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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby tofu » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:25 pm

One thing often overlooked is disable the inside trunk release. Rear seats that recline are often useful for hauling stuff (including tubas) but a fixed rear seat combined with either no (or disabled) remote inside trunk release means that thieves will have to use crowbars to pry open your trunk to get your tuba. Unless they know there is something they really really want in there -they just aren't going to want to spend that amount of time or effort. It takes a lot of time to pry open a trunk. Even if they know what is in there they won't want to spend the time or have the tools necessary to do it.

Also - if you have a trunk mounted battery install a remote battery disconect (you can install a bypass with/fuse to keep radio presets etc.). They can't start your car and even if they figure it out -they will have to pry open the trunk. You can also install hidden fuel kill switches. You can do this with a battery under the hood but you will need a chain and lock for the hood so they can't just use the inside release. Not hard to do but people are lazy.

New cars are a lot harder to steal without the key/fob these days and that is why you have such a huge jump in car jackings. So in any urban area even on a busy street in the middle of the day you really need to have your head on a swivel when entering or exiting your vehicle. If you keep your remote battery kill or the security remote that comes with your car separate from the ignition key if a carjacker demands your keys give them up - run 25 yards away and hit the kill switch - the thiefs will jump out and into the car they came in when it quits running. A lot of cars unfortunately have integrated the remote into the key head making this moot - but a separate fuel kill will still do it. Another heads up: around here the carjackers like to do soft bump you from behind with their car - many folks get out of their car (leaving the car running) to look at the rear end - the carjackers accomplices then jump into your car and take off. So don't leave your car running if you get bumped - call the cops first and/or then drive directly to the police station.

One other thing get a cheap cell phone and put that in your trunk. I use my old iphone with my old legacy pay as you go plan from t-mobile - so I just have to add $10 a year to keep it going. If the car gets stolen (along with tuba in trunk) the cops will be able to track it with the find my iphone app. A high percentage of stolen cars get dumped - if the tuba is in a secured trunk - even if the car gets stripped - you probably have bought enough time for the cops to find it before anybody is willing to go through the time/effort/get the right tools to pry open the trunk - assuming your trunk has a separate lock key from the ignition. If it does keep that key with the remote / separate from the ignition key.
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby bort » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:07 am

Dumb warning here -- make sure you lock the doors!

I was responsible for getting my girlfriend (now wife)'s car broken into in Baltimore about 10+ years ago. It was an old Saturn, nothing to look at, no power locks. Her: "Are you sure you locked your door?" Me: "Yeah, of course"

And of course, I didn't lock it. :oops: They only took some spare change and a dinosaur of an emergency car phone. It was nice of them to close the door, though, and make sure it looked like nothing happened. Could have been much worse, and glad I didn't lose Mrs. Bort over something that stupid!
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby pjv » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:06 am

Guys, geeez, just take your tuba out of the car. Really, you'll survive. Schlepping the tuba is part of the gig.

Forking out thousands of $$$$ for a replacement, now THAT'S a drag. Missing your gig cause you left your tuba in the car for the thieves to snatch it; a nightmare!

If you stop to eat, make sure you can see the car; otherwise bring the tuba in with you.

I do not constantly have more than one horn with me, only occasionally. When I do I try to plan things better.

When I bought my car I specifically chose one with a large trunk (not accesable from inside the car). The 2nd hand market is filled with cars so it wasn't that difficult (and seriously, I don't have the cash to make elaborate choices). And I have a steering wheel lock to scare off joy riders.

