A kinder, gentler thief

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by philSweet, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    I went to my boat last week and took her out and the autohelm wasn't working. The next day I started the disassembly to figure out why. The unit is a Raymarine ST4000 wheel minder. The motor sounded good and was getting the correct signals. When I got to the gear box, I just sorta stared dumbfoundedly at the thing. There weren't any gears in it. Someone had boarded my boat, taken the helm cover off, found what they were looking for, took the motor drive apart, took the gears out, then put it all back together again. Of course you can't buy just the gears, gotta get a whole new box. Still, in the past when things this bizarre have happened, there often turned out to be a silver lining. I've been in two car wrecks in my entire life. They happened five hours apart. It seems that the first one may have actually been a good thing because the damage that was caused actually prevented the second accident from doing real harm. The second accident resulted in the trailer axle being sheared off my trailer. It hung up on the damage from the first accident where the light bracket had gotten folded straight down.

    Anyway, I've already ranted to my friends while I was driving home, and I've ordered the $120 gearbox, so I can be a bit more philosophic about it now.
    But I have to tell you that it took me a good long while to wrap my head around the fact that someone had put it all back together again. And how many boats had they looked at before they found mine? who would check out a fully covered helm on the off chance it had the right part?
  2. boat fan
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Australia

    boat fan Senior Member

    That`s amazing !
  3. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Well that sucks.

    What I did with my boat is covertly hide motion sensors and tiny-yet 1080p- infrared spy cameras in a few spots.They'll run for years off the house batteries.

    It is very satisfying.....
  4. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Yikes !!! Never heard of such a ridiculous theft. Imagine the ***** who risks a prison sentence in return for a handful of components.

    I think that in general thieves are low intelligence, Beavis and Buttheads.. Recently I had a " shipwreck" boatyard bicycle stolen. Rather than cut the chain the thief choose to cut thru a steel gate fence post with a hack saw to free the bike . It was a 25 dollar bike and the thief ruined a 500 dollar gate
  5. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Much like the Meth Heads that go around the States cutting the catalytic converters (and the longest pipe of your exhaust system) from trucks.

    They do about $1000 worth of damage to walk away with $75 in platinum to cash in at the local recycling depot.

    Little story...

    I was sleeping in "generation one" of my truck conversions. Currently, I have a converted Sprinter that is like a RoadTrek. Previously, for "generation one" I had a box truck I converted to an RV.

    My wife and I were asleep in a "Park and Ride" (commuter lot) with the wood stove going. It was around 2AM. I awoke to the strangest scraping sounds. Couldn't figure it out, but soon figured it almost sounded like a hacksaw.

    I tiptoed up to the front of the RV and got in the driver's seat. Could still hear the scraping. So, I started the truck.

    A very VERY frightened thief jumped up from under the truck and stopped for a brief second to look in my window. He saw me and started running, but he couldn't run directly out of the parking lot because this was in Maine. Snow banks were higher than your head. He had to run up to the top of the parking lot, so I tried running him down. :D

    He ran for his life for a good 1/4 mile with a box truck nipping at his heels. :D:D

    At the last moment, when I got very close, he scrambled up and over one of the snowbanks, then ran as fast as he could through the woods to another parking lot (for a car dealership) where he was apparently parked, or maybe was just hiding.

    He wasn't running so fast through the woods because it was that kind of snow that is all powder below, but has about a 1/4" thick sheet of ice on the top. You know... the kind you step on and you can almost stand on, but then you fall through and it cuts your shin? Yeah, he had hundreds of very *very* fast steps through that stuff, falling down several times along the way to his hands and knees while he scrambled to get away. :p

    I drove up to the car dealer parking lot to try and find him. It didn't work out. I never found him.

    He did about $1000 worth of damage to my exhaust because he had already destroyed the longest exhaust pipe and catalytic converter by the time I got him to stop cutting.
  6. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I hate thieves. The live aboard, too lazy to get a job, cruising fraternity is full of them.

    Couple years ago one of the local yachts came across a tiny baby RIB floating at sea. A cute little 2 meter job. Must have washed off someones deck or broke tow. He hauled it aboard and broght it back to the shipyard. It was a really handy tool to have and all of us used it for cleaning topsides of whatever task , then hauled it out and stored it on a pair of sawhourses in the shipyard after its done its duty
    . One day last year I see a "Cruiser "...you know the type, windmill gypsy ship with rust bleed topsides...sneak into the shipyard waiting berth for a " free " Sunday night dockage . In the evening Im walking thru the shipyard and this Gypsy cruiser has our handy Mini Rib hanging from a halyard and he is loading it on his deck !!! I calmy walk up and ask what the hell hes doing with my RIB....he looks at me with a seriuos face and says...If its yours why didnt you lock it up................
  7. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
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    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

    Frustrating. A year ago there were reports of thieves ripping out piping from peoples' property to sell copper for scrap value!!! This may top that.
  8. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Very sorry to hear that.

    It's someone who knows the boat, the area and perhaps even you...

    Think about it.


