I just hate thieves...

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Preacher

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After I bought my Subaru Outback in 2017 I learned Subaru invisibly stamps the VIN in several undetectable places under the car. They also have an app that can locate a stolen car, using the sensors that are in the computer chips.
I don't know if all that would save the catalytic converter though. The Outback's ground clearance is about as high as my old Ford 4x4 Ranger's clearance. It has skid plates under it as factory standard equipment. But it still looks like it would be hard to get under on a creeper to me.

One fairly cheap way to stall a theft would possibly be the use of bronze manifold pipes instead of steel pipes. Copper-rich bronze alloy gums up any saw blade's teeth quickly to the point the blade is useless. Bronze won't stop a pipe cutter, though. The hard bronze alloys that make a pipe cutter slow going won't bend like steel, but running over a rock could break those alloys, where steel pipe would just dent.

Thievery is an immortal problem for sure. They've always been around and always will be.
regards,
stanger

I think I may have posted this before but I can say it again.

My dad used to say locks just keep an honest man honest. I remember when I lived in OK, the Sherriff's office of our local county was thought to be corrupt. I did not have an opinion but a lot of people who were arrested said that the Sherriff and the deputies were not honest men. I just wrote it off as sour grapes because those people got arrested doing something wrong.
A few years later the Sherriff and a number of deputies were busted for being thieves. They actually had one of the deputies on camera taking a pair binoculars that was on a table of a man they had just arrested. The other cop who was working with another law enforcement agency assisting the Sherriff, but was also spying on them for the feds, had the guy on camera. The deputy picked up the binoculars and said, "wow these are really nice", one of the other deputies said, "it would be a shame if they came up missing" and then the first deputy took the binoculars and put them in his car.

The plate I installed will not deter a determined thief, it will just slow them down which I hope would also help them get caught. One of the guys on the Tundra forum had his cats stolen, got them replaced and then installed the shield. He came out of work and saw that his truck was gone. The thieves had used a tow truck to tow the truck a few miles away where they stole his cats again.
 

Preacher

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UPDATE*****

Cats were stolen May 2, police report filed.
I called the PD asking for an update on 5/10, was told a detective would get back to me.

I got a call yesterday, 5/24 from the detective telling me my case was being suspended for lack of evidence. I asked about the VIDEO that showed them stealing my cats. The detective said the video really did not show anything other than the "grey van". They were not able to see a license plate or a face of the thieves. I asked what "suspended" meant. He said that they just did not have enough to go on to keep investigating the case.
I asked what they had done to investigate. He said they had filed it with the state and that was about all they do as they did not have much to go on. I even mentioned that apparently the thieves had hit the golf course a few months earlier, he said he knew that and that they had hit the post office as well. I then mentioned that the golf course had a picture of the first thefts which the thieves were driving a red Jeep Patriot. Did they investigate as to someone who might have had a Red Jeep and now is the proud owner of a grey van? He said, no we think the two are not related. He was not interested in talking any more about the case and I dropped it instead of saying what I think of their detective work.

I said, "well, thanks for your efforts, I guess?"

Thieves 1 = Police 0
 

RoscoeElegante

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Here's something:

I used to be a thief.

Pretty small, and generally quite selfish, stuff. E.g., shoplifting fishing lures when 11, 12 yrs. old. I could afford them at the time. I routinely worked at lawn-care jobs, shoveling driveways, etc. But the thrill of stealing appealed to me and my best friend. We were pretty angry kids stuck in frustrating situations. As we let ourselves see things, stealing was one way to feel that we were avenging the violations to our dignity we felt we were suffering. That's NOT, at all, an excuse. But it was our "reality."

When we got caught--at a Kmart, because my friend took a lure out of its box and tried to stuff it and its three treble hooks into his sock, and was limping and "OUCH!"-ing conspicuously--I was ashamed and scared. Dad aptly almost ran me over with his '72 Chrysler Newport coming to pick me up. I couldn't look my grandma, a person of rock-solid decency, in the eye for weeks. We stopped stealing, cold.

For a while. Then we began stealing cases of beer out of neighbors' garages. Sold about 2/3rds of that loot, and drank the rest. Never got caught at that.