A friend of mine was the creative/lazy type. He welded a chain onto the inside of his van and would put that through the tuba. The chain was amply protected with a rubber tube and had a serious lock on it. He just assumed that 99% of the thieves breaking into a car do not have a hack saw with them.
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby bloke » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:04 am

yep.
When I eat with my friends and the parking lot is full, I might park in a poor spot (for visibility from inside the restaurant), but will watch for a GOOD parking spot to be open (while waiting to be seated), and move the car asap.
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Does anyone (other than me) carry a "throw wallet"?
I really don't carry anything but money wrapped around two credit cars and my driver license (stored in my sock).
I carry a "throw wallet" with small-money (a ten, five, and two ones), a (printed on paper, behind the clear plastic) doctored driver license, and fake credit cards (those "promotional" ones that are sent in the mail).
:arrow: That having been said (i.e. all the words describing my "throw wallet") I do ~not~ dawdle or hang around chatting with other musicians outside the gig venue in the parking lot. I get in the car quickly and scram. As has been previously mentioned, many of our cities are plagued with car-jackings and armed robberies. In Memphis, armed robbers are taking wallets, and then shooting victims in their legs.
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby tofu » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:47 pm

pjv wrote:Guys, geez, just take your tuba out of the car. Really, you'll survive. Schlepping the tuba is part of the gig.


Well thanks Captain Obvious!

Some of us lead incredibly complex lives and sometimes the horn just has to come with all day. This is especially true for those whose full time careers are something other than music

If you stop to eat, make sure you can see the car; otherwise bring the tuba in with you.


A lot of places just aren't going to have either the space or the willingness to allow you to lug a huge tuba inside. Especially better restaurants. Since I can afford better restaurants I prefer to eat in those places. I can also afford to eat the loss of a tuba. I just don't want to have spend a lot of time searching to replace a special axe if I don't have to.

A friend of mine was the creative/lazy type. He welded a chain onto the inside of his van and would put that through the tuba. The chain was amply protected with a rubber tube and had a serious lock on it. He just assumed that 99% of the thieves breaking into a car do not have a hack saw with them.


Nobody uses a hack saw anymore. Modern technology has made life easy for thieves. The new battery powered grinders are cheap/light/ and will cut through anything in less than 30 seconds. A lot of thieves are carrying these things around. They are easy to conceal and the wheels can be had for a buck. They have tested every bicycle & motorcycle lock out there (some costing $500) and they all failed. The same for almost all chains. It is really comes down to does it take them 15 or 30 or 60 seconds to cut it. The very best ones took less than 2 minutes. The only downside is the noise but these guys are so brazen these day they don't even blink with lots of people around. And unless you have a gun who is going to confront a guy wielding a grinder? So it comes down to making yourself less a target than somebody else. You don't have to be the fastest gazelle when the tiger is chasing - just faster than the one behind you! :twisted:
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby bloke » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:58 pm

Eat at Rough House™.
Even most thieves are afraid to go there.

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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby lost » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:21 pm

Is tuba stealing an opportunistic theft or one that is adequately scoped out? I tend to think more the latter in which case keep an eye out on people you aquaint with directly or indirectly from places you frequent....
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby Michael Bush » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:40 pm

Okay, okay. I went out and got it out of the trunk and brought it inside!
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby bloke » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:11 pm

There you go, Michael ! :D

bloke "who suspects that tuba-theft, generally, is more opportunistic than planned"
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby pjv » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:35 am

I think tuba thefts are both opportunistic and scoped out. Since most thieves breaking into cars want to get in and out as quickly as possible the chance that they'll have a grinder with them is slim; it just isn't something you need to break into a car. The hack saw comment was of coarse metaphorical. Locks are either ground open or cut.

Better restaurants? I've been to better restaurants in Paris (quite famous for cramped spaces) and have never had a problem taking a tuba with me. The "better" restaurants are always willing to accommodate a musician everywhere I've been all over the world.

TN is the perfect forum for blanket statements. No one comment applies to everyone. The topic is about theft and bad habits. Some tuba players (thus not everyone) are throwing up a smoke screen of excuses not to have to take their tuba out of the car. I believe the intentions of the OP were to help discourage this and maybe even pick up some good ideas if possible (for those moments when we do choose to leave tubby in the trunk).

