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Thinking about Mitchell's recent misfortune...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gr8Tr1x, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    After reading the thread about Mitchell's gear theft recently, I got to thinking about an idea I had a while back. I also got to thinking about it, because I left a photo backpack in my trunk along with a laptop while I strolled around Old Salem with my wife. We had already checked out of the hotel (not the safest place either) and I didnt need all of my flashes, lenses and stuff with me, so we just left it in the car. I took my walkaround bag with the stuff I needed.

    Anyway...my idea...

    What about constructing an interior box in the trunk to hold the gear? Sort of a strongbox made from 1/2 inch MDF, bolted to the floor or cabled to a spare tire? heavy...sure...secure..maybe a little more than just the trunk. If a thief has to spend too much time on a job, maybe they'll think twice and move on and your left with a popped trunk or a busted window.

    I have even seen mesh bags that travelers use to lock their backpacks in...they are theft resistant if cabled down to something solid like the aforementioned sparetire or something.

    Just a thought.
  2. That's a great idea, my only concern would be if it was bolted...how am I going to get my golf clubs in there too? =)
  3. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    You gotta make sacrifices! Perhaps a system that wi allow it to be put in and out by a means or a lock bar or something...
  4. In Mitchell's case, it appears it was a smash and grab, break the window and steal. If the goods were in the trunk, which most police departments recommend, it may or may not have happened. As he pointed out, if they had stolen the car, the loss could have been claimed.

    But you may be on the right track. How about a bicycle lock cable threaded through a seatbelt buckle? Or in the trunk attached to the spare tire?

    Smash and grab rely on a quick in and out, why not slow it down?

  5. Great idea, look Here for example, or Here for car security boxes. And then to secure backpacks, luggage, etc., take a look Here, scroll down to see the cable mesh systems that you put a bag or pack into for security.

    Not to say your idea is not new :wink:

  6. Pete


    Jun 10, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I have a Suburban and like most SUVs it does not have a trunk so I have a Knaack Job box bolted to the floor in the back. It will hold my gear, tripods and computer stuff when I go away from the vehicle. They make a few sizes including one that could be mounted in a car trunk.

  7. adrianaitken

    adrianaitken Guest

    Doesn't the trunk get hot in summer (well, in some countries anyway) ? And don't camera manufacturers recommend that their delicate cameras are kept cool? So, don't use a wooden/metal box, get a cooler box. OK, your car battery might be flat when you return to it but hey, you've still got your camera gear :smile:
  8. Well, what about us folks who drive a mini van or in some cases I drive the hubby's pick up truck. I worry about my gear being seen and stolen too, sometimes - depending on where we are. I'm usually very careful about what I take and how much, but things can still happen!
  9. I drive an Expedition, no trunk there. If I leave expensive things in the car, I put them on the floor in the back seat and pile extra "Emilie stuff" on top (lightweight umbrella stroller, a blanket, few random toys)......you'd never guess what was hidden in all that "baby junk" in my car. Cheap and easy! :biggrin:
  10. This may not stop a theft, but will certainly slow a thief down


    I also use a heavy duty Kriptonite bicycle cable anchored to the front seat frame and the other end passed through the Pac-Safe mesh and handles/loops of the equipment back, before locking down to the other front seat. There are some "tiedowns" in the back of my Honda Pilot, so the "tag ends" of the Pac_Safe closers cables get anchored there.

    Safety just doesn't happen - it is premeditated...
  11. I use Gretchen's system quite a bit, though I don't have baby things to use! However, it is not foolproof.

    I suffered a car break-in and theft back in 1994 while returning from Los Alamos, NM where I had spent a sabbatical year. My Jeep Grand Wagoneer was loaded to the gills while I spent the night in a motel in Amarillo, TX. I lost a bunch of irreplaceable stuff, including research notes, so now I am very cautious and carry all valuables into motels/hotels overnight.

    I really like this idea first referenced by Retief (Bill Dewey) above. I think I'll get one before my next car trip.
  12. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Don't ya think they can cut through that. (wire cutters)
    If a thief wants something bad enough, I think they have all this stuff figured out
  13. Given enough time, yes, But I think about 90% of thieves want to "grab-and-go". The longer they have to work at it, the better their chance of getting caught.
  14. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Remembering the days when we laughed at locks. Lock what... what for..
    OMG have things gone haywire.
  15. I know people that have never taken a key out of the ignition, never locked a home door, and leave their wallet in plain sight in their vehicle. Yes there are areas like that still.
  16. Exactly correct. We had a "smash and grab" several years ago at a zoo on the way to Vancouver, BC. My wife had left her purse on the floor in the front seat. Door was jimmied, purse taken, laptop bag in the backseat left alone. Were we dumb for not putting them under the cargo cover in the back? Yes, you bet we were. But these folks, especially if you are parked in a public place, need to be in and out very quickly to not be noticed. Taking the time to cut cables, break open strong-boxes, etc., isn't the norm.

    You will find articles about how some thieves have been known to slit the bag and pull things out from the mesh on the PacSafe products. Nothing you can do to stop the most determined, except to never go anywhere with anything.
  17. In this whole conversation there's no mention of a car alarm. My Saab 95 Wagon has a factory installed one. Also, I do not know if anyone has been deterred from breaking in. At least with an alarm, as long as "stuff" is not left in plain sight, the time factor comes into play. It is not easily solved.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2007
  18. I drive an Acura RSX, which has a hatchback. In normal use, the hatchback cover conceals anything that is in there, but when I have a lot of items or extra-long or extra-large items so that I have to drop down the rear seats in order to make more cargo space, then the contents of the vehicle can be seen through the side windows. On the way down to Alabama with a carload full of camera gear I worried about this. My first night I was staying at a hotel close to a shopping mall, so I went into the mall, found a store that sold bedsheets and got some dark navy blue sheets on sale. I spread that over my bags and gear and because of the darkness of the fabric, even in the daytime one would have to look closely to realize that something was being covered by it. That worked out really well and now I'm keeping the sheets in the car for future use. Generally at home, though, I don't keep stuff in the car (except right now I do have the tripods in there, as I've been going out shooting fairly often the past several days). When I am going shooting I plan ahead and think of what I'll need to take and I don't leave anything in the vehicle.
  19. Ive got experience with fabrication with metal and wood. For a secured box, don't use wood. With a crow bar i can get into any kind of wooden box. Id use steel or thick aluminum (1/8"). You can bolt it down or even cable it to something such as a support brace in your trunk.

    Also think about the material you bolt it to or use to secure your things. If its fabric of any kind, a sharp knife will shred it, even seat belts.
  20. tommyc


    May 2, 2006
    One of my co-workers had some things stolen out of his truck while it was parked in his own drive-way. When I asked him about what kind of damage was caused by the break-in, he said he doesn't lock the doors. I asked why and he said, I'm just not going to live like that. One of the things stolen was his checkbook. That happened two years ago and he is still dealing with having his checkbook stolen. He apparently doesn't live in one of those areas.
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