last night as I was going to bed I remembered that I hadn't locked the garage. I was to lazy to walk outside and lock it, which got me to thinking about the chances of my T getting stolen. In my yard its impossible to bring in a trailer capable of carrying the car, so:
1. Could most thieves start it ?
2. Could they drive it ?
3. If the police put out a "Be on the lookout" for my T, how hard would it be to spot?
4. Could they advertise it for sale without the T community knowing it?
5. Would they bother to strip it for parts when the parts in a modern car would be worth as much or more?
Of course if your motive is just to steal, anything can happen, but if you have the normal profit motive, the obstacles look huge for a T thief.
Anybody know of a T stolen in the last 25 years? Was it recovered?
Why would anybody want to steal a Model T? Money would be the only motive I can see but it's hard enough to sell a T even when you can prove you own it. Selling the Brass for scrap might be do-able if it were early.
I guess most T people don't really understand how a thief thinks.
They wouldn't steal the whole car, they'd just rip the radiator off of it to get the brass.
3: Not unless they take lessons & drive it
(Stripped for parts it's history)
4: Advertised with pics it might get
noticed before a sale. (This is one
reason I never buy a car without a title).
5: If they have any brains at all this is
the main reason it'd be stolen.
$ is $.
When I went out to try starting my Model T this morning I noticed that I had left the keys in the door (again) to the garage. Didn't matter much, as the car was parked outside with the keys in it. Even I couldn't start it this morning. Not many thieves out when it's 15 below!
In recent years, several T's have been stolen by thieves who thought they were just stealing a trailer. The two I have in mind were both recovered. One by club members who saw the trailer listed on E-Bay. My personal experience was several weeks ago, when someone stole six of the twenty front axle assemblies I had stacked behind my garage. Ed
Thieves will steel anything, even Model T's.
Here are a couple stolen recently:
And vintage stolen cars stolen a wile back:
More at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/396523.html?1382637645
The common thief is stupid and lazy... they steal what is easy to get and easy to sell. If they can't sell it to a scrap yard, pawn shop, or to someone they know within a day or two, they're generally not interested, especially with big out-of-the-ordinary things that are hard to conceal.
Most likely, they would rather take the radiator and any tools than the whole car.
I'm sitting here imagining the poor thief trying to get the radiator off. He's got cotter pin cuts on his fingers and fighting the upper support rod. It won't turn. The nuts on the lower mounting studs are rusted to the nuts. The hoses have bonded to the metal. Even if he gets past all that he can't wiggle it out past the fan and the headlights. Does he really want it that bad?
Huh? He'll just take a knife to the hoses and a sledge hammer and pound it until a big chunk falls off. All he wants is the scrap metal value, not something of beauty he can hang on his wall.
According to lore my T was stolen many years ago from the second owner while they were in church. As told to me two criminals just released from prison had made it as far as Paso Robles before running out of money. The T was not the newest car parked at church but it was the one they knew how to drive. They were apprehended on what was to become highway 101 as they approached San Luis Obispo. My car is a 14 so they had to crank it to steal it.
Theives will steal anything. One of our local club members owns a pawn shop. Recently at our Sunday morning "Coffee meeting" he asked where he could buy some 5/8 inch steel square bar. When asked what he needed it for he told us someone had stolen some of the bars from his burglar bars on his shop windows.
I have thought about your questions from time to time, Bud. My TT has an aux. transmission. I'm thinking that even if a thief did get it started (unlikely by itself as it has no starter) they'd never get it in gear. Since I don't own a trailer for it, so "accidental" theft is not on the table.
Maybe if they used a large fork lift.....
I have been lucky. we park a Model t in the front yard each Christmas season with Santa driving and the back full of over sized presents. Not even kids have tried to borrow it. I agree though that thief's by their very nature, are both destructive and uncaring. I would be concerned about leaving a brass car unattended outside. On the one tour i have gone on though, many T's were parked at the hotels with no bad results.
I have 2 friends that had their enclosed trailers with model T's stored inside stolen. One was a restored 12 touring and new trailer....neither trailer or car has been found. Was stored inside a 6' chained fence/gate. They cut the lock!
The other was stored on his ranch in the east county of San Diego. It was approx. 20 years ago when the theft happened. His car was a speedster with an unusual windshield and seat. Years ago, I had seen a picture of the speedster.