We also stole a lot of lumber from construction sites. Built street and ice hockey nets out of them. Made ourselves a nice penny, and bought an off-road motorcycle with it. Flying down roads we weren't licensed to drive, we never thought about our serial wrongdoing. Whoo-hoo.

Later, I found myself stealing a neighbor's morning newspaper about once a week. The fact that my first wife was worse--she'd steal magazines from doctors' offices, office supplies from work, glasses and cups and dishes from restaurants, even a typewriter--didn't help. She'd been quite poor at points in her teen years, so it was a compensatory compulsion, as the terminology goes.

Mine had become that, too. Between the flush young-teen and financially stable young adult years, I'd been homeless for several periods. Snagging pizza crusts out of dumpsters, lining my coat pockets with plastic bags so the half-eaten apples didn't leak through, grabbing a yet-to-be-served steak momentarily left too near the edge of a sidewalk cafe's railing, waking up in a church doorway just to check on the half a sandwich preserved for the next day's one certain meal--that really does something to you. You get velcro on your eyes. You want to snag every possible calorie you can. Especially if you've got a Buffalo winter to endure.

So when I conquered that urge with the help of a secure job, a home, property that was all mine, of course karma came biting. In the past 30+ years, I've had everything from a hammock, porch furniture, a canoe, a jonboat, a lawnmower, fishing gear, sports equipment, tools, etc., to many thousands of dollars, stolen. The former by whomevers, and the latter by three (count 'em!) ex-wives. Add the costs of all the vandalism we've suffered to that, and we've had lots of security stolen. As well as things, including vehicles, smashed and ruined.

So I understand how incredibly violating it is to be a thief's victim. That sense of your efforts and security being s##t on, of your respectful good will toward others' rights being completely spited, of that time and effort compacted into and symbolized by the stolen things being completely mocked--it's profound. Whenever I'm robbed anew--a few months ago, someone reached into my porch and stole a wet rainjacket, of all things--I flash back to catching a guilty glimpse of my neighbor's face when he'd come outside for his paper to see it obviously stolen. He looked--hurt, above all. He had trusted others. There was good will, real caring, in that trust. And that trust had been hit, hard.

So, confession done, I gotta say, whatever a thief's motives, whether the thrill of rule-breaking or the greed of something for nothing or the need to eat, absolutely stealing has to be punished. Lines have to be drawn and maintained, excuses have to be utterly rejected, and mercy very carefully meted out on that basis, distinguishing between real need and mere spite and greed. Hell, as hungry, cold, and scared as I was when homeless, if I had put my shame aside and gotten in line at the charities, I could have been given enough food so I didn't have to steal it. And, of course, if the local, recession-staggered economy had offered jobs--Gawd knows, I looked and begged for jobs, in line with all the former steel and auto workers also desperate for minimum-wage "anything"--I could have earned instead of just taking. However embarrassing the blocks of government cheese and packages of dried milk handouts would have been, I had been selfish for putting my wounded pride above innocent others' rights. And, of course, once I had enough paid work so I didn't "have to" steal food, I especially had no right to let hunger and shame's bad habits fester. So I hope that karma has taken back enough from me. But I kinda doubt it. We stole a lot of beer back when we had nothing remotely near a good reason for doing so. (Even if most of it was Genesee Cream Ale.)

Also made some amends, I think, by being a social worker for 11 years and a teacher for 36 years, Head Start volunteer, etc., etc.

In sum (yay!), it seems to me that because humans and life are such messy things, simple clarities are often the codified kindness we most need. Erase the lines with misplaced mercy, let excuses erode everyday obligations, and you invite rather than minimize the chaos that violates everyone's rights.
 
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Preacher

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@RoscoeElegante well written and said!

I was 11 the first time I lifted something from our local grocery store. We wanted to have a water balloon fight and my dad had bought us a fifty pack of balloons. We had a blast throwing those balloons at each other in the middle of summer. So much fun that we wanted to continue but my Dad said, only one pack of balloons.
So my friend and I jumped on our bikes and rode down to the grocery store. My buddy suggested since I had never been picked up by the law like he had (whatever he was just scared) that I should do the deed and stuff that package of balloons in my underwear and walk out. I did and we had a blast with that package of balloons once we got to my house.

