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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Lock your shop! Hide your tools! Yell at strangers!


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33 replies to this topic

#1 Subarutex

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 11:09 PM

On Tuesday evening, I went to my parents to work on my project, like I do every Tuesday evening.

What I found, was that someone had forced open the garage door, and walked off with my Lincoln 135 MIG welder (not the gas cylinder or cart though), Milwaukee portable bandsaw, 3M-Hornell Speedglas autoshade welding helmet, and my craftsman 90* die grinder.

However, they did not take my 30gal Air compressor (on wheels), nor the other air tools that were on the bench next to the die grinder. They also passed up a dewalt sawzall (which was in a case ONTOP of the bandsaw case). I'm not even going to comment on the car parts that they could have walked off with.

Garage was closed (with 6" gap at bottom for the cat), but only latched via the automatic garage opener. Hopefully my parents homeowners insurance will come through, but take this as a lesson.

I've had very few people over to the garage, its located on a quiet suburban street, set back (and downhill) from the street, usually with several cars parked in front of it. I can only guess someone scoped some stuff while walking by one night while I was there working. As my parents don't use the garage, so its closed all the time.

Thieves were nice, and used a crescent wrench to disconnect the gas from the welder, police actually took it in for finger printing... We'll see.

All in all, I wonder what I've done wrong. I've had my wagon broken into 3 times, one of my RX's once, and now this...

Oh, so learn this:
- Keep reciepts
- Photograph items
- Document serial #'s
- "personalize" tools to make them unique

#2 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 11:21 PM

I was told by an officer of the law, that when you identify something its not enough to put your initials in it. He suggests something like your drivers license number... which is what I use on any single tool that costs more than $300 to replace.

Also on my bikes. But i feel yah... ive had tools go missing and most likely supported some tweakers habit :(

#3 monstaru

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 11:22 PM

mental note......

sprinkle .45 shells about in front of garage tomorrow....************in *********************s.....

sorry man.......

#4 baccaruda

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 12:12 AM

damn, Chris, sorry to hear that. Watch out on Craigslist, you might see your stuff.
In addition to the .45 casings (good call, B), I suggest a wireless camera or two. put up flyers advertising for that **********'s scalp at the roughest bars you can find.

Edited by baccaruda, 15 October 2009 - 12:17 AM.


#5 Legacy777

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 09:49 AM

Yeah, I'm rather cautious who I have in my garage, and lock everything up when I'm out of town. Got way too much crap in there.

#6 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:04 PM

Gotta be something about the location that's causing you such misfortune. There a big tweaker population around there or something?

How about an automatic flood-light in front of the garage? Assuming this took place at night....

GD

#7 ferox

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:43 PM

I can only guess someone scoped some stuff while walking by one night while I was there working.

I think about this too. My shop opens toward the street. Even though it's quite ways off the street, when I am working at night with the front garage door open I feel like I am in a display case. However, I figure when they look in my shop all they see is Harbor Freight orange and don't bother. So maybe you should paint all your remaining stuff orange.

Hopefully the homeowners insurance company and agent are cool. And even better, hopefully they catch them, it happens. I don't know how many times I have been ripped-off in my life, and it is hard not to be really *ing angry and have it consume your thoughts for a while.

Thwiekers suck

#8 nipper

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 11:37 PM

Depending upon the location of a shed or garage or house, i think automatic lights can be useless. They get like car alarams after a while. They alos give anyone trying to steal anything alot more light to work with if they are working out of sight of the street.

I had the same thing happen last spring, so i feel for you.

#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:00 AM

BIG sign:

"The floodlight is purely for the benefit of the Camera.... and due to the rising cost of ammunition."

GD

#10 GLCraig

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:04 AM

Tex, that totally sucks. I hope that karma slaps the [expletive] out of whoever stole your tools. Do you have any update with the insurance claim? It would be great if you recovered some of your investment.

Also a set of vice grips like the one pictured below, will hamper a thief's ability to open a garage door from the outside. Place one above one of the roller of the garage door and another one below the same roller. Doing this will not stop every thief but most will give up and leave once they realize that opening the garage door won't be easy.

Posted Image

#11 baccaruda

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:32 AM

hook up a car battery to the garage door.

#12 Txakura

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 08:56 AM

screw the car battery go for 220...

