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  1. #1
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    Trailhead security

    So what precautions do you take to keep your stuff secure when you go riding?

    I woke up this Sunday to a perfect riding day and a couple friends said they "might" meet me at the trailhead to go riding, so I load up all my crap and head out.

    I get there to an empty parking lot and take my time getting my bike out and getting ready because of the few "might shows". I hang out in the parking lot by myself for ~ 20 minutes riding wheelies, doing stoppies and basically just messing around on my bike and nobody shows up, so I do the short loop - back in 5 minutes. Nobody is there yet, so I hang around the parking lot for another 10 minutes. Screw it, I'm going on a longer loop - back in 10-15 minutes. Nobody there yet. Now I'm bored . . . been here for about an hour . . . maybe I should just go home . . . naw, the weather is too nice and I have nothing else to do right now, so I hit the longer loop one more time. As I start to come around the last corner and can see the parking lot and notice another car beside mine. I think "hmmm . . . that sure doesn't look like a mtber's type of car", then I notice the door to my Jeep is open and it hits me . . . that son of a ***** is breaking into my f#cking Jeep!!!

    I get over the hill and he sees me and starts high-tailing it to his car, but he stopped to pick up a rock and throw it at me Anyway - he jumps in his car and takes off like a bat out of hell, laughing his piece of shiat white trash ass off the whole time

    (1) - flat tire
    (1) - busted window
    (1) - wallet - gone
    (1) - house key/office key/Jeep keyless entry - gone
    (1) - brand new l.e.d. flashlight I got for my b-day the day before - gone

    Just to let you know, I normally carry all of my stuff with me, but this is a nasty trail (I didn't want to loose/break anything) and the loops are only from 5-15 minutes each, so I thought it would be safe "this one time" to leave my wallet/house keys in the Jeep. They were even "locked" in the glove box with abo****ely NOTHING in plain view, but he broke in anyway

    The couple of people who showed up while I was talking to the police parked out by the highway instead of back by the trailhead, but really . . . what else can you do??


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krabill
    "this one time"
    sheeesh, guy, that totally sucks.

    the worst part about it is that such things always happen 'that one time.'

    bastids! what the hell was the flat tire for anyway?!?
    To air is human, to dig is divine.

  3. #3
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    ahh, dude...That SU(K"S!!!!!

    I am sorry to hear that. Too bad you couldn't catch that SOB and educate him w/ you pump or something. Did you even get close to him before he tore off. Plate # or anything? I've heard stories before but thankfully nothing *yet* has happened to me in that deptartment. Back In WV I never worried about it and only took my car keys with me when I rode. Did the same thing here at Patapacso *near Baltimore* until I pulled up one day and saw a guy on the phone w/ police after someone broke into his car during a ride. Now I take my wallet, phone and keys with me eveytime I ride. Hopfully your insurance will take care of it for you.

  4. #4
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    Nah, we weren't really that close. It is a fairly big parking lot and he took off for his car as soon as I came out of the trail. I was moving pretty good, and I only had a split second to decide if I should head towards him and try to tackle him, or head towards my Jeep and follow him. He was darn near in his car already, so I figured my best bet would be to head towards my Jeep. I still had the ignition key and my cell phone on me. I figured I could easily follow him with the cops on the phone and get the loser busted. The problem was that it wasn't until I actually got to my Jeep that I noticed the flat tire and by then he was too far away for me to see his plate or catch him on my bicycle. Split second decision and I guess I made the wrong one.

    I did give a good description of him and his car to the police, though. Credit cards were all canceled within a few minutes, but I coudn't find out who to contact to cancel my bank card for a couple hours and he did manage to charge about $80 on it, but of course I won't have to pay for it. The window was about $135 and he only cut the valve stem on the tire, so that was a quick $3 to get changed. I'm not going to file with my insurance and give them an excuse to raise my rates for a couple hundred dollars worth of damage.

  5. #5
    bob
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    Don't lock doors?

    I don't practice this but know people who do. Don't leave anything in your car and leave the doors unlocked. So, if a potential thief does show up at least your windows should be in tact and you won't lose anything. That wouldn't help with your tire though.