Last year, while driving thru Fallbrook Ca. where I live.....I spotted the speedster with a For Sale sign on it setting in a yard. It was weathered but still looked much the same as in the picture. Called the owner, took a picture with my cell phone an now my friend has his speedster back. There was a small article in the HCCA Gazette last year.
The sad thing was what the CHP did.....because the engine no. was ground off, they confiscated the engine and returned the car back to the seller! My friend had to pay the seller to get his car back! No Justice dealing with the CHP in California.
My friend had the police stolen report and photo's of his speedster showing the special constructed windshield and body with now faded out blue color and still....the CHP did not do the right thing.
You will not hear of me asking for any help from the CHP!
Druggies don't think if they did they wouldn't take drugs. They will steal anything for cash to buy drugs. If you think scrap yards check ID's then think again. Several scrap yards were raided by police around me and discovered spools of overhead wire from the power company depot, copper pipe from a supply house and cars that were bashed with sledge hammers so they could get any metal of value for cash. No car is safe.
If I'm just inside a restaurant or something like that where I can keep an eye out, I usually don't bother removing the key. If I go inside a larger store like Lowes, I will put the key in my pocket.
A person that knowley steals a vintage car it is for dismantling and selling it peice by peice. Its the dumbass that accidentally gets one while stealing a enclosed trailer where they don't know what to do with it. All I will say is if I see my T going down the road without me in it I will show them what 10 years of Military sharp shooter training can do and just how well sighted in my customized 30-06 is at 600 yards. Tends to make a small hole going in and a bit larger coming out.
I've known of stolen T's. One was a divorce deal. The husband was awarded the car, but when he went to get it, it was gone. Never has shown up. The other involved me. I bought two model T's that were fire damaged. One was gone before I could pick it up. Later a guy called me and offered to sell it to me. It was missing the brass radiator and side lamps, but the motor and Ruckstell were still there. He was most surprised when I informed him that it was a stolen car and that I had the title for it. He actually delivered it to me and I let him off the hook as I don't think he actually stole it.
I know people who leave the key in their T on the grounds that no one will know how to start and drive it anyway, so they won't steal the car. My response is that they don't have to steal the car to inconvenience you, all they have to do is take the key....
A few years ago, there was a trailer stolen with a T inside. It was found about three miles from my home in a storage shed. The guy only wanted the trailer to transport stolen motorcycle parts south. He had no use for the T and hadn't decided how to get rid of it when he decided to sell the trailer on E-bay and the owner found it. The police were notified, posed as buyers and capture the perp, as they called him.
Stopping at a shopping mall during an errand run, someone who stopped by to talk about the T noticed I did not lock it and asked if I wasn't worried about it being stolen. I said "no" and asked him if were to be inclined to steal it could he start it. H looked it over and said he didn't have a clue. I then asked him if I were to start if for him could he drive it away. Same answer. He then understood why I wasn't too concerned about having the car stolen while I went into the store.
My uncle Bill (R.I.P.) installed burglar alarms in residences and small business'. I consulted with him when I built my new house since it is in a rural area and I wan't to at least try to keep what was mine - as mine. He basically said what you guys said in that "burglars and other thieves aren't very bright and if they had anything going for them they wouldn't be burglars". He said a lot of people alarm every window and door but burglars really can't get much loot back out a window so they will break in and haul stuff out the door and set off the door alarm. I was thinking I needed broken glass sensors for the windows and things but he said that a burglar may indeed break a window but will then reach up and unlock the window and open it up wide to crawl through since the frame would otherwise be lined with broken glass hence a simple switch on the sash catches them every time. Best way to not lose your T is not to store it in a trailer since the main reason trailers are being stolen is for meth lab use by druggies. They pull it into a field or lot somewhere and set up their lab to make up the goods. If they discover your T in there when they stop, they may just abandon the T or the whole thing if they can't figure out how to unload it quickly and get going. Drug crazed people are not really someone you want to mess with since you don't have to go lower than about the first level of drug dealing to be then dealing with some really evil people who are not rationale and are just addicts needing their tonic. Your life isn't worth giving to them for the price of a trailer or even a trailer with a T in it. A close friend was confronted in his front yard by a man with a gun who took all his Christmas presents away. He had just gotten back from the Best Buy store with a computer for his daughter and some other items. It was in broad daylight. My friend faked a heart attack and the guy grabbed the packages and ran. The police caught him and his 2 accomplices a few days later when they attempted a home invasion again in broad daylight. They had tied up the tenants (2 of 3 young men) and began to ransack the house not knowing that young man number 3 was in the lower level and heard what was going on. He called the cops and they nabbed all 3. It was really a weird deal since they were so blatantly obvious to catch. They rang the door bell and posed as offering to hang up external Christmas lights but when they sized up the tenants they pushed them aside and barged in. The various things they did like assaulting the tenants and tying them up and pulling guns on everyone made the police report a nice check list of charges each of which is a major felony. They were felons out of prison 3 weeks or so. This happened 3 years ago. My friend is still a bit scared and watches his surroundings much more carefully now.
