Theft from locked cars

Page 1 of 4  
Lock your valuables in your car's trunk and think that it is safe?
Here's the story. In my local paper's readers letters page a driver wrote that she locked more than $100 of groceries in her car's trunk before going into the liquor store in the same car park. She was away for less than 15 minutes when she found that her car's door lock was damaged beyond repair and her groceries in the trunk stolen.
The warning here is that it is no longer safe to lock things in the car trunk, especially items like laptop computers and your Christmas shopping.
Breaking the car lock is simple enough and my take on this is to find or make a high strength steel T bar which has a flat blade that will jam right into the door lock. One twist and the lock is wrecked. Then it is relatively simple to pop the trunk's lock from the inside trunk latch unlock lever. No one who is not next to the thief to see the act will ever notice anything amiss.
Its a sad commentary on the modern world but its a fact of life. The warning signs in many car parking lots to car owners to be observant for car thieves says everything.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm over 50 years old and I can't remember when it was safe. People have been steeling stuff from trunks since they were first invented.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Too bad those automotive "engineers" can't design cars whose security isn't compromised in under 30 seconds by a high school drop out.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 06 Jan 2004 21:19:36 GMT, "Michael Daly"

They can. They can do pretty much anything. The criteria is whether the customers will pay for it, and does it enhance the bottom line. Fords used to be so easy to steal that insurance companies told FoMoCo to either fix the problem, or else Ford customers would find they were paying higher insurance than Chevy owners. Ford immediately realized that was gonna hurt their reputation and sales numbers. The problem was magically fixed in the next model year.
BB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6-Jan-2004, BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

They didn't. Fords are still easy to steal. There just not as popular as Hondas etc - 'least around here.
Ford in Britain has been hit by the govt, I understand. They are making the steering columns tougher as a result. Not in NA, however.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 03:54:10 GMT, "Michael Daly"

Sorry. but you are incorrect. Ford DID made changes to make them as hard to steal as a Chevy. It was enough to satisfy the insurance companies. That doesn't mean they are "hard" to steal, it means they are no easier to steal than the competition.
BB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7-Jan-2004, BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

As hard as a chevy? Whoopteedoo! Like, every car thief goes on and on about how hard a Chevy is to steal!

Then what's the point? Being better than useless is not the same as being good.
They haven't made any significant change in the vehicles sold in NA. They are trivially easy to steal. The only thing that will stop a car thief (according to a reformed car thief interviewed on a news special recently) is a combination of an alarm and club. They won't waste their time when there's easier picking in the next parking spot.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 19:10:35 GMT, "Michael Daly"

You are not a very good reader. Your comprehension (is that word too big for you?) is very poor.
BB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7-Jan-2004, BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

_I_ have a comprehension problem? I ask why the idiots in Detroit can't make theftproof cars and you respond with nonsense about a trivial change made by Ford. Do you know what theftproof means? Are you challenged by doorknobs? - You think car thieves are?
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 21:06:00 GMT, "Michael Daly"

Yes, you clearly have a comprehension problem. It seems to be aggravated by a lack of critical thinking skills.
BB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

A lot of new cars are coming with anti-theft features factory- installed.Alarms with ignition kill,On-Star,Lo-Jack,special keys,or no-key remote entry systems;you keep a passive RFID device inside your pocket,and the car unlocks as you approach,locks when you leave.
Me,I'd like a microwave proximity sensor with a silent paging alarm. Then I can catch them in the act. B-)
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik-at-kua.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, but mostly on high-end cars. I'm not convinced the solution has to be so expensive. If they could just get it to the point where the thieves have to either spent ten minutes or tow away to steal, they'd get rid of a lot of problems. Thirty seconds to a joy ride is probably more of a crime of opportunity - a tow-away would only be for the dedicated specialists that steal to order.
Having On-Star shut down the car in traffic or something like that is a bit of too-little, too-late. Expensive, good for retribution, but not for prevention.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
news:MC6Lb.30472

that is a bit of

for prevention.
I used to think that the best anti-theft device would be a rear license plate that would drop down when the car was stolen. On the back would be the words "F..k you PIGS".
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Michael Daly wrote:

I could steal a car equipped with a club in about 10 seconds. All I gotta do is spray the lock to freeze it and then shatter it (Learned this from a friend that is a repo man). also, I had a friend that was using on of those clubs, and they cut her steering wheel to get it off.
The club is basically a waste of money. Use that money to install a kill switch instead.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was watching one of those repo. shows on the Learning Chanel the other day, and they mentioned how easy it was to repo a car which was "protected" by the club. They had a special tool that was applied in such a way to bend the thing and snap it off. These repo guys took less time to remove the club than it took the car owner to put in in place.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My father, the locksmith, had the answer. There have always been and always well be thieves. People are thieves because they are lazy.
If your property is better protected and less inviting than your neighbor's, it is safe. No matter how good your locks are, someone can beat them. So just look next door and make yours better or make sure your property appears less attractive.
I had a neighbor with several million in art on his walls. His home had paint pealing off the sides and was the shabbiest in the neighborhood. He never had any trouble. Few people knew he had anything valuable inside.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The trunk lock on my mother's mid-'80's car (US maker mid-size sedan) screwed up once (the cylinder turns inside a soft nylon bushing, which simply rounded off its flat sides, but that's off topic) and I was faced with some friend's luggage stuck in the trunk. I was eventually referred to a local body-shop guy; I pulled into his yard and started telling him the problem, and before I got five words out he had it open. The only thing in his hand was a piece of bent wire. I'll stop short of describing just what he did (if only because it happened so fast I didn't even catch it) but it had nothing to do with the lock cylinder itself and it left no marks or damage.
Truthfully, it would be simpler to do it his way than to fumble for the right key. If a thief had done this in a parking lot, I'd be hard-pressed to convince someone I'd ever put the goods in there to begin with - or I'd have to suspect family members who had copies of the key.
Inadvertent poor security? I strongly suspect that entry methods are deliberately engineered, to accomodate lock-outs.
Now, the problem with the lock, *that* was astonishingly poor engineering.
Chip C Toronto
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tuesday, Michael Daly poured vast amounts of knowledge into alt.home.repair

That isn't much of a problem, but then you'd have people complaining that it's impossible to get back into the car if you lock your keys in! Can't make anyone happy!
--

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
Trey Waters snipped-for-privacy@sidestreet.tzo.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 18:29:37 GMT, Trey Waters

Like home security schemes, you *can't* prevent burglary -- you can only make it difficult enough that the thief will move on to easier pickings.
I read a very amusing article by a fellow who'd had numerous car sound systems and cars stolen, and finally started driving a featurless junker, which was stolen. Police told him old, anonymous cars were desirable as getaway vehicles.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I knew a fellow who proudly showed me all his security features. He had an extensive alarm system, complete with pager and ignition kill. He also had a removable stereo that fit into a custom shoulder bag. The finishing touch was that he had a removable steering wheel that also had a fancy shoulder bag.
I immediately pointed out to him that while his car was "slightly" safer, he would now be a choice target for muggers (and possible death) as he walked around NYC with those fancy bags hanging off his shoulder.
BB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.