I'm sorry man, I had my kitchen door bashed in in Everett... I feel ya'

you might keep an eye out - some crooks, especially kids, are actually dumb enough to come back

after I got ripped off I caught the little prick under my neighbors dashboard and rode him like a sled down a flight of concrete stairs! he had come back to rip off my neighbors car stereo THE NEXT DAY :mad:

in addition to the 45 casings, how about some nice big (empty) boxes in the drive, like you have replaced all your stuff already... you know, nice big welder box etc...

bait

no entrapment

and no, I wasn't charged for the bloody mess I made out of the idiot :rolleyes:

#13 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 09:02 AM

Bait is good. And a cot to sleep on.

I know here in OR if you shoot an intruder inside your house you won't even be arrested. Home invasion laws.... the 12 gauge is leaning in the corner by my bed :)

GD

#14 Subarutex

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:38 PM

I locked up the garage door with a similar tool Craig, one of these:
Posted Image

I captured the rollers in the pronged side, have one on each edge of the garage door. Somebody will have to take a lot more effort, and make a lot more noise to get in.

Police don't have any real leads. I'm betting it was a neighbor, or a friend of a neighbor. I don't believe there to be a drug problem in the area at all, but who knows. From what they took, it appears to me they are actually going to use it.

So far the insurance company has unconditionally denied the claim, citing the fact I did not own any of the tools. In order for them to reassess the claim, I need to furnish them with proof of ownership. Pictures, reciepts, serial #'s, etc...

Problem is, I bought the welder and the bandsaw used. Welder was bought off NASIOC, for cash, about 4 years ago. Bandsaw was bought from a local pawnshop just a couple of weeks ago, but I believe the receipt either got thrown out, or is in the bandsaw case :-/ I have contacted the pawnshop to see if they can come up with a copy of the receipt, while they have been kind and apparently willing to help, I still don't have the receipt. I have the receipt for the die grinder, and should have the one for the welding helmet, I just have to find it amongst all my paperwork.

My next step is to go through pictures, and see if I can find pics of the actual tools. And of course I did not record any serial numbers.

I am thinking about going through my home, and garage and cataloging everything I own. Seems petty and materialistic to do such a thing, but without doing something like this, I can't see getting anything from insurance if something happened like a fire, theft, earthquake, etc...

#15 ezapar

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 01:39 PM

Two dogs and a bicycle lock on the gate these days.

That sucks Tex.

#16 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 11:38 PM

...someone had forced open the garage door, and walked off with my Lincoln 135 MIG welder (not the gas cylinder or cart though), Milwaukee portable bandsaw, 3M-Hornell Speedglas autoshade welding helmet, and my craftsman 90* die grinder. ...


So Sorry to Read That ... :mad: ... I Know that Feeling, some time ago, someone Stole all my Mercury Comet`s Sound System (It was a Stereo with Pre Amplifier EQ and Amp of 200W X 4) the Robber just Cut ALL the Wires, Making the Car Undriveable Untill I Rebuilt almost any Single Wire from its Electrical System... I Really Hate Robbers.


...used a crescent wrench to disconnect the gas from the welder...


Could I Ask you if That Wrench was Yours, Taken from your Garage; or if they Bring it There?

hook up a car battery to the garage door.


Well...

screw the car battery go for 220... ...


:eek:

I Believe that Using Some Kind of Electric Shield could be Dangerous to the Family Too, if Someone Forgets to Disable the Shield Before Touchin` the Garage...

I Kindly Suggest you to install some Motion Detectors with Lights and Sound Alarm, or something like That...

A Nice Dog could be Very Helpful too! ...

Kind Regards.

#17 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:01 AM

screw the car battery go for 220...


I like the way you think...
I've thought about a similar system for my cars, but I'd probably fry something.
Hmmmm, 220v ac @ 60hz.
That would hurt like hell but leave no marks... :evilgrin:
Well, maybe not 220, but no lower than 110.
Plus I got a BIG stick I keep nearby at all times.

Twitch

#18 carfreak85

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:09 AM

You've got me thinking now Tex. How can I make our shop more secure... :-\

#19 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 09:10 AM

Yeah - now I'm thinking I better take pictures and write down serial numbers of at least a few big items.

Tex - just go buy the stuff, take pictures of it sitting in your garage (perhaps making it look like you are taking pictures of some project you are working on), then return it all. Set the date on your camera to something before the burglery and don't forget to change the file creation date on your PC when you upload them.

