As the economy tanks, crime is going up. The maggots will be looking for soft targets and your garage – especially if you leave it open – is one of the softest.
What can you do to reduce the odds you’ll be victimized?
* Don’t flash what you have –
Try to avoid leaving your garage door open so that everyone who drives or walks by has a full view of your stuff. Even if you’re working in the garage, it’s best to leave the doors down. Don’t park your high-dollar antique vehicle outside, where everyone can see it. Try to keep what you have under wraps – and keep a low profile.
* Keep the door locked –
This is just common sense – but it’s a fact that many thieves never have to break into anything. They just walk right on in – and walk away (or drive away) with your stuff. Use a high quality door lock, plus a deadbolt. If you have an outside electric keypad opener, don’t use an obvious code or tell too many people what the code is.
* If your garage has doors with windows, consider replacing them with solid doors –
As nice as it is to have a door with an upper glass section to let the sun shine in, glass allows a would-be thief to see inside your place – and getting in is as simple as smashing out the window. Same goes for the entry/side door. If it’s one of those that has a large glass panel, easily smashed, consider replacing it with a solid unit that will make life harder on a would-be thief.
* Install a bright light near your garage –
Ideally, one with a motion sensor. The light should be of the floodlight type – and either far enough up or otherwise out of reach that it would take at least a little bit of effort to defeat it by smashing the bulb or some such.
* Consider an alarm system –
You might even get a rate reduction on your homeowner’s (as well as your classic car) insurance. Or get a fake alarm – dummy closed-circuit cameras or blinking red LED lights near doors and windows can accomplish the same thing (but forget about the insurance discount). See vivint pricing.
* Make your stuff harder to steal –
Tools should be secured in heavy, hard to remove/move (and locked) tool cases; ideally, cases permanently fixed to hard points such as the floor or workbenches. Locked cabinets bolted to the wall studs work well. Garage doors should have heavy metal lock bars and other such devices to make them difficult to open for an unauthorized user.
Also: There are several ways to discreetly rig a classic car or motorcycle so that it won’t start or is difficult (if not impossible) to move. A kill switch wired into the ignition switch and located in a not visible area under the dash. Or just disconnect the ignition coil (or battery).
An eye bolt drilled into a concrete floor provides a secure anchor point for a chain to keep your bicycle (or motorcycle) where it belongs.
* ID your stuff –
Mark vehicles (as well as expensive tools/equipment) with a punch, Dremel tool or some such in a not-visible/hard to access place so that if the vehicle (or tools/equipment) is stolen and found later on, the cops will know it was stolen and also, you can prove it is yours.
* Be sure you are insured –
Find out whether your homeowner’s policy covers such things as your tools and equipment. A standard homeowner’s policy on, say, a $250,000 home may not cover your $20,000 worth of tools. Read your policy carefully – and confirm the details with your agent. It’s also smart idea to do a full inventory of everything you have – with pictures or video for back-up in the event you do get robbed and need to verify the extent of your loss.
Similarly, be absolutely sure your vehicles – especially antique/collectible vehicles – are fully insured for their specific value (what’s known in the business as an “agreed value” policy). That means if your vehicle is stolen and not recovered, you will receive the previously agreed-upon value listed in your coverage. No haggling after the fact over what it was worth.
Related point: Many of us neglect to update our policies as we update our cars – or as the retail market value of the car changes. If you recently had your car professionally re-painted, for instance, you should make sure your policy/coverage reflects that. Be sure the “agreed value” is up to date – and not based on what the car was worth five years ago, when you first took out the policy.
I need to see if someone is hiding behind my car. Years ago an ex-boyfriend stalked and harassed me, then one night he kidnapped me and another time he tried to kill me. Both times he rolled into the garage behind my car. Now he’s out of prison after serving nearly eight years. My house is secured, but I’m afraid he’ll come back after me the same way. Any suggestions?
Well, first, get a gun. Learn to use it. Keep it with you at all times. Be prepared to use it.
Two, consider relocating. It sucks. I know. But if this guy is stalking you “the law’ is probably next to useless and it may come down to you defending yourself with possibly lethal violence (and with it, legal repercussions) or you being a victim – and neither is a good alternative.
You are probably kidding, but I will indulge you.
1. What E-roc said and..
2. Change your name
3. Cancel all your Facebook and other account with the old name
4. Move NOW!
Screw all this lock crap – I have 3 Dobermans and keep a Century 5 .410 pistol handy all the time – I also live on a dead in street and if some getto rat with his pants down to his knees walks down the street I go out and stare at him while the dogs run up and down the fence barking like crazy. For some reason they don’t come back?
We live out in the Boonies – where everyone is armed to the gills and stepping onto a man’s land in the dead of night (or any other time when you’re not supposed to be there) is not a recipe for a long life….
I hear that. You know I can’t understand why their pants are so low. One would think in that field of business (stealing) a core attribute would be the ability to haul ass and run. Kind of hard to do with low riding pants! I live on a very quiet street too. I love it.
It has to do with the low IQ – literally. These personages are in the 70-80 range; borderline retarded in other words.
They won’t be starring in any Oceans 11 scenarios!
All excellent points. I don’t have a garage because I am poor, but what I do have is a carport and a shed. All my things are covered and never in plain sight. When I am organizing and bringing things out I keep them covered. At night I keep the motion lights on and the Sig at my bedside.
I upgraded my garage last year – new HD metal doors, new HD entry door – in part because I’m concerned about the uptick in scumbaggery in our county. People not far down the road from us came home after a few hours out and found some SOB had taken a couple of expensive chainsaws and other power tools – couple grand worth of stuff, just gone.
I, too, sleep with the Sig nearby and several other guns dispersed throughout the house, in easy reach if I have to move (or am forced to move). I learned that from G. Gordon Liddy!
Yeah, I really think the absolutely best and cheapest thing someone can do to protect their assets is to keep them out of sight. More times than not the element is not going to be your neighbor, it will be someone joy riding around looking for a sucker. If your things are in view as they happened to be on patrol, congratulations you’ve become the sucker.