  6. #6
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    Sorry to hear about that. I always take one of my Camelbaks with me, no matter how short the ride. I put everything of value in it and usually don't leave anything in the car.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfields4013
    Sorry to hear about that. I always take one of my Camelbaks with me, no matter how short the ride. I put everything of value in it and usually don't leave anything in the car.
    I usually do that to, but my rides are usually a lot longer than this one and I just figured I'd never be more than 10 minutes from the parking lot no matter which loop I take and really . . . what can happen in 10 minutes? Quite a lot it turns out

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krabill
    what can happen in 10 minutes?
    I learned that lesson myself once when I was in the Navy. Had to change into my dress uniform for evening colors *lowering the flag* and just threw my work pants on the rack with my wallet in them. Friday evening, just the duty section on board, not many people around......Left my wallet in my pants. No one is going to bother them I thought. Came back 15 minutes later after lowering and folding the flag to find my wallet gone. F*&K!!! I only had about 5 bucks in it and for all I cared they could keep it, but I wanted my military ID back. Can't leave without it. I made an announcement to just please return the walet, keep the cash. No questions asked. Never turned up so I spent the weekend catching up on some reading and had to go through the hassel of getting my ID replaced. The military does NOT look lightly on loosing one's ID card.

  9. #9
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    $80? That is a lot of sudafed.

    He has your house keys and your address (from your wallet). I would change the locks on your door. Sorry, I do not mean to be a fear monger.

  10. #10
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    House locks were changed the same day, office locks are already changed, credit cards are canceled/being replaced, window is fixed, tire is fixed, got a new wallet, found my replacement keyless entry (gotta see about getting the code changed), got a new driver's license, new pilot's certificate on it's way. Everything is pretty much taken care of, I'd just like to see this dirtbag get caught

  11. #11
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    Good warning to all. My car has been broken into twice by windows being broken--once on a city street in a not so nice section of Washington, DC (thieves got away with an LL Bean boat and tote with my monogram, an old pair of hiking boots with the soles falling off, an old rain coat and jumper cables. More of a pain in the butt than anything else). The other time on a very isolated trailhead in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. (They got nothing, because there was nothing to get). Really sucks to come back from communing with nature for a few hours and find your car window all smashed in. Up there cars at trailheads are targets because thieves know the owner is likely to be gone for awhile, and the forest service has put up signs in many parking lots warning people about it.

    Down DC way, now, the thieves are slim-jimming cars open, stealing one or two credit cards from wallets, then returning everything so it looks normal and charging a bundle on the cards within an hour or so. They seem to be targeting mtb trails, but we might just be paranoid. But because they leave no obvious signs of break in or theft, people are not realizing their cards are gone for awhile, often not until the credit card company calls and asks them about suspicious purchasing.

    As for leaving the car doors unlocked, my boyfriend had his jeep window slashed (soft top), locked center console top ripped off, faceplate to stereo and a few other minor items stolen from the console and meanwhile, both doors were both unlocked (the back windows can just be removed by unzipping them, so locking the doors seems kind of silly). I am guessing the thieves didn't even bother to check.

  12. #12
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    Man, that does suck. I once had a stereo stolen from my car one night while it was parked in front of my mom's house when I lived in PA. Luckily my doors were not locked because a bunch of other cars around town that night had their windows smashed during the crime spree.

    There is one notorious trailhead around me that is back in the woods and hidden from view. Lots of people have had things stolen from there. I avoid that trailhead either by riding from my house (adding 15 miles of road to my ride) or parking along a main road about 2 miles from the trailhead. There's usually nothing in my truck of value but occasionally my CDs pile up in the glove box. I usually lock it but not always - leaving it unlocked sometimes feels strange, like riding without a helmet.

    I bought a stereo with a removable face plate last year. I usually stick that under a seat or something and hope that would-be theives assume I took it with me while I ride/hike.

  13. #13
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    My camera was under the seat and he didn't get it. I'm sure if I didn't catch him in the act he would have found it, though.

  14. #14
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    I've taken to leaving my wallet at home and just carrying my DL & Debit card wrapped inside a $20.00 bill in my jersey pocket or camelbak. I drive a beater too, which hopefully deters thieves a bit.

  15. #15
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    outta sight

    Quote Originally Posted by Krabill
    So what precautions do you take to keep your stuff secure when you go riding?
    I never leave anything in plain view inside my vehicle. It's only an invitation for some scumbag to break a window to get at it. I find commercial stickers on vehicles amusing as well, especially advertising expensive and easy to steal items like car stereos or sunglasses. An Oakley or Alpine sticker might as well say "FOR STEAL", indicating there is some kind of goodie inside for your local crack addicts to get at. Also, bike stickers all over a vehicle at a trailhead is a good indicator that its owner may not be back promptly and if they do return, a thief will hear them coming and be able to get away in time (sound familiar?).

