experts in the field actually!

    I want to try and make a list of controllable variables in the fight against theft for the sake of all of us on this board. These are for during work and down time in between shifts. Here it goes, and by all means, feel free to add:

    1) Side-access doors on enclosed trailers are vulnerable to force entry. Stay away from them if possible.
    2) Covered-shackle locks eliminate the scrub thieves (95% of all thieves) who depend on simple bolt cutters. Combo locks are easy to manage. And remember, popular key locks do not have an infinite amount of differing sets of keys! Thieving bastards everywhere probably have sets and sets of different keys organized by manufacturer.... combo locks rule when used with other options.
    3) If you keep your trailer on your residence, it is fairly safe from noise-making theft since you are right inside most of the time at night, and so are your neighbors. Also, there are some new laws about using deadly force on tresspassers, which oughta make thieves think twice. If your trailers are not stored on residence, you need to be that much more secure.
    4) Thieves will only break into a trailer if they know what is in it. The less people know what is contained, the better. (We have been considering a magnetic sign that goes up when we aren't cutting, something along the lines of, "Trash Hauling", or "Mess Clean-up". This would repel thieves like flies from citronella.)
    5) Consider an alarm on the trailer. Give those bastards a nice little suprise as you run from the backyard with weedwacker in hand, WOT!!
    6) Have a crappy looking trailer, so as to not draw attention. If you got an open trailer, spray-paint your equipment assinine bright colors to identify it or dull colors to make it look like hell.
    7) Keep a dog chained up in the trailer (preferrably an aggressive style dog)! Train him to go for the nuts.
    8) For those who ride solo, keep an inflatable dummy in the passenger seat to "guard" your equipment. Better yet, make it a BIG mean looking dummy! Tinted windows and you can't tell the difference!
    9) Overnight at residence, keep trailer hitch locked and rims/wheels locked to the nearest tree or post. With an alarm set (and a glock under your pillow inside), it is as good as Fort Knox.
    10) Hire a kid to sit in the truck and guard equipment. Give him a blow horn or something. While he's at it, tell him to keep the equipment full of fuel and such...
    11) Parking choice at properties is key. Choose a logical spot with tough ingress/egress from transients. Also, on large commercial props, use multiple staging areas so you are not too far from truck.
    12) Keep a shotgun on a rack (locked up of course) in the back of the truck, visible for all to see. Might spook some thieves, who knows!?
    13) Keep a surveillance camera pointed towards the truck all day, visible or hidden, during work and afterhours. Possibly two pointed at each other so no one can sneak up on it and break it. There's only one thing better than keeping your equipment safe from thieves..... catching someone stealing it and getting them thrown in jail for it!
    14) I thought about electrically energizing all the metal on the rig to shock whoever touches it. Very doubtful if this could ever be a valid idea.....
    15) Most thieves are not going to steal your truck with a trailer on it while you are working because it does not make a very good getaway vehicle. Spend your effort on keeping the trailer secure. Certain rural areas this might not apply.
    16) Lastly, sawzalls can cut through anything, and quick. You can't hope to have your stuff out on an open trailer locked up on racks and think it is secure. You need more security.

    Let's make this thread useful by listing lots of different ideas for us to keep secure. And, of course, this post is begging for some good jokes! Thanks.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    They sell these fake cameras on prankplace that when installed correctly, look pretty realistic and at a price of $15 / camera (with shipping inc.) you can't beat it (compared to over $1000 for the real thing), I found mine at prankplace:

    Also make sure your dealer KEEPS serial numbers of equipment purchased on file, indefinitely is best (mine does). IF something gets stolen, have your dealer enter the serial into the computer - NEXT time someone takes your stolen equipment in for a repair to ANY authorized repair shop, the database your number has been entered into is nationwide and the shop will confiscate your equipment and you will get a phonecall - Be aware the person who brought your equipment in for repair may not be the thief but an unfortunate buyer, still it should help as it informs the unfortunate buyer they shouldn't buy stuff from anything but licensed dealers AND last but not least: Purchasing or otherwise obtaining stolen property is a crime - I wouldn't press charges myself, at least not against someone who did not know it was stolen, but I WOULD let them know that this is my option and they are the only person related to what was once mine and that I'll let it go but someone else just might not...
  3. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Very good start to a very helpful thread.

    I'm not very keen when it comes to thinking like a thief so I can't add much.

    Those magnetic signs you talked about. It seems like it might be a good idea to have a plain enclosed trailer with no signage. Then on the back, put one of those fold down sides that indicate Danger Radioactive.

    For all I know it might be against the law to label something radioactive that is not, so maybe if you put an old radium dial watch in the trailer then it would indeed be radioactive. The sign does not say HOW MUCH radioactivity is present.

    Good luck,
  4. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    Go to home depot and buy a cheap $30 metal engraver. Use this to evgrave your name, address, and phone # in a place on your equipment where it won't where off easy and where the thieves won't see it and scratch it out. This is also helpful if you file a police report. If you tell the the police where to look they can positivly identify the equipment that is yours. Like i said, only $30 i think it is made by Dremel. It sucks that it has to come down to doing all this!
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    One thing that helps is when you have mower or big equipment on trailer is when parking it overnight, back the trailer against a tree - This keeps someone from being able to lower the gate. Of course, stealing a wb or equivalent is another story altogether, most thieves go after the small stuff but still.

    ALWAYS lock your stuff while working. This is a royal pain because of time but I learned draping the chain around your stuff just to make it LOOK like it's locked helps as a deterrent... As a funny side bonus, I learned the chained look helps get rid of the comedians as well, you know those time-wasters who like to come up to us all day long - At least half of them keep walking as soon as they see your fort knox arrangement... Why they would look in the back of my truck is beyond me, but look they do because I guess in the end they really ARE just wasting time.

    I don't so much spray my stuff crappy or for ID but I DO let the equipment go without washing it for that very reason: Even my brand-new wb looks like an old wb after it hasn't been washed for a month - Perfect! Also I took some them bright-colored plastic covers off my bp blower and now it looks like hell's blower - Perfect again!

    When I keep these RED machines at home, I cover them with dull and grey / dark green tarps to cover it but also it is much harder to see the tarp from a distance, it blends in with the shrubbery where the red would stand out.
  6. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    You forgot the most obvious thing.

    PARK YOUR SH!T INSIDE (shed/garage)
  7. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Very good, see this is why I wanted others to contribute. I forgot to mention dummy locks, parking against a wall or such, and the concept of drawing attention. Thanks, Topsites.

    Also, the dummy camera.... we've talked extensively about that. Many thieves are smart enough to know a fake when they see one, but it is still effective.

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