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Old 09-19-2006, 09:01 AM   #1
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Preventing Theft of Any Tow Vehicle

Recent thread warning F-250 owners of risk of theft was well received by some of us…
But preventative measures could be more thoroughly explored…
Theft of tow vehicle surely is not limited to F-250…
What are some good and effective anti-theft devices or strategies?
Besides an alarm, Club, Lo-Jack…
Has anyone used a padded motorcycle chain around the steering wheel and door handle?
Or does anyone have any other creative ideas on this subject?
Thanks,
Bill
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Old 09-19-2006, 10:26 AM   #2
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hi silvergate...

hows that new truck!

good idea for a thread.

one goal being the exchange of useful deterrent ideas

and another sharing great products or vendors for security devices...

most of us know a determined crook can still steal some things...

like the motor cycle chain you mention, i carry several bicycle locks...

chains, cables, ubolts and so on.

i regularly use one of them between the steering wheel/column and 'a pillar' handle...

some times my dogs sleeps in the truck...i tend to avoid vehicles with big dogs inside.

there are several models of 'denver boot' wheel locks available...these look effective. google 'wheel locks' or denver boot lots of info online.

again as a variation i sometimes run a really long cable lock from a wheel to my trailer or other campground objects while on the road...

i'd really like a simple hidden easy to use fuel/ignition cut off that is not part of the usual alarm package...

one of the issues on our superduties is the door handle surround is plastic and easily removed....there are aftermarket stainless steel replacements that improve this issue.

on another vehicle the key fob will lower the windows....
in this car i sometimes run a cable lock from driver to passenger door.
once locked the doors will only open a few inches.
with the keyfob i can quickly lower window and unlock the cable....

there are some threads here on airstream security too and some of those ideas are worth searching...

looking forward to other useful ideas..

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:10 PM   #3
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I've known a few people who, if they plan on being away from their vehicle for a while, will pull fuses critical to the engine starting and deliberately replace them with blown ones. Honest locks will typically keep honest people thus, but I figure if a thief is determined enough, they'll get your vehicle, no matter what you do.
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:21 PM   #4
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To me the aftermarket system is the best way to go. I did that on my Honda Accord and while I don't know if it has helped, 9 years later it's still my work car and it's out every day.

Based on it's vintage I don't have the chip in the key system, but I do have a system that deadens the ignition system and any opening of any door, hood, trunk will sound the alarm. Also if the battery was disconnected, an auxilary hidden battery will keep the racket going. I also have noise detection, so glass breakage, body tampering etc., will also set things a wailing. Now this is not without its faults since loud Harley's passing by and some thunderstorms will set things off. But I deal with that. It's interesting sometimes to come out to a parking lot and when deactivating the alarm, the chirp tells me that the alarm was triggered. I'll look around and not see anything. It may be a car door hit, a passing person hitting my side mirror as they walk through, or someone trying the door...who knows. I figure that's about the best I can do.

My tow vehicle being the van has nothing more than the chip key. But the van sits home in the garage and normally only gets used on trips. Since its a plain jane passenger van, it really doesn't have the curb appeal that some of those nice pick ups have....hmmm another reason why the van makes a great tow vehicle.

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Old 09-19-2006, 01:33 PM   #5
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I'm for a "Club" or similar heavy steering wheel lock. The one thing that auto theives don't want to take is time. These devices take a lot of time to defeat. When they see such a device, it's easier for them to ride down the street and steal a vehicle that doesn't have one.
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:42 PM   #6
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Park it in a garage. Out of site, out of mind. Remove a tire and hide it.

Put a "For Sale" sign on it that reads "Blown Engine, will sell cheap!".
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
I'm for a "Club" or similar heavy steering wheel lock. The one thing that auto theives don't want to take is time. These devices take a lot of time to defeat. When they see such a device, it's easier for them to ride down the street and steal a vehicle that doesn't have one.
The club is not that tough for a pro. Cut a slice out of the stearing wheel with a pair of bolt cutters. Takes about 8 seconds
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:30 PM   #8
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Park it in a garage. Out of site, out of mind. Remove a tire and hide it.

Put a "For Sale" sign on it that reads "Blown Engine, will sell cheap!".
I agree. Everyone I know that had a car stolen recently (4 of the people I work with) were taken from the driveway in front of their house. Mostly big trucks / suv's that would not fit.
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Old 09-19-2006, 03:15 PM   #9
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Vehicles that are targeted by auto theft rings will be stolen regardless of what you do. The best recovery tool is the LoJack system. Chains, steering wheel locks, dogs, and so forth will discourage a casual thief, but not a theft ring. Even removing tires and wheels won't stop them if they use roll-back tow trucks to bag their goods. They'll winch 'em up and go. Alarms are useless. When's the last time you actually looked at a car to see what was going on when the alarm went off? We all recognize that it's some hapless owner who either set off the panic alarm accidentally or was befuddled when they set it off accidentally in some other fashion. Is there anyone who hasn't experience that?

Lock your car and take your keys. If you drive a car that has been targeted, there's just not much you can do about it.

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Old 09-19-2006, 03:27 PM   #10
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I agree - my theory is that what insurance is for.

In college my car was stolen by some joyriders who left it parked on the opposite side of town after a night of partying (evident by the booze and junk found in the car.) They had stolen the radio and busted out the headlights and did some other damage, just for kicks I suppose. Worse, the police dusted the interior for fingerprints and left a greasy black powder film everywhere. No amount of cleaning ever got it clean. Even a couple of years later if I had to reach into some nook - to change a fuse, for example - my fingers came back black with fingerprinting powder.