Hmm, faking a heart attack, I'm old enough now where that might actually work, I'll have to remember that one, thanks!
Too bad young man #3 didn't send them all to meet their maker. Those guys will be out of jail in no time flat and do the same thing again.
Two years ago thief(?)s entered my garage disassembled my 1923 roadster removing the radiator (new). Two weeks later broke in again taking another radiator and a tub of parts (all in boxes and labeled. About $4000.00 worth. Fortunately thieves are stupid! Advertised Model T parts on Craigslist. With help of wife and a good T fiend parts located, police called. A juvenile went to jail for 9 months. An 81 year old man is awaiting trial charged with receiving stolen property. Refused a misdemeanor deal. Trial in March. Will have taken more than two years. Moral of the story: Lock it up! They will disassemble!
I keep my model T stored in my enclosed trailer. it is located behind a chained gate in front of my shop and has a locked car parked in front of the gate. Also, the trailer has a power front jack that is disconnected inside the locked trailer. The tongue weight is heavy enough that it would take several people to lift up to latch the ball.
Both trailer and car are insured.
The sad thing is most scum bags that are doing these crimes are repeat offenders. We need laws that would put those that let them out to do it again get put in the slammer. In Califunny...they want to release the bad guy's early to save $$$'s.
How stupid is that!
This important information should be kept in mind by all Model T owners regarding insurance for loss to the car.
Most specialty policies have a locked garage warranty. If the garage is not locked or the car is not in a locked garage--no coverage. Putting a car in a trailer would void the coverage. Be sure to check with the agent for your Model t insurance.
Insurance did cover the damaged tail light and rear fender repair. Perhaps the antique auto policy picked up the tab. The car was not tied down, as it was just being stored. The perp must have taken a sharp corner too fast, probably in leaving the trailer parking area.
The thief's biggest mistake was also stealing another trailer the same night with four full dress police Harley Davidson motorcycles that belonged to a senior police officer. They were tied down and not damaged at all.
That caper put the thief right at the top of the local 10 most wanted list.
When I think theft, I think of more than just coming out in the morning and finding my car gone.
If the guy simply cuts the lock on my gate and walks away after not being able to start the car, I've still lost a nice lock. And if he damages my car trying to move it or start it, I've still lost the cost of repair.
A good example of this is the danger of leaving something attractive in your locked-up modern car. Some years ago my mother in law left a purse laying on the seat of my car as we were going into a restaurant. I asked her to put the purse under the seat. She said, "Oh, there's no money in it." I replied, "Yes, but a thief would have to break my window to find that out. And I don't want to lose a window."
And of course there is the damage done even if nothing is taken or destroyed. The angst you feel for having been violated doesn't have a monetary price, but it's very real.
Who could steal a T?
Anybody with a tow chain, a cutting torch, and the address of the nearest scrap yard. No huge obstacle to profit there Bud.
Anyone could take it if they know how to drive it. I know how to start and drive mine with or without a key and most of you here also know how. I just don't walk away with the key in the car because anyone could turn the key and step on the starter button and then not knowing how to drive it they could run into or over something or someone. They could get it going and not know how to stop! Why chance it? Always play it safe and take the key with you.
And here's a little different "wrinkle",......one of the guys in our club actually had somebody steal the key out of the ignition switch at some sort of "Show 'n Shine" event!
The other problem with T's is that 90% or more of people who don't know anything about them have this automatic assumption that they are worth a fortune because they are so old. I've had people who I generally regard as intelligent suggest some CRAZY numbers for what they think my speedster is worth. On more than one occasion I've been asked why I drive something that MUST be worth 6 figures. LOL
Harold, that's exactly what I mentioned farther back up the thread. They don't need to steal the whole car to cause you a problem, and stealing the key requires no specialized knowledge. Why tempt people who might think it was a neat souvenir to have?