It's worth a try and all they can do is say no.

Oh - and it might be worthwhile to retain a lawyer. That will get their attention quick. If your parents have had the policy for a long time and are good customers they will take notice if you drop $500 to retain a good lawyer. They might be more willing to at least give you *something*.

GD

#20 subaru360

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 10:59 AM

Wow that sucks. Nothing ever seems to get stolen in the area where I live, so I don't think about it much.

#21 baccaruda

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 11:16 AM

I'd skip the pic forgery because they'll all look like they were taken at the same time and it could bite you in the rump roast big time. You might call the state Insurance Commissioner, maybe the BBB, maybe the Attorney General's consumer protection division.
It's common practice for insurance companies to say NO first and make you fight for compensation.

Retaining a lawyer would cost as much as replacing a good chunk of the missing items. I'd watch Craigslist for a while.. unfortunately, on your side of the state, there are too many pawn shops within two hours for you to be able to check them all, but they are required to watch for items reported as stolen...

#22 EvilDead

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 02:17 PM

I documented EVERYTHING in my house/garage with a video camera, and a digital camera. I then backed it all up on dvd, and stowed it away at a different location. I suck with paperwork, so I just take pictures of the serial numbers, and such. Easier for me anyways.

I also "baited" my windows with trolling hooks, and random hanging hooks from the ceiling. Non-lethal of course, because I am fairly sure setting a lethal trap might get me in trouble, but he will have a hard time finding stiff to steal without an eye, or two.

Shotrock from the 12 gauge hurts like hell btw, and is also non-lethal for those not looking to kill a person.

Believe it or not, thieves also have rights. It's really a shame.

Wireless security cameras, set to motion record are nice, and getting cheaper.

#23 ferox

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 04:02 PM

It's worth a try and all they can do is say no.


No offense GD, but they take insurance fraud very seriously, and for the policy-holders sake I wouldn't suggest this approach. If caught, they could be prosecuted, they would definitely be dropped by the current insurer, and would never be able to get another policy.


Oh - and it might be worthwhile to retain a lawyer. That will get their attention quick. If your parents have had the policy for a long time and are good customers they will take notice if you drop $500 to retain a good lawyer. They might be more willing to at least give you *something*.

This is a good idea. Check with the BAR Association, sometimes there are special programs that provide a one-time attorney visit pro-bono and it might only take one letter from an attorney. If your parents have had the policy for a while then the insurer should be able to find a way to help you out. A lot of it has to do with the agent you are dealing with. Some of them are understanding and realize that the amount your parents have paid in, is a drop in the bucket compared to the claim. Others you have to show that it will cost more to refuse your claim that to pay it. They have more lee-way in the decision than they let on, and they don't want to show up on the company radar for something like this. Even with all the stuff that was stolen, your claim is peanuts to them and a lot to you. You might even have more pictures of your stuff than you realize in the background of pictures of other things. Even without receipts, pictures are evidence of ownership, especially with used goods. Don't let them not pay you, if they try to shut you down, get counsel.

#24 markjw

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 07:33 PM

Sorry to hear about all your trouble,Tex. I was burglarized the same exact way a couple years ago. Pryed open my garage door and stole a bunch of tools. They never made it into the house,prolly 'cause they were busy wheeling off my '79 Honda XL650.

My insurance company paid for everything. In fact,they called me up a week or so after the burglary,and this guy just started asking what I lost and how much I paid for it and how long I owned it. He paid full retail price on everything,and adjusted down 10-20 percent for age. In the end,I made money on the deal. But,it was a bad experiece for sure.

It was crazy,really.I never had to produce a recipt,pic or any other proof of ownership. The bike I lost was not covered 'cause I hadn't rode it in years and had no current policy on it. I did get it back,thou. Some guy bought it off CL and tryed to get a title for it at the DOL. I guess it was red flagged in their system 'cause the lady at the DOL called the state police and anyway.

I'm blown away at the resistance your insurance company is giving you. I'd at the very least consult with a lawyer.

#25 markjw

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 07:42 PM

Hey man,I was just talking to my wife and she suggested you get ahold of these guys and file a complaint about your insurance company being difficult.
It can't hurt.

http://www.insurance...ers/index.shtml




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