(OT) Update on Car Burglaries

by Bendrr 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • Bendrr

    Sorry to bring off-topic personal issues to the board but I really need to vent.

    You'll recall my post of a few days ago asking some technology advice. On a regular basis, my car is being entered at night by person(s) unknown and basically just searched. I'll come out and find a door ajar and the glove box open but nothing missing. The CD player is always untouched, but it's a detachable face unit so that's understandable. (or am I being overly optimistic about thieves not wanting a CD player with the faceplate removed?)

    I've got 2 JL Audio 12" subwoofers in the trunk, visible thru the back window. The speaker box won't come out without major disassembly though. The car is a '79 Camaro. There's plenty of room in the trunk but the trunk lid is way small so I had to build the box inside the trunk. Mounted on top of the box under the trunk lid and therefore not visible from the back glass is a $500 Alpine V12 5-channel amp that until today was only secured to the box by 4 screws. The thieves have got to know that stuff is there, yet have made no effort to take any of it.

    It's like they're just regularly searching the car.

    Now here's where the story gets scary.

    Last night it happened yet again. I came out this morning to find the passenger's side door open. And that's the side of the car visible from the street! There were two cardboard boxes in the passenger's side floorboard that I'd brought home from the shop and forgot to take out last night. In one of the boxes was my radio control motorcycle, it's transmitter, batteries, and battery charger. In the other was a bunch of personal papers I'd cleaned out of my toolbox at work. All my log books, notebooks that I wrote down everything I worked on and my daily totals, a lot of my health insurance related stuff, and all my check stubs. Yeah I know, I was stupid to leave the boxes in the car, I'm still kicking myself over that.

    But it scares the hell out of me knowing they took that box with nothing but papers in it. Now "they" know my name, social security number, where I work, and how much I earn. First thing I did was notify Experian, Equifax, and Trans-Union and put a fraud alert on my credit. I don't know how much good that will do though. I filed a police report too. Hopefully the motorcycle may be a clue for the cops. As far as I know, there's not another one in Macon. So if it shows up at a pawn shop, maybe the cops will notice. But maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.

    I spent most of today securing the subs and amp so that if someone does want to remove them it will take at least an hour's worth of work, even more if they don't have the keys to the padlocks. I also finally bought an alarm and will have it wired up tomorrow.

    I don't know if this is someone who knows me or just some of the hoodlums from the nearby "bad" neighborhoods. Honestly, I'm getting a little paranoid because none of the other cars in this parking lot have ever been touched. I mean, how would you feel? Me? I've gone on high alert. I told my boss today that I'm wearing my gun to and from work instead of leaving it in the car and when I walk in, it goes in my toolbox. I want it nearby, paranoid and crazy as that may sound.

    My shotgun is loaded and right beside my bed. First round in the chamber is a phosphorus round, supposed to be for pyrotechnics but it'll burn the hell out of any miscreant unlucky enough to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's the one and only warning shot. The rest of the rounds are double-ought buck. Under my pillow at nights is my double-action .45 loaded with Hydra-Shok hollow points and yes there is one in the chamber. I also went and prepped "Big Bertha" for action. "Big Bertha" is my SKS rifle. Synthetic folding stock, pistol grip, 20-round magazine, has certain other "special modifications" that I can't get into publicly, and is loaded with Russian-made hollow points so it NEVER jams.

    Yes, I am THAT serious. It's one thing to try and steal my speakers and amp. That's just one of the risks you accept when you put a system in your car around here, and all you can do is make it as hard to steal as possible which I did. It's another thing to regularly search my car, just go in and look without taking or even trying to take anything, and finally take my nephews' upcoming Christmas gift AND A BOX OF PERSONAL DOCUMENTS. And all the time, my car is the only one in the parking lot to be even touched.

    Yeah, try and tell me that ain't threatening!

    They get one last chance. For the next few nights I'll be taping a note to the car's window. The note will politely ask that they return the box of documents, and even offer a no-questions-asked reward for the return of the motorcycle. (yeah right! the cops WILL be notified and hopefully be watching). I'm gonna leave the note on the car window and a 5 dollar bill taped somewhere, the note will tell them where. Once the alarm is hooked up I'll be sleeping with a window open (don't worry, bars on my windows) to listen for it. I'm even thinking of changing my sleeping hours so I can spend a few hours late-nights on sentry duty. If I catch the bastards, they better run fast because I'm not dialing 911 until AFTER I've fired shots.

    "Well officer, I thought I saw one of them point a gun at me."