If they want it, they will take it. Locked gates and locked cars or trucks in front of gates or trailers are only inconveniences. A few years back, a co-worker had a car stolen from his driveway. The thieves cut the lock on the gate, broke the window of his pickup and popped the ignition so it would start, and then used the pickup and a chain to drag another car out of the driveway so that they could steal car #3. That's 1 locked gate, 1 locked pickup, 1 locked car, and the third car in line stolen. The neighbors didn't even notice!
Do you mind telling us what the 3rd car was that was worth all that trouble?
I am missing $29,000 worth of tools from my home here in Loveland, Colorado. We got the thief right away. His name is Robert W. Johnson. Robert get to keep my tools for free because he was ordered restitution. He has not paid and is just about to get off of probation... In Larmimer county Colorado. It is a great place to rob and steal.. Judge Daniel J. Kaup is a friend of criminals... No Hope No Help from him.
You could get about 6 of these signs and add a note saying pets are kept in cars!
Back in the day when prisons were few and justice was angry, the circuit judge made an example of horse thieves and cattle rustlers by permanently ridding the Earth of such worthless types. I'm not advocating we return to such a practice, but one cannot argue that this method wasn't 100% rehabilitative as the law-breaker in question never repeated that or any other crime.
And if a homesteader happened to catch a robber or would-be rapist in his home, he cocked his Remington or Peacemaker and blew the SOB's brains out then and there without having to face any type of legal repercussion because the situation was so black & white: Criminal in somebody's home, criminal killed on the spot, sheriff shakes the homesteader's hand and sees to the disposition of the body—and as they say in the White House—period. I'm on board with that type of justice.
In Singapore, the crime rate is all but non-existent because instead of spending a fortune on the long-term support of criminals in prison facilities, they just hire a martial arts practitioner (of which there are many in that part of the world) who is provided with a stout length of bamboo with which to spank the living daylights out of the bared bottom of the perpetrator. I'm on board with this one too because it is almost as effective, rehabilitatively speaking, as a death sentence and has the added benefit of that personal touch I would so love to see applied to criminals. I'd add that it should be done in the public square because humiliation makes for more effective teaching — and has the added benefit of uniquely satisfying the criminal's victim.
I believe in fair trials because to unjustly punish the innocent is to defeat the purpose of punishing the guilty. But once that part of the process has been accomplished and we're quite sure the verdict is clean, I believe in teaching a criminal whatever kind of lesson has a well-proven track record.
Would I like to see a thief caned for stealing my car? Oh, yes, yes, yes!!!
Thieves will steal anything.
Gee Seth, only 6 figures? I've been told my Runabout is worth 7 figures. I guess a Town car would be worth 8 figures. Sadly these people never make a serious offer to buy my car. After reading all this, I'm gonna make a better effort to secure my garage.
Even if the thieves don't know how to drive it, they may try and, in the process, destroy your T and your garage, so lock it up and take the key. Jim Patrick
PS. That almost rhymed...
Daniel. That would be a good story for an investigative reporter out to make a name for himself. We have a segment on the local TV news station called "8 on your side", that runs stories like this all the time for the public's protection. A newspaper might also be interested. It's worth a try. Jim Patrick
All right, what about the Boston Bomber. What about
the state trooper that snapped a pic and ended up
resigning just to prove that thing on rollin stone?
But its alright for a pic of a bloody deer 'who dont
bother nobody'? Ahh the modern justice system, give
the bum color TV computor free food, meanwhile the
young people with blown off legs? And that thing
has a defense lie'er. of course gonna plead inocent.
Notice I dont call "it this guy" I call it thing.
Death or life NO.. My way, natures way, I send it
back to his kind. a big fish tank couple gators
a shark maybe some paranas. So be it survival of
the fittest. Lets see how this animal makes out with its own kind. And you & I aint gotta feed it
no more!! bad enough our kids comming back all
blown up from them nuts, or I refraze, them idiots
are insects you ever try to trane a fly. All they
know about is blowin up people. Steal my Ford?
bewhere; dont trust an old man, he lived his life
nothing to lose, his last rodeo he wil kill ya...
A friend of mine has the best type of burglar alarm its called a couple of rattlesnakes in a burlap bag he leaves it on the floor of his 14 t the worst part is one snake always seems to get out of the bag and hides somewhere else in the car
Seth, it was a '67 Volkswagen convertible.
I rely on my attack Shih Tzu to protect my Model Ts. . . ;o)
My Schnauzer alarm.
Years ago a friend had a Model A parked in a field. No one stole it although I heard that 1 or 2 tried.
The bee hive in the car slowed them down.