  16. #16
    Wizard of the Trail
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    if you lived in florida, jeb passed a new law. Just shoot the SOB and ask questions later. I think a nice 44 mag. would do the trick. Anyway, sorry that happened to you, it sucks!
    There is no charge for awesomeness......or attractiveness.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geist262
    if you lived in florida, jeb passed a new law. Just shoot the SOB and ask questions later. I think a nice 44 mag. would do the trick.
    Yeah, I just wish it was more clear on the baiting issue - like if you leave your wallet on the dashboard to lure 'em in.


  18. #18
    Now more evil for 2005!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krabill
    House locks were changed the same day, office locks are already changed, credit cards are canceled/being replaced, window is fixed, tire is fixed, got a new wallet, found my replacement keyless entry (gotta see about getting the code changed), got a new driver's license, new pilot's certificate on it's way. Everything is pretty much taken care of, I'd just like to see this dirtbag get caught
    If he has your pilot's license you need to speak to NTSB Security.
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  19. #19
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    A year or two ago some thieves were targeting trailheads in Boulder county enough for it to reach the papers. Ended up catching the guy, who had evidense from many robberies in his car. I ran into one of the Sherriffs who nabbed the guy, and thanked him. He was pretty sober about the whole thing, saying essentially that someone was sure to take the crooks place sooner rather than later.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    I never leave anything in plain view inside my vehicle. It's only an invitation for some scumbag to break a window to get at it. I find commercial stickers on vehicles amusing as well, especially advertising expensive and easy to steal items like car stereos or sunglasses. An Oakley or Alpine sticker might as well say "FOR STEAL", indicating there is some kind of goodie inside for your local crack addicts to get at. Also, bike stickers all over a vehicle at a trailhead is a good indicator that its owner may not be back promptly and if they do return, a thief will hear them coming and be able to get away in time (sound familiar?).
    There was absolutely nothing in plain view in my Jeep. The only things in it at all were my wallet, my house keys, and a flashlight and all three of those were "locked" in the glovebox. Didn't stop this guy from breaking my window just to "see" if there was anything in there. Oh yeah, and apparantly glovebox locks are useless.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geist262
    if you lived in florida, jeb passed a new law. Just shoot the SOB and ask questions later. I think a nice 44 mag. would do the trick. Anyway, sorry that happened to you, it sucks!
    I live in Oklahoma . . . shooting criminals is accepted behavior around here The officer even stated that it was too bad I didn't pull out a weapon and off this guy when I rode up.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Th' Mule
    If he has your pilot's license you need to speak to NTSB Security.
    I already contacted the FAA, but seriously, what can he do with it? It's not like he can actually use it for anything. If you don't know how to fly an airplane, a little certificate isn't really going to do you much good. He was a piece of white trash driving a $300 car . . . I doubt my certificate will do him much good. I'll be he's more excited about my new flashlight than he is about the pilot certificate, lol.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane
    I've taken to leaving my wallet at home and just carrying my DL & Debit card wrapped inside a $20.00 bill in my jersey pocket or camelbak. I drive a beater too, which hopefully deters thieves a bit.

    I'm an idiot. Thanks.

    I work near the Moody Bible Institute--it fascinates me: the co-eds, the fish emblems, the giant stereo systems moved in by the freshmen (*laugh*).

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  24. #24
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    Guessing the CC company/cops/yourself has thought of this but.....

    check where he charged the $80 worth of whatever and contact the place(s) to see if they have surveylance cameras. This is exactly how we busted a guy after he stole my wife's purse and tried to buy a bunch of stuff at a convenience store with the card and tried to guess a pin # and take money out using an ATM. We got everything back and he got busted within a few days. Good luck one way or another!
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

  25. #25
    paintbucket
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    I use the opposite approach to "nothing in plain sight." If a thief wants to break in to my car he'll have to paw through a foot or so of old coffee cups, twinkie wrappers, snot rags, yoohoo boxes, Mountain Dew bottles, fast food wrappers,etc. to find anything. I guess there are advantages to never cleaning out your car. Hell, the only two clean spots are the driver's seat and the booster seat in the back.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

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