But my conscious just would not let it be. I could not sleep for fear that someone had saw me and the police would catch me and lock me up. It was a sleepless night that turned into an even worse morning when my mom asked me to ride down to the grocery store and pick up a half gallon of milk. She handed me the money, and with shaking hands I took it and hopped my bike and rode to the store.

As I was standing in line at the counter to pay for the milk the local police officer walked in. I was sure I was done for, going away to the big house until I hit 18 or got early parole. The officer loitered around, I was sure he was waiting on me. I paid for the milk and walked out as fast as I could expecting Johnny Lawman to cuff me and stuff me in the back of his cruiser. I got on my bike and rode for home, thinking I had escaped when I looked behind me and saw the squad car pull out of the parking lot. He was coming my way and it took all of my willpower to not pull over and throw my hands in the air and surrender.

The Police car passed me by and I rode home in a sweat for I had come mighty close to spending my teenage years in jail.
I gave my Mom the milk, went into my room and broke open the piggy bank. I had a few bucks squirreled away and I grabbed a dollar worth of coins and went back to the store. I walked up to the girl who was running the register and told her that we had not been charged for the balloons the day before and I wanted to make it right. I handed over a dollar in change and said that should cover it. She tried to refuse it but I told her that I wanted to make it right, and I turned and left not giving in to her reluctance to take the money.

Such a weight lifted from my shoulders. I could breath again and life felt so much better as I rode home. I even saw the police car on the way home and gave him a wave.

That was over 40 years ago and I still remember every detail and every thought of guilt I had.

I even told the police man who responded to the call if the people who stole my cats needed cash I would have gladly given them some money out of my own pocket.
 

Telekarster

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When we got caught--at a Kmart, because my friend took a lure out of its box and tried to stuff it and its three treble hooks into his sock, and was limping and "OUCH!"-ing conspicuously--I was ashamed and scared. Dad aptly almost ran me over with his '72 Chrysler Newport coming to pick me up. I couldn't look my grandma, a person of rock-solid decency, in the eye for weeks. We stopped stealing, cold.

Wow man! You and I had nearly the exact same experience! I was probably 13 and, like the dumb kid I was, I decided I'd steal a pack of smokes from the stand... at a K-Mart no less! I was with my Mom and Dad. As we were walking out the store, the store manager stopped us and said "Sir, I witnessed your son stealing a pack of smokes..." My Dad and Mom looked at me with a look that, to this day, gives me chills. He then said "Follow me please" I knew I was a dead man/kid. We got up to his office and we all sat down, the manager standing in front of us. My Dad says to him "Sir, do whatever you feel is necessary, I'm on your side." :eek: The manager looks strait at me after that comment with this sort of "gotcha" look on his face. He said "Ok son, hand me over the pack of smokes" I pulled em out of my jacket pocket. My Mom and Dad had a look of "Just wait until we get home..."

Then the manager says "You realize what I could do to you right now, don't you? I could call the cops right now and have you arrested, you'd go to juvi, and you'll have a criminal record for the rest of your life. And you'll probably be expelled from school indefinitely, ruining your life forever. However, I know your Parents are honorable people. They've proven that to me already and therefore, you simply missed a valuable lessen from them. You made a big mistake tonight, and it is my job to ensure you learn this lessen well. Your Father has given me power to do so. Rather than destroy your young life with an arrest, over something of little significance, I think all you need is a bit more "training". Therefore, you will report to me this weekend, starting Friday after school, you will work for me the entire weekend. You will open the store with me, and close it with me. You will be my shadow. Your payment will be the lessen that you will learn. Or, I can call the cops right now. The choice is yours, what will it be?" I was STUNNED.... I didn't know what to say, being in shock and all. My Dad piped up and said "Thank you, Sir. I will pick him up from school on Friday and we'll see you at 3:30pm if that is ok."

When I got home, oh boy.... that's a whole nother story. I never stole anything EVER again! In fact, I once tried to find that Manager several years ago, to no avail. I wanted to thank him sincerely for the lessen he taught me that night. I really owe him a debt of gratitude for setting me on the strait and narrow :cool: You just can't put a price on that type of "training" ;)
 

RoscoeElegante

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@RoscoeElegante well written and said!