    Don't think it may not happen again once you replace the parts...
  9. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Small, portable video surveillance cameras, trail cameras and the like with IR recording etc are gonna cause lots of people acute embarrassment , not to mention criminal conviction in this day and age. I was recently told of a business owner who caught an employee stealing diesel from the on-site tank, after the boss became suspicious of how quickly the fuel was being used. He set up the camera, got the evidence, fronted the bloke, who still denied it was him.....durrrrr. Been an employee of 20 years apparently, and was lucky just to get sacked, no police called.
  10. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    Try this for size....

    About 12 years ago my wife and I went with her brother and family on a weekend to some resort and started the journey from his home in a well heeled yuppie suburb in Johannesburg. We left early on a Friday afternoon and here are a sequence of events.

    1. Loaded his big SUV, put my car in the double garage with his little Nissan truck which at the time was really sought after by affirmative shoppers.
    2. He fitted a serious looking Gorilla anti-theft steering lock to the tiller of the little truck and just to be on the safe side, removed the rotor from the distributor.
    3. Lock the garage and house and activated the home alarm (has movement sensor and door switch in garage as well) which is monitored by security company.
    4. Lock the electric gate with serious and highly rated security lock.

    We had a beautiful weekend and getting back on Sunday afternoon - the following;

    1. Open security lock on electric gate and enter the yard.
    2. Open the locked front door and disable the alarm.
    3. Open the garage to get my car and the little Nissan truck had mysteriously disappeared....:confused:

    Needless to say the Insurance company laughed at his claim and to this day never paid a cent for his loss...
  11. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Iowa

    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Had a good one pulled on me one time...
    I went to a scrap yard, parked in the front parking area and went in. The counter was L shaped and the "clerk" walked to the short end making me go there with my back to the lot. Short end of the story... Stereo was gone from the car when I went out again. No proof so I couldn't say much. They are out of business now though...good riddance.
  12. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    I Was alone, eating in a 0ld mid-town spaghetti restaurant, It was a deep narrow alley like building. Dimly lit booths lined the walls, and a long row of tables down the center. I tried to ignore four suit and tie business men there before me, enjoying a noisy lunch. They got very energetic when one apparently found a wallet on the floor. One man came to my table, showed me the wallet, and asked if it was mine. Nope.
    Then he asked if I would indicate to the staff where they found it, because he planned to leave it with the register hostess at the door. I agreed. Few minutes later, they left with some animated discussion at the register. The girl looked back at me, so I pointed at their table with a circle hand movement, indicating that general area.
    When I was ready to pay and leave, I too had an animated discussion at the register. The party of 4 had told the girl I was paying for all. She knew nothing about any wallet and she insisted I had accepted the obligation by hand signal!
    Nope I didn't pay and was very angry. Later and many times I laughed at the memory. Bankers or politicians? :)
  13. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    We were surprised one sunny day to find our vehicle missing from the driveway. We'd been gardening in the back and someone had helped themselves to the keys inside the back door and simply driven away. We had no idea it had even happened or when. I called the police and filled in a report. Next morning, there's the car in the driveway washed, waxed and vacuumed, it was immaculate. There on the seat were two tickets to the symphony the next night. We were dumfounded. All we could imagine is one of our neighbours or friends had been in a bind and needed the car, didn't think we were home and took it. We figured they'd probably be in the seats next to us at the symphony and we'd all go for drinks afterwards and have a good laugh.

    We got all dressed up, went to the show and didn't see anyone we knew. Got home and the house was completely empty, they even took the light bulbs.

    This story isn't true, but it's a great story!

    1 person likes this.
  14. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    I was having breakfast in a truckstop. The crew had just changed, and the two women coming on had a rough start. The night crew hadn't made the biscuits neither had they cleaned up, and other ommissions I don't now recall. One lady set about remedying while the other absorbed the full load at the counter. When I was finished, I waved a 20$ bill at the harried lady behind the counter. She brought me my bill and directed me to pay at the gas register in front. I waved the 20$ again and said it was a tip. She was startled and asked why? I told her her bad day had just turned better, because she and her partner had 20$ tip to split. She asked why I'd do this and accepted the money. Said now I'd have a good day too because I'd rescued theirs. 3 happy people for 20$? Wish I could box it and sell it!:)

  15. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    A 'heads up' for those men who may be regular Home Depot customers. This one caught me by surprise.

    Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don't be naive enough ti think it couldn't happen to you or your friends.

    Here's how the scam works:
    Two seriously good-looking 20-21 yr old girls come over to your car as you are packing your shopping into the trunk. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts. Its impossible not to look. When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No' and and instead ask you for a ride to McDonald's.

    You agree and they get in to the back seat. On the way, they start undressing. Then one of them climbs over into the front seat and starts crawling all over you,while the other one steals your wallet.
    I had my wallet stolen December 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, and again on the 17th, 20th, 24th &29th. Also January 1st & 4th. Twice on the 8th, again on the 16th, and 20th, two times yesterday and very likely again this upcoming weekend.

    So tell your friends to be careful.
    P.S. Wal* Mart has wallets on sale for 2.99.

    Of course it is a joke all over the internet. :D
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