The chained tuba idea isn't uniek. Bass players have been known to build cage, trunks or closets in their vans.

Make it more difficult and add an alarm.
And a battery disconnect.
And a pitbull.
Or troll the thieves by replacing your Hirsbrunner with a Tiger tuba. They'll never steal from you again!
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby Tubajug » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:27 am

Mark wrote:
bloke wrote:If a tuba is hidden in the trunk - but is stolen, simply, because the entire car is stolen, very few thieves steal manual shift cars.


I'm curious, how many manual transmission cars have trunks big enough to hold a tuba?


I had a manual '92 Corolla that could fit my 186 in the trunk, in a gig bag.

I haven't had a tuba stolen (from anywhere, thank goodness) from a church, but I did have a black, Stetson fedora stolen. I left without it after a rehearsal and went back for it later that day and it was gone. :cry:
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby bloke » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:53 am

same here.
I've left items behind at church gigs...
...turned around and went back...G-O-N-E
called Monday and asked about lost-and-found: N-O-P-E

:lol:

folding stands, umbrellas, etc...

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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby iiipopes » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:43 am

Oldschooltuba wrote:My wife spent 30 years as a police officer. Thankfully retired now.
Her words......

"Never leave anything in the car you don't want to have stolen"

+1!!!
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby pjv » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:47 pm

Just wondering why my girlfriend always leaves me in car...
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby marccromme » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:54 pm

bloke wrote:Brett just explained it - plain-and-simple:
In other words...
If a tuba is hidden in the trunk - but is stolen, simply, because the entire car is stolen, very few thieves steal manual shift cars.
.


... this trick obviously does not work on our side of the pond ...
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby Schlepporello » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:15 pm

marccromme wrote:
bloke wrote:Brett just explained it - plain-and-simple:
In other words...
If a tuba is hidden in the trunk - but is stolen, simply, because the entire car is stolen, very few thieves steal manual shift cars.
.


... this trick obviously does not work on our side of the pond ...

A lot of people have gotten soft here in the USA.
I'm just crazy about dementia.
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby bloke » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:24 pm

marccromme wrote:
bloke wrote:Brett just explained it - plain-and-simple:
In other words...
If a tuba is hidden in the trunk - but is stolen, simply, because the entire car is stolen, very few thieves steal manual shift cars.
.


... this trick obviously does not work on our side of the pond ...


well...
obviously not.
1/ Everyone knows how to manual shift, and
2/ There's no "trunk". :|

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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby Biggs » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:26 pm

Is "I can afford better restaurants" the "25 year old power lifter" of TubeNet?
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby nworbekim » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:17 pm

I wasn't so worried until I read all of this, now I'm a wreck... So many ways to steal, so many ways I hadn't thought of.... I don't think I'd be a very good thief.
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Re: bad habits we should all break to avoid instrument theft

Postby tofu » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:58 pm

nworbekim wrote:I wasn't so worried until I read all of this, now I'm a wreck... So many ways to steal, so many ways I hadn't thought of.... I don't think I'd be a very good thief.


Well if you really want to get freaked out: google bump keys.

It used to be a thief had to be pretty skilled to pick a lock or very knowledgeable to bypass it another way. Now thanks to the internet it is easy to get a bump key for your house locks. No skill required and it leaves no trace of forced entry. Many insurers will then use the no sign of forced entry to deny your claim. It is amazing how some locks will resist all types of entry but have one simple weak spot. Even the no key locks that use a code or your phone have been shown to have a simple defeat. Your tuba might not be so safe at home. That is why it so important to try to limit putting where you live and what you have out on the net. I never fail to be amazed at what people post on FB.

Personally I've got three lines of defense - a really good security system with a direct wireless link to the police , a 95 pound dog with a bad attitude about intruders and me and my Glock 9, Remington 870 pump and 1100 shotguns and a willingness to shoot anybody who enters without permission.
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