PDA

View Full Version : Car break ins



sapblatt
06-14-2005, 07:39 AM
Apparently there have been another rash of car break ins at trail heads in the WMNF. When Tuco and I did our car drop at Mount Clinton Road on Friday night we noticed a Mazda MPV with a smashed in rear window. We reported it this at the Highland Center and were told that there had been five such incidents in the past 24 hours. The AMC person did not know where all of the break ins occured but mentioned 19 mile and Gale River.

Big D
06-14-2005, 07:58 AM
My son called from the WMNF, his girlfriends car and 7 other cars had their windows smashed. They took his wallet and ID and some cash from her. But it was raining and everything else was soaked. He is really bummed out, it wasn't a good introduction to the Whites. :(

Tom Rankin
06-14-2005, 08:13 AM
My son called from the WMNF, his girlfriends car and 7 other cars had their windows smashed. They took his wallet and ID and some cash from her. But it was raining and everything else was soaked. He is really bummed out, it wasn't a good introduction to the Whites. :(

Hopefully, this is just one person, or group, and they will be caught quickly!

I realize this does not work for everyone, but ...

Unless you think it's going to rain, you could leave the windows down enough so that smashing them is not necessary, and then lock everything in the trunk that is valuable. Some cars let you lock the trunk so that it can only be opened with a key. Most thieves would not spend the time prying the trunk open, having no guarantee that anything valuable is in there. They usually break into cars that they can see stuff inside.

Quack
06-14-2005, 08:18 AM
I take everything out of my car except what I'm going to carry on the hike. I leave my empty glove box open and the little compartment between my seats open and empty as well. I've had good luck so far (knock on wood), so I'm going to keep doing it. I learned it from a guy who owned a pizza shop in a bad neighborhood of Syracuse, NY. He used to leave his empty cash register open with a light on so people could look in the window and see that there was nothing worth stealing.

giggy
06-14-2005, 08:23 AM
sonofa b - nothing ticks me off more than this.

Sugarloafer
06-14-2005, 08:26 AM
Apparently there have been another rash of car break ins at trail heads in the WMNF. When Tuco and I did our car drop at Mount Clinton Road on Friday night we noticed a Mazda MPV with a smashed in rear window. We reported it this at the Highland Center and were told that there had been five such incidents in the past 24 hours. The AMC person did not know where all of the break ins occured but mentioned 19 mile and Gale River.

Heard the same story at Mizpah on Saturday from one of the people working there. Its certainly disturbing.....people that live/work in metropolitan areas view hiking in WMNF as an escape from all this kind of crap !!

ADK4Life
06-14-2005, 08:50 AM
News like this makes me feel like urban bullsh*t has invaded my escape from all of that. I would love to catch one of these people.

sapblatt
06-14-2005, 09:00 AM
Hopefully, this is just one person, or group, and they will be caught quickly!

I realize this does not work for everyone, but ...

Unless you think it's going to rain, you could leave the windows down enough so that smashing them is not necessary, and then lock everything in the trunk that is valuable. Some cars let you lock the trunk so that it can only be opened with a key. Most thieves would not spend the time prying the trunk open, having no guarantee that anything valuable is in there. They usually break into cars that they can see stuff inside.

THis is basically what I did too...I locked my steering wheel with my club and left the doors unlocked. Nothing in the car was worth as much as the windows. It helps having an older car with a ton of miles...not as attractive.

darren
06-14-2005, 09:03 AM
I was camped on Gale River Rd when the breakins happened at the Gale River Trailhead. When I was driving on Gale River Loop Rd, I was near the North end near Rt3 and saw a Silver Dodge Ram truck go by me at a normal speed. I looped down Rt 3 and re-entered the Gale River Loop Rd at the South end and a couple miles in (before you get to the Gale River trailhead), the same silver Dodge Ram went by me like a bat out of hell. He was really flying.

I talked to some of the breakin victms and found out that while the window was smashed, nothing was stolen, not even a wallet that was in the car. So, it looks like the thief was scared off. The speeding truck could be a coincidence, but it might not be. Something to keep your eyes on the lookout for.

I would love to catch one of these guys and show him what else I can do with a hiking pole.

- darren

WhiteMTHike
06-14-2005, 09:37 AM
This sounds like a growing problem. :mad: Is there anything that we as a hiking community can do? Send out e-mails to proper authorities etc.? any ideas? A press release is probably not a good idea, it might just encourage the wrong element to come back to the WMNF.

jbrown
06-14-2005, 10:04 AM
Booby trap the car.

Stake out the parking lot.

Hyper-trekking-pole-shuriken-weilding-ninja-hiker-of-death!

Wrap the car in titanium.

Hmmmm...I really like the stake out idea. Makes me sorry I'm in NY.

Get some camo clothing, hide in the bushes and wait...bring a paintball gun. :D

ripple
06-14-2005, 10:48 AM
Booby trapping your car will get you arrested, and shooting people w/ a paintball gun is assult. Love the ideas but a lawyer would go to town on your a**.

jbrown
06-14-2005, 10:59 AM
Love the ideas but a lawyer would go to town on your a**.

Well, yeah, but it's nice to vent...I don't think I'd have a problem shooting someone with my paintball gun if he was breaking into my car, though. Maybe legally I would, but I wouldn't feel bad about it...