It was a pain in the butt to get the thing out of the police impound, clean it, get it all fixed, replace the radio, etc., etc., ...

After that experience, I just figure if they want it bad enough, go ahead and take it. I'll get a new one.
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Old 09-19-2006, 03:53 PM   #11
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:05 PM   #12
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There are lots of little tricks you can have installed one an installer told me about is rewire your cig lighter so you have to push it before turning the ignition key to start. Essentially it is similar to a fuel switch or some other cut-off electronic switch but the lighter makes it a little more tricky and only you know.

But in the end if they really really want it they'll just tow it away.
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:43 PM   #13
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I'm a little more mean than that...

This would work, at home at least. I had a problem in the early '80's with gas disapearing from my car overnight. I bought a locking gas cap, but that didn't stop the person.
I finally borrowed an electric fence power supply from a neighbor (farmer), and hooked it up to the car. It looked like wires going to an underhood battery charger when I was done with it. Late the next night, I heard the most ungodly scream from my car. I got up, and went outside to find a gas can and hose on the ground next to the open gas flap. Never had another problem, there is no reason it wouldn't work for car thieves as well.
Crude, but effective.
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:49 PM   #14
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the best theft deterrent is to cover up your VIN number!

just slide a piece of paper over it.

with your vin number a thief can go to an unknowing or unscrupulus dealer and get a key cut in a matter of seconds that will unlock and start your vehicle!

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Old 09-19-2006, 08:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
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This would work, at home at least. I had a problem in the early '80's with gas disapearing from my car overnight. I bought a locking gas cap, but that didn't stop the person.
I finally borrowed an electric fence power supply from a neighbor (farmer), and hooked it up to the car. It looked like wires going to an underhood battery charger when I was done with it. Late the next night, I heard the most ungodly scream from my car. I got up, and went outside to find a gas can and hose on the ground next to the open gas flap. Never had another problem, there is no reason it wouldn't work for car thieves as well.
Crude, but effective.

I love your style! That is absolutely priceless Unfortunately today the dirtbag would probably get a "good" lawyer and sue you out of house and home if you tried that today.

How about the ole bumper snicker that says Protected by Smith & Wesson
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
This would work, at home at least. I had a problem in the early '80's with gas disapearing from my car overnight. I bought a locking gas cap, but that didn't stop the person.
I finally borrowed an electric fence power supply from a neighbor (farmer), and hooked it up to the car. It looked like wires going to an underhood battery charger when I was done with it. Late the next night, I heard the most ungodly scream from my car. I got up, and went outside to find a gas can and hose on the ground next to the open gas flap. Never had another problem, there is no reason it wouldn't work for car thieves as well.
Crude, but effective.
Now that is funny! I would have paid money to see the stealth video of this.
I've been looking at adding an air horn and air tank/compressor to my truck serves two purposes tires and safety. Maybe one of those 150 db train horn types. This will keep the bad drivers of Phoenix...that always pull right out in front of me from making it to work without the need for a change of underwear..Like Bill Cosby always said… .did he have on clean underwear at the time of the accident?
Second phase of this mischievous act will be to wire the train horn to the door so an attempted break in results in the first alarm going off.... normal it's loud but does anybody really pay attention NO.... and then the big surprise happens when the thief opens the door surprise TRAIN HONK HONK>>>>>> Life flashes in front of their eyes and they take off running…I'm thinking the cops will be able to at least get a good stool sample from this process.
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Old 09-19-2006, 10:30 PM   #17
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Hi, I have done some of the things you people mentioned and it either made the neighbors mad or made it more difficult for me to operate my car or more difficult to work on. Anything and everything can be overcome. I agree with one poster; I have the best system of all, Insurance.
On the other side of the fence; A friend of mine years ago, hooked up a 40,000 volt ignition coil to the driver's seat cushion frame. He had a hidden switch to turn it on or off. When on, it activated when the engine started.

Bob
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Old 09-19-2006, 10:39 PM   #18
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John is right and thats a easy thing to do but quite frankly, I don't worry about it because that's what insurance is for and if you steal my truck, I get a new one so we both win except nobody is looking for me. Yes it would be a day wasted but I'm not going to fiddle with some silly club to protect a late model vehicle when a new one is just one thief away.
Onnnnnnnnnn the other hand, if I had a vintage irreplaceable tow vehicle, I'd use the club.
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:50 PM   #19
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Thanks, 2air’ and others for your creative ideas and common sense…
I love my new F-250… too much so… and don’t want it stolen…
Especially far from home with the new trailer-to-be.
Already have dealer-installed alarm with starter disable…
Routinely use Club, have insurance, and will cover vin number.
Adding Lo-Jack and chain sounds prudent for my area…
Keep the ideas coming in for our database on this subject…
They are informative as well as entertaining!

Bill
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Old 09-20-2006, 12:26 AM   #20
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Give thieves a brake!

Some tow trucks have a valve installed in their brakeline that once the brake peddle is depressed, IT STAYS THAT WAY, until you manually release the brake.[used to keep truck from moving while using a winch] Only YOU know where the valve is located and there are models that require a key to engage or disengage.
Press down a little bit on the brake,the brake stays on a little bit, PRESS THE BRAKE DOWN HARD AND YOUR STOPPED AT THAT LOCATION! An engine can never overcome the brakes if applied all the way, THE BRAKES WIN!!!

Your stolen vehicle is usually recovered at the nearest intersection or stop sign or wherever the thief applies the brakes. Thieves generally do not spend much time trying to figure things out when they are in the middle of an intersection or stopped in the middle of the road. It works!!
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