    <coming back to this post after a couple of phone calls and an email>

    I'm sorry to sound so harsh y'all and I know many of you will be greatly offended by some of the things I've said. I'm not going to go back and edit any of this post out and I'm not going to apologize for feeling this way. I'm frustrated, angry, and feel just so god damn helpless! I just don't feel like I can count on the cops. They're out there writing fu**ing seat belt tickets. The cop this morning spent 30 seconds (yes I DID time him) dusting only TWO spots on my car for prints. About 1/2 square foot on the center console and about 1/2 square foot on the dash right above the glove box. He yawned and said "musta been wearing gloves". I stood out in the driveway waving to him as he drove past the house three times, then had to call back to 911 and give directions. When he did get here, while he was a nice guy, he really didn't seem to give much of a damn. But I do give a damn. I've drawn my gun before and will again. I learned from first-hand experience and also from some old cop friends that "word gets around" amongst the hoodlums about who not to mess with. It's time for "word to get around" again not to mess with that green Camaro on College Street.

    Thanks for your time. I'd say wish me luck, but know I'll probably get flamed royally. Oh well. Welcome to Macon.


  • Elsewhere

    Another poster once suggested putting razor blades under the dash where the stereo is... he said it worked wonders for him... of course cleaning up all the blood was a bit of a pain.

    Can you try parking your car somewhere else... for instance in a place not visible from the road? I would suggest you go ahead and get an alarm that will go off if someone opens the doors. They only cost about $50.

  • Bendrr

    Still working on how to emply razor blades, Elsewhere.

    No, I want the car visible for the cops.

    Plus in this case, when it's visible for the cops it also means I have the best visibility too. I need decent light to make a decent shot.


  • StinkyPantz

    Damn, this really sucks! The fact that your car is the only one being messed with sounds very suspicious. . .any specific suspects? I agree with Elsewhere though, an alarm would be a decent deterrent. . it's better than nothing at all.

  • Elsewhere

    The reason I suggest moving it to a less visible location is because it may be drawing attention to itself.

  • Gadget
    none of the other cars in this parking lot have ever been touched.

    Is yours the only car in the lot that is unlocked? If you locked the car now I don't think they would smash a window to break in. They have been in so many times and know there is nothing in there to steal so why break a window and draw attention to yourself if there's nothing there to make it worth your while.

  • Prisca

    If you can, I would suggest staying up all night and looking out for these guys. Sit at your window with the lights off, waiting for the first person to sniff around your car. Have your gun beside you, but don't aim at them, just aim above their heads (and at an angle so you don't accidently shoot anyone living across the road) to scare them off.

    As a victim of car burglaries, I can understand your frustration and anger.

  • Bendrr

    Bridget, I'm still racking my brains trying to think of suspects but haven't really come up with anything definite.

    I can't rule out my neighbors, but don't know them well enough to make a good judgement.

    The other basement apartment in this house is occupied by a 20-something girl who has her slacker boyfriend and a couple of his slacker buddies living with her. I've only spoken to her a couple of times in passing, and once was to warn her about the car break-ins.

    The attic apartment just got new residents. The group who used to live up there were a pretty seedy bunch. Back in January they were the victim of a "home invasion" robbery, but one of the investigating cops came down to my place later that evening with the landlord to ask if I'd seen anything and he also shared some of the details. It wasn't a true "home invasion", the suspects were two guys they knew. The cop speculated that it was possibly a drug deal gone bad, as he told me he'd noticed "paraphenalia" laying around the place.

    The new residents up there, well best I can tell so far is they're just a bunch of partyers. They seem nice enough though.

    The landlord drives me nuts sometimes. He's known amongst the local beggars to pay them $5 and $10 here and there to cut the grass or do little clean-up jobs. I told him yesterday that's not too good of an idea. For one thing, even though he's getting them to work for their handout he's still encouraging their behavior. Also, since they all seem to know they can come here for a few bucks regularly, that's a good opportunity to "case" the place. When you're dealing with people like that, it's naive and foolish to assume the best of their motives.

    There's a guy who used to work with me who I've found out went and burglarized another employee's car not too long ago. The guys at work know pretty much where I live, I've never made a big secret of it even though I haven't told them an exact street address. I wouldn't put it past Larry and if he's been here before then I'm sure plenty of his low-life buddies know where I live too.

    I finished wiring up the car's alarm today. It was a real pain in the butt, but I'm glad to have it. Not only does it have the typical motion detector function, it also has a voltage drop sensor and disables the starter. For only $60, I got a damn good deal.

    I'm hoping that the cops will start patrolling my street more and maybe catch these bozos.


  • Elsewhere
    I finished wiring up the car's alarm today. It was a real pain in the butt, but I'm glad to have it. Not only does it have the typical motion detector function, it also has a voltage drop sensor and disables the starter. For only $60, I got a damn good deal.

    Excellent! Not bad for $60!

    I have installed an alarm before and it really is a pain... digging around under the dash, passing wires through the fire-wall, cutting and splicing wires hoping you don't screw up your cars ignition... etc...

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