Thieves Breaking Into my Cars (Repeat Offenders)

This is a discussion on Thieves Breaking Into my Cars (Repeat Offenders) within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I just wanted to get some of you guys' feedback and advice on this situation. Over the past couple of months, mine and my roommates ...

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Thread: Thieves Breaking Into my Cars (Repeat Offenders)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    Thieves Breaking Into my Cars (Repeat Offenders)

    I just wanted to get some of you guys' feedback and advice on this situation. Over the past couple of months, mine and my roommates cars have been broken into, or attempted to be broken into several times.

    Firstly, I'll give you some info about my house. It is in a neighborhood in "low crime" suburbia. It is a single-street subdivision with a cul-de-sac. There are only 3 streetlamps. One at the entrance, in the middle, and at the end in the cul-de-sac. So this street is pretty dark. I have 4ish roommates - my girlfriend, brother, and another couple (my brothers girlfriend is also over a lot). Obviously, we have a lot of cars in the driveway, and because of the dark and unsuspecting neighborhood, we are a prime target.

    The first time we were robbed, several cars were unlocked. Ipods, change, and other small electronics were stolen. I keep my cars locked up tight, especially now, but one of my roommates didn't, and had their car rummaged through again. Nothing was in it to steal, though. The stereos didn't get stolen, so we figured these were just some dumb kids.

    Well, this weekend, my brother was on the front porch, lights off (it was dark - 10PM), and newish white honda crept by. They stopped past the driveway where there were trees and out of sight. Two doors opened and closed, then the car drove off. At first, he thought it was some kids from down the street who were being rowdy since they are free for summer, and yelled at them (just messing around). What he saw was a large black male in thugged out clothes whip out his phone, and start to briskly walk up the street. The car sped back down in reverse and picked him up. He chased after them to get the tag, but it was whited out.

    The next morning, our cars hand fingernail scratches around the doors and handprints on the windows where someone was trying to see in. We called the cops and had some prints taken to be added to the previous report.

    Now... this is minor crime, but these guys are big, not kids, and pose a real threat. We have several young women in the house who could stumble upon these guys while getting home or retrieving something from their car. What if the thieves get bold and try to steal things off the porch or break in? They are bold enough to come back, even after being chased off.

    I went and picked up a pair of dual 150w floodlights. One motion sensing, the other switch and timer activated. I really want my girlfriend to go ahead and get a handgun for protection, so I will probably take her to the store this week. She will have to be approved for change of residency to my address before she can get a CCW, though. In case of an emergency, I showed her how to load and use the shotgun, but it is an over-under, so it's not the best defensive tool. I have my .40 on me at all times.

    What else would you guys do?? I don't really know if there is much else that I can do. Although I would like to, I can't get a dog because I don't have the time to tend to one. I know you have to always be prepared for an intruder, but this whole idea of not being safe in your own home due to repeat offenders is a scary thought.

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    Member Array Mjodr's Avatar
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    Have you tried video cameras? Set up a few.. and put some bait in the car. Maybe put something in the open that looks valuable, but really isn't. Make it several angles so you can see if they show up in a car or not,. Don't set any alarms when you do that so that they stay on camera a s long as they can be. Maybe get a cheap throw away GPS enabled phone. and leave it in the open. It also might be best if you use a crappy car that you might buy for a few hundred bucks... that maybe doesn't run. One that it doesn't matter if it gets too damaged.

    A man near me caught an AC unit thief by putting a broken down AC unit on his place, and set up cameras.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're doing about all you can, short of this: BBC News | Africa | Firing on all cylinders
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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    Car alarm? Even though they are not kids, it sounds like they are looking for easy pickings. I think they will stay gone if you can make them realize that the easy picking days are over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    Sounds like you're doing about all you can, short of this: BBC News | Africa | Firing on all cylinders
    Gives a new meaning to step "on the gas".