I was 11 the first time I lifted something from our local grocery store. We wanted to have a water balloon fight and my dad had bought us a fifty pack of balloons. We had a blast throwing those balloons at each other in the middle of summer. So much fun that we wanted to continue but my Dad said, only one pack of balloons.
So my friend and I jumped on our bikes and rode down to the grocery store. My buddy suggested since I had never been picked up by the law like he had (whatever he was just scared) that I should do the deed and stuff that package of balloons in my underwear and walk out. I did and we had a blast with that package of balloons once we got to my house.

But my conscious just would not let it be. I could not sleep for fear that someone had saw me and the police would catch me and lock me up. It was a sleepless night that turned into an even worse morning when my mom asked me to ride down to the grocery store and pick up a half gallon of milk. She handed me the money, and with shaking hands I took it and hopped my bike and rode to the store.

As I was standing in line at the counter to pay for the milk the local police officer walked in. I was sure I was done for, going away to the big house until I hit 18 or got early parole. The officer loitered around, I was sure he was waiting on me. I paid for the milk and walked out as fast as I could expecting Johnny Lawman to cuff me and stuff me in the back of his cruiser. I got on my bike and rode for home, thinking I had escaped when I looked behind me and saw the squad car pull out of the parking lot. He was coming my way and it took all of my willpower to not pull over and throw my hands in the air and surrender.

The Police car passed me by and I rode home in a sweat for I had come mighty close to spending my teenage years in jail.
I gave my Mom the milk, went into my room and broke open the piggy bank. I had a few bucks squirreled away and I grabbed a dollar worth of coins and went back to the store. I walked up to the girl who was running the register and told her that we had not been charged for the balloons the day before and I wanted to make it right. I handed over a dollar in change and said that should cover it. She tried to refuse it but I told her that I wanted to make it right, and I turned and left not giving in to her reluctance to take the money.

Such a weight lifted from my shoulders. I could breath again and life felt so much better as I rode home. I even saw the police car on the way home and gave him a wave.

That was over 40 years ago and I still remember every detail and every thought of guilt I had.

I even told the police man who responded to the call if the people who stole my cats needed cash I would have gladly given them some money out of my own pocket.
I'm glad to say that my four kids are this honest--particularly my sons.

My youngest daughter was on the natural scamp and born-charmer side of things. She loved to test and bend rules, to flirt with risk. So, in her teen years, the booze and beer on our shelves and her friends' parents' shelves would thin out sometimes when she was around. And there were some improbably explained car dents, etc. But she was honest when it mattered most, and then became consistently so.

Her older sister stole something once: her beloved 1st grade teacher's pen pouch. She used it at home to "teach" class to her lined-up stuffed animals, and returned it, feeling guilty as hell, the next day.

I feel like I've righted a few of my wrongs by putting some honest people into the world. Even though, when my youngest daughter is visiting, I do notice that I tend to hide my wallet....
 

Painter644

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Also being targeted… headlight and taillight assemblies. Check the prices you’ll understand why.
Car makers, in an attempt to aid their stealers’ service areas, have redesigned headlights and taillights into single units and have buried them so simple bulb changes cannot be done by a DIYer, or at least made so difficult requiring special tools - all to protect the stealer.
 

Toto'sDad

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Wow man! You and I had nearly the exact same experience! I was probably 13 and, like the dumb kid I was, I decided I'd steal a pack of smokes from the stand... at a K-Mart no less! I was with my Mom and Dad. As we were walking out the store, the store manager stopped us and said "Sir, I witnessed your son stealing a pack of smokes..." My Dad and Mom looked at me with a look that, to this day, gives me chills. He then said "Follow me please" I knew I was a dead man/kid. We got up to his office and we all sat down, the manager standing in front of us. My Dad says to him "Sir, do whatever you feel is necessary, I'm on your side." :eek: The manager looks strait at me after that comment with this sort of "gotcha" look on his face. He said "Ok son, hand me over the pack of smokes" I pulled em out of my jacket pocket. My Mom and Dad had a look of "Just wait until we get home..."

