How I spent Valentines Day evening and the better part of the weekend:
Years ago when I had my trailer in a storage yard, my locks with 5/16” hardened shanks were cut and my trailer was opened for “inspection”. After that, I upgraded to locks having the maximum diameter hardened shank that barely fit through the hole in the hasp.
This last weekend, I dug through a bank of plowed snow to get to my trailer door and found two of my locks hanging by one side of the hasp. The pieces of the hasp were carefully arranged to look like they were not tampered with but it was obvious a bolt cutter was used to cut the hasp itself and the locks remained untouched. My son’s trailer sustained similar damage. Thinking back to the last time I was in the trailer and looking at the extent of the rust on the cuts, I am assuming this happened around Christmas when no one would have been around the garage area.
As near as I can tell, all cars are intact so the police are reluctant to make a report since the damage to the trailers is below my insurance deductible and I won’t be making a claim. I guess I have to thank my insurance company because they were insisting I get them copies of my registrations for historic plates due to changes in my state law. I am also happy that scrap yards are now photographing loads and drivers licenses so my radiators and brass parts lost their appeal as scrap. I am guessing the thieves were after tools to sell on Craigslist rather than cars.
Lessons learned: An internet search tells me there are many instances of cut hasps on trailer doors. The company that made my trailer now sells a cast steel Patriot hasp that will replace the stamped one that my son and I welded back together over the weekend. My son’s trailer has a hasp that retails for fourteen dollars and I am very concerned about replacing like for like after seeing that the bolt cutter also deformed and popped the rivet that serves as the swivel for the top part of the hasp. We replaced that portion of the hasp with a bolt and reinforcing plate that goes clear through the door. I know I can’t stop these animals from messing with my trailer, I am hoping to slow them down enough where someone will notice them and escort them to prison.
Bottom line, check your trailer, inspect your lock. A ten foot check was not sufficient in my case. Consider upgrading your locking system with a hardened cover or cast hasp.
That sucks man. Sounds like your trailer needs to live somewhere else.
I'm happy to hear your cars were "unmolested." My experience from a previous life (law enforcement) was that often the vandalism was as bad or worse than what was stolen. I hope it never happens again (although someone now knows where your trailers are, and what is in them).
It sounds like you have a good plan to beef up the trailer security.
Sounds like you need to add two more things: an automatic food dispenser and waterer along with a doggie door; one that will accommodate, say, a pair or three of Rottweilers.
Glad to hear that no serious damage was done or loss incurred.
I've often thought of using a game camera but first of all, I don't know much about them, and second of all, if I were to identify a culprit or culprits stealing my stuff, I'd try to kill them and then I'd be in prison....... Fortunately we live in an area where thievery is far and few between.....
Locks are only for honest folks. If the bad guys want in, Nothing is going to stop them. Give them an easy way in and avoid damage. Make them work for it and they will destroy more to reach what they want. I have other ways to protect my property, But then Im a mean s.o.b and don't care. When the bad guy makes a choice to steal from me they also make the choice to get the biochemical surprize I have waiting for them.
Tom Someone sent this to me in E-mail I thought it might cheer you up.
As John was getting ready to go to bed his wife called down the stairs "John you left the garage light on" so John looked out the window but the reason the light was on was because there were some young men trying to break into the garage and they had turned the light on. John called 911 and informed the operator what was happening and the operator informed him there was no one available but that she would dispatch someone as soon as they became available but admonished John to stay inside where he was safe because nothing in his garage was worth his life! John hung up counted to 45 then dialed 911 again and told the operator that she could take her time with the dispatch because he had just shot both intruders and they weren't going anywhere and hung up and disconnected the phone! Well sir the police swat team showed up in less than 3 minutes caught the bad guy's in the act and handcuffed them and threw them in the back of the squad car. then an angry SWAT commander went to the front door and banged on it and was somewhat surprised when 85 year old John answered the door, after regaining his anger he said I thought you said you had shot the intruders. John smiled and said "I thought you said no one was available!"
The game cameras are simple nowadays.Just like a digital camera with memory card.I am thinking of getting 1 myself in case anything happens.Scrap prices are down but then,the scrap is getting thin.So I am concerned.I have a 87 Lincoln I hope to repair sometime and I have been aggrovated to death by a local man wanting it.3 times he has come by wanting to buy it.
Well the last time I said "look, just what would you give? " I had fiqured well,7 to 800 for it would be fair as it has alot of new parts on it but needs oilpump and trans repair..
And he had the nads to say," Oh I will give you 200 dollars for it and even haul it away for you!"
In respect for his young son and wife that were there with him I just told him sorry,it is NOT for sale and I would appreciate him not bothering me anymore.
Alone,I would have had alot more colorfull things to say.
There are plenty of good stand-alone trailer alarms, that recharge using solar. They are also GPS trackers. Alarms are great for scaring off the thieves, and notifying you to come and bury them if so inclined.
Thanks all for the suggestions and consoling.
I do think that next fall I will re-think my strategy of storing our cars inside the trailers for the winter. I did so partially to free up my son's garage at his house. We both now think our cars may be safer elsewhere.
Tom, you may already be aware but for those that don't Michigan assesses each insured car $168 (in 2013)for the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association funding. However, if you can prove your car is registered as historic or historic authentic the assessment is $38(in 2013). Your insurance company, by state mandate, needs proof of your car's registration status so they can bill you at the reduced historic rate.
I was aware of it and tried to get AAA to give me a discount on my son's Mustang years ago because it was historic plated. The antique insurance company I used at the time wouldn't insure him as a teenaged driver because they were worried he would abuse the 250 cubic inch engine in the car. AAA refused to give me the MCC discount and now those great people in Traverse City (Hagerty) insure all of our antiques. They didn't balk at insuring my son and wondered how he could like cars without being able to drive them to shows.
Around here trailers are being stolen to be used as Meth labs. Watch your enclosed trailers close. Dan