    Johannesburg seems to fill car drivers with fear. In the province which includes the city, there were 4,000 car hijacks between January and June this year.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    In TX they could get a death sentence breaking into cars after dark.
    I'm pretty sure that once you light up the area they will go find someone else to rob
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Senior Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    All cars have alarms. These guys have only been successful once, but there is no telling how many times they have come back. Video cameras are just too expensive. The best I could do is a game cam, but I'm not sure how much that would really help.

    As for the flamethrowers... I WISH!

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    Member Array Mjodr's Avatar
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    This is where I got cameras to put outside my house. I'm an unemployed college student, so I understand too expensive. :)

    Security Cameras from CloseoutCCTV.com for CCTV DVR systems
    Coming soon to a Montana near you!

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    Senior Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjodr View Post
    This is where I got cameras to put outside my house. I'm an unemployed college student, so I understand too expensive. :)

    Security Cameras from CloseoutCCTV.com for CCTV DVR systems
    Mjodr, do these cameras come with software to run to a computer? I'm not sure exactly how they work. The setup in my office has a stand-alone recorder and monitor. If I could get this and wire it directly to a computer (even a stand-alone desktop), I would get it in a heartbeat.

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    Distinguished Member Array ArkhmAsylm's Avatar
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    The motion detecting lights are a start. At the very least, a game camera flash going off could scare the crud out of them.

    They may have been casing the situation out in the rummage-through, expecting to come back. Someone's got to get the other household members to wise-up & lock their cars - if only for the ladies' safety.
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

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    Member Array Mjodr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotus222 View Post
    Mjodr, do these cameras come with software to run to a computer? I'm not sure exactly how they work. The setup in my office has a stand-alone recorder and monitor. If I could get this and wire it directly to a computer (even a stand-alone desktop), I would get it in a heartbeat.
    I think the list I actually put was to cameras.. for it you already have a dvr, like I did. I used to work security, and one of my locations closed and they gave me their dvr.

    I didn't check all of their actual specs to see if any had direct to computer hookups, for if you don't have a CCTV card. However... he is a link to their kits. That would be bit more expensive.

    Save on CCTV Security Camera Systems and DVR Packages at www.CloseoutCCTV.com. Call Us: 866-756-2288 and save on your Security Cameras today!

    Also, here is a way to set up a Logitech webcam as a PC based security camera.

    How to Use Your Desktop as a CCTV | eHow.com

    Also, information for you.

    PC Based Digital Video Surveillance Capture Cards

    PC Based Digital CCTV Surveillance systems are a reasonably new technology in the CCTV Industry. This type of Digital CCTV system works in two stages. You then install the digital cctv surveillance card and software on to your PC. This Software (or program) will allow you to view your Digital CCTV Cameras, search through previously recorded footage, backup footage to CD/DVD, control PTZ Cameras either on the PC system or remotely and much much more.

    Cameras are attached to the back of the Geovision PCI Card using the standard BNC connection used in all CCTV Cameras.

    Geovision Surveillance cards come in a variety of formats depending on 1) The amount of cameras required (2-16)
    2) The Frame Rate per Second (FPS) Quality required (16 FPS - 400 FPS)

    Frame Rate is important, as the higher the Frame Rate, the higher the quality of recording and the more Real Time your cctv recording will be.

    Real Time Recording for 1 camera is 25 Frames Per Second (PAL). In order to capture 16 cameras in Real Time, you would need:

    25 FPS x 16 Cameras = 400 Frames Per Second PCI Surveillance Card
    Digital CCTV Help - Ezcctv
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    If you go with cameras, make sure you have a good FPS and resolution. At my office we had someone steal our cameras once, and we didn't get a good shot of them because they only took two shots per second. Get cameras that do at least 10FPS.
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    Sounds like you are doing the right things. I would light up like a Christmas tree and I bet the perps go away. I would also save the O/U for hunting/clays and get a Mossberg or Remington pump HD gun - more rounds, shorter gun, easier to handle, more effective. The cost of the HD gun is relatively minor.
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