Friday, June 20, 2008

Gas and GPS

At Wednesday's ACUDAT meeting, we reviewed current crime trends. Trailer thefts, street robberies and garage burglaries were among the topics. We also had a look at the theft of GPS devices. We've had three of these in the past two weeks, and 21 this year. I continue to think this will be a target of growing popularity with thieves, and hope more people take precautions.

One would think, with gas topping $4 per gallon, that the ancient art of siphoning would reappear. It has, although not as many cases have been reported to the police as I would have expected. I suspect that the skill of siphoning is mostly lost on the present generation. The skill of spelling siphon is clearly lost, too. So far this year, ten cases have been reported to the police. One of the victims was a retired police officer. Apparently the thief was unable to get into his locking gas cap (a good precaution), and was scared off, abandoning his hose and gas can.

There's not much of a geographic pattern to these offenses. They are spread around town. They have both picked up in recent weeks though--half of each have been since the first of May:


Anonymous said...

Most new vehicles are made with an anti-siphon device.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have the gas siphoned than have this happen.

Anonymous said...

I bet that it's faster to just steal the plates from a car, put them on a car, do a gas drive-off, then ditch the plates you stole in a lake or pond. They'll sink to the bottom, and if the gas station's surveillance video shows the plates, they won't lead back to the thief. I suspect that this is the motive for some of the plate thefts I see in the incident summaries.

I fear that on the larceny from auto thing, Lincoln (like every other place) has plenty of people that will always float around in "condition white". They won't lock their cars, they won't remove their stereo faceplates, they'll leave swag visible from the outside. In other words, they'll keep making themselves and their property soft targets. Even if you live in a low-crime RD (like myself), please do your part to keep it that way by not making your stuff a soft target of opportunity.

Some of these blinders-on Pollyannas you can (and do) change with tips from your neighborhood watch program, or a local news story, and so forth, but a lot of them seem so dense that you couldn't pound sense into their head with a pile driver.

Anonymous said...

Sure is alot of crime going on in this town. Maybe you ought to spread the force out, instead of bunching them all up downtown, especially on the weekends. Watching everybody down there like they're a bunch of children. While the criminals are in the neighborhoods stealing.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know what the years of the cars that were reported as I drive cars from 72 through 06 and am more aware of the fuel tank in my 74 then I am in either of the others.

Ofcourse the newer cars have the anti-theft type filler hose however, I am not oblivious to the fact that this can be defeated. I am just not as worried about them because the other cars are older and dont have that type of filler.

These would be an easy target for anyone who actually knows what they are doing. Now they just have to get by my perimiter alarm on the property without me knowing it!

I dont think that it is a matter of the kids or thieves knowing what to do, I think it is more of a matter of the parents just giving the $ up for the joyriding instead of makeing them goto work to earn the $. If they had to earn it, they would know what it is like to buy something and loose it to some idiot who is limited in thought process.

Just my way of thinking about it!

Anonymous said...

"Apparently the thieve"

Alas, the spelling of thief has also declined

Only because we care, do we nitpick

Anonymous said...

I was an O/O in the trucking business in a former reincarnation. One of the things I really miss from that time are some of the bull sessions that took place in the drivers lounges of various truck stops. Fairy Tales usually start with "Once upon a time . . . .". Well a good truckers story starts with, " You ain't gonna believe this s**t but. . .".

So here goes, " You ain't gonna believe this s**t but one of the drivers I know that drove into the Hunt's Point Market (South Bronx in the late 1970's) on a regular basis told me a true story about his solution to payback for thieves. We'll call him Stogey. Stogey had been ripped off several times when he was going into the Hunts Point Market with boxed meat. Needless to say he was getting frustrated and he figured out a plan for revenge. On the very tail end of a load of boxed meat he put several bowling balls in special cradles he had built. This was when SUPER GLUE was first on the market. He had coated the inside of the finger holes of the bowling balls with SUPER GLUE. He figured that any thief would not be able to resist picking up a bowling ball. According to Stogey he was right. It was in the wee hours on a Monday morning and Stogey had made the turn off tha Bruckner Xpressway onto Hunts Point avenue when a carload of entrepeneurial (sic?) thieves popped the back doors on his reefer. He was still moving when he heard all kinds of profanities coming from inside his trailer. He observed two thieves waving bowling balls in his rear view mirrors as he pulled through the security gate at the market. He told the cops that they should be on the lookout for two perps with bowling balls glued to their hands.

Stogey swore this was a true story.

Gun Nut

Tom Casady said...

10:07 -

Too Shay! :-)

Anonymous said...

anon 10:51pm
couldn't have been a true story. Super glue dries instantly.
But it sure makes for a good blog and gives you something safe to do on a Friday night.

Anonymous said...

I have heard of loading a purse with dog feces (the fresher the better) and leaving the purse in a parking lot of a gas station etc... wait a few minutes and watch the dishonest snatch it up and drive away....within a few blocks without fail the car screetches to a halt and the purse goes flying out... I suppose within wasn't quite the 'mother load' they were expecting... niiiiice!

Anonymous said...

Saw an article that some police departments (the one features was an Atlanta suburb) are starting to add a surcharge to tickets to pay for fuel costs. I think this department was adding $21 on every ticket.

Certainly in the case of high speed or long distance pursuits - it'd be nice to see something like this added to the criminal's costs.

I know from a time working in store security that KMart took advantage of existing legislation and would slap shoplifters w/ a civil suit to recoup the cost of security.

So that $2 chapstick that junior pocketed suddenly cost Mom and Dad $200 - $300 in a civil suit.


Tom Casady said...


It takes legislation to increase the court costs on citations. I think this would be a tough sell, although I certainly think it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Would that (boosting court costs for a fuel surcharge) need to happen at the city, county, or state legislative level?

Tom Casady said...

State legislature.

Alice Hughes said...

After listening to a local radio station yesterday about the top of thieves drilling holes in gas tanks listeners phoned in with suggestions on how to stop this from happening.

Several people suggested that having Deer cameras on their house or building would catch these people in the act.

If the word was spread around it just might stop this from happening again.

Good luck with this new problem here in Lincoln.