Then the manager says "You realize what I could do to you right now, don't you? I could call the cops right now and have you arrested, you'd go to juvi, and you'll have a criminal record for the rest of your life. And you'll probably be expelled from school indefinitely, ruining your life forever. However, I know your Parents are honorable people. They've proven that to me already and therefore, you simply missed a valuable lessen from them. You made a big mistake tonight, and it is my job to ensure you learn this lessen well. Your Father has given me power to do so. Rather than destroy your young life with an arrest, over something of little significance, I think all you need is a bit more "training". Therefore, you will report to me this weekend, starting Friday after school, you will work for me the entire weekend. You will open the store with me, and close it with me. You will be my shadow. Your payment will be the lessen that you will learn. Or, I can call the cops right now. The choice is yours, what will it be?" I was STUNNED.... I didn't know what to say, being in shock and all. My Dad piped up and said "Thank you, Sir. I will pick him up from school on Friday and we'll see you at 3:30pm if that is ok."

When I got home, oh boy.... that's a whole nother story. I never stole anything EVER again! In fact, I once tried to find that Manager several years ago, to no avail. I wanted to thank him sincerely for the lessen he taught me that night. I really owe him a debt of gratitude for setting me on the strait and narrow :cool: You just can't put a price on that type of "training" ;)

We had slightly different fathers. My old man would have clubbed me upside the head for stealing only ONE packs smokes, especially after he ran interference for me by slipping down on the cement floor near the smokes and hollering "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" Those Pell Mells were especially hard to hide in an eight years old's clothing! ;)
 

Gardo

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I would love to know what specific type of cutter they used to do this so quickly and cleanly. I'm not kidding.
If I were a thief I would use something like this without the guard and probably without the extra handle. Yes I’ve used grinders without guards and handles plenty of times. Once you’re comfortable using it they’re not bad
7626136C-EEFB-45FD-9BA3-3B2792D26E8A.jpeg
 

Spox

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Wise words wherever they came from. Me, I'm just an old goat. There are people who will tell you that things are no worse now, maybe that they are even better now than they were fifty years ago. They will often have a handful of "statistics" to prove what they say is true. The one thing they forget is that I was alive fifty years ago, and KNOW the truth.
The quote is from the movie Sicario.
 

Flat6Driver

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Car makers, in an attempt to aid their stealers’ service areas, have redesigned headlights and taillights into single units and have buried them so simple bulb changes cannot be done by a DIYer, or at least made so difficult requiring special tools - all to protect the stealer.
I think you're trying to be funny ot make some other point.

The fanciest tool I have needed for a bulb change is a torx socket.
 

Toto'sDad

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The quote is from the movie Sicario.
As luck would have it, I saw the movie Sicario was running on BBC america tonight just before we took Alex for his walk. There was about twenty minutes of it left, and I saw I guess the star do some serious work. Then he talked to a woman, and made her sign something, and said something along the lines of you aren't a wolf. I should watch the whole thing sometime.
 

Painter644

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I think you're trying to be funny ot make some other point.

The fanciest tool I have needed for a bulb change is a torx socket.
You’ve never owned an Audi…I could do a lot of little things to my ‘94 and ‘98 but after ‘01, forget it. My independent Audi mechanic also bemoans their “designs” to keep as many repairs in the stealers as possible - and that’s where he came from.
 

Bourbon Burst

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Cities are always competing to be the "safest city in America" as well. My city has been high on the list numerous years, and a big reason is when you call them out to take a report, they won't file a report. They just try to talk you out of filing a report. One time a neighbor caught a guy red-handed trying to steal his driveshaft, and held him while the cops came. The cops came and talked to the guy, and just let him go. Years ago I called them out for a couple of thefts, and they would not take fingerprints. No report filed, no crime.
I wonder what the cops would have done after they wouldn't arrest the thief if you stole something out of his squad car. I mean you should be allowed to, right?
 

Red Ryder

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A friend of mine since the 4th grade was a thief. After 8th grade I rarely saw him. After I returned from the military I ran into him in the local saloon one night. He asked for a ride and I told him sure. Pulling up to his place we were met by a couple outlaw biker types who wanted to see him. I pulled back my jacket and showed them I was packing heat and told them to back off and told the old friend to hit the bricks running. Things caught up to him about 6 months latter. He was found in a shallow river bed wrapped up with 3 big rocks in saranwrap with 2 bullets in the back of his head. 24 years old. He was stealing from the same club he was prospecting for.
 




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