Mr. X
06-14-2005, 11:22 AM
There was a guy on the AMC boards that would be the perfect canidate for the stake out idea as he is/was a NH cop. I believe this was Climber456?

ADK4Life
06-14-2005, 11:22 AM
We just need to work in an angle like "I was fearing for my life" then maybe we can get away with it.

DougPaul
06-14-2005, 11:28 AM
A better approach might be to take pictures of the thief in the act and give them to the police. The camera could be automated or manual.

Doug

Mike P.
06-14-2005, 11:40 AM
Appears it's a night time operation, C-Notch gets a fair amount of traffic going by it during the day & you can see the lot from 302, at night you would have headlights coming up 302 or around the corner on the Mt. Clinton Road warning the criminal that someone was coming. (Not that I've ever done anything remotely this before Sherpa John was born, what is the SOL on vandalism???? :rolleyes: )

Urban problem, I'm guessing it's more of a teen boredom problem.

I agree they need to be caught, apparently the kids caught last year were not much of a deterrent. Last weekend was graduation night for many high schools from what I heard on WTOS Friday evening. That would also explain the heightened police presence in Gorham, they followed me pretty carefully also at 5:00 AM as far as Moose State Park

RGF1
06-14-2005, 12:01 PM
Booby trap the car.

Stake out the parking lot.

Hyper-trekking-pole-shuriken-weilding-ninja-hiker-of-death!

Wrap the car in titanium.

Hmmmm...I really like the stake out idea. Makes me sorry I'm in NY.

Get some camo clothing, hide in the bushes and wait...bring a paintball gun. :D

Josh While I sympathize with you . I would not do that, As others have said it will get you arrested and probably sued
Yeah it is good to vent I would love to see the expersssins or end results of a non leathal booby trap being used.
My guess it That it is local kids or so called young adults who think it is funny.
I recall hearing in the NH Channel 9 news a few nitwits got caught vandlesing cars near Manchester and did over 30 k in damgege they are facing felony charges . MR X I have a feeling the AMC guy busts them routienly . I think I might know him. I recall talking to a NH trooper who hiked and was not happy with the AMC board of late . Lets hope they get the butt holes.

dr_wu002
06-14-2005, 12:02 PM
I deliberately keep my car as disgusting as possible -- both as a deterrent to breakins in the Whites but also in my crummy neighborhood in Boston. Although, people smash off my sideview mirror so often that I've taken to stocking up on them as they only cost $15 and it's about a 5 minute fix. Anyway, my car is filled with bottles, candy bar wrappers, papers, dirt, dog puke, and who-knows-what. I'm always hoping though, if my car gets broken into that the criminals take a swig out of one of the "gatorade" bottles in the back seat. Bleh! :p

-Dr. Wu

ripple
06-14-2005, 12:12 PM
I believe it was here on VFTT a long time ago, someone posted about leaving soiled underwear or a fake pile feces in plain view.

dr_wu002
06-14-2005, 12:20 PM
I believe it was here on VFTT a long time ago, someone posted about leaving soiled underwear or a fake pile feces in plain view.
I have real dog puke in the back seat of my car. A dog threw up there once and I kind of thought it wasn't worth cleaning out as it was gross and filled with beef jerky.

-Dr. Wu

SAR-EMT40
06-14-2005, 12:25 PM
saw a Silver Dodge Ram truck go by me at a normal speed. I looped down Rt 3 and re-entered the Gale River Loop Rd at the South end and a couple miles in (before you get to the Gale River trailhead), the same silver Dodge Ram went by me like a bat out of hell.


Uh Oh. This is disturbing. I own a Silver/Gray Dodge Ram pickup and I have been known, on occasion, to go like a bat out of hell, but not usually. I have also been in the area described but, I assure you it wasn't me. :D

If you see me, I will wave and I am hoping to get a VFTT sticker to prove that I am one of you guys. I now hear that there aren't any more though. :(

Keith

Tuco
06-14-2005, 12:41 PM
<I have real dog puke in the back seat of my car. A dog threw up there once and I kind of thought it wasn't worth cleaning out as it was gross and filled with beef jerky. >

Dr. Wu, remind me to think twice about hitching a ride from you.......... :)

1ADAM12
06-14-2005, 01:35 PM
Seriously what we need to do is get one of those motion cameras....you know the ones that hunters use and when the deer walks in line of view the camera takes a picture. I know the good cameras take quality pics at night without a flash. This way the thieve/thieves would not even know they had there picture taken. :D

Adam

Jay H
06-14-2005, 01:58 PM
Yeah, but then you'd also get photos at the local grocery store of the blue haired ladies going grocercy shopping... :D :D :D

No offense to the blue haired ladies!

Tuco: I've been in Dr Wu's car, but only the front seat!

Jay

RoySwkr
06-14-2005, 06:33 PM
Is there anything that we as a hiking community can do? Send out e-mails to proper authorities etc.?
I suggested in a previous note that we attempt to publicize those areas where break-ins occur, either to shame police into action or to get local innkeepers afraid of lost business if this isn't stopped.

Much police work is assembling clues so we can give them pieces. When my chauffeur was waiting at Hale Brook Trail she saw a suspicious vehicle head up to Zealand parking and return, and when I got down she insisted we go check it out. Had we found any broken glass she could have described that vehicle to the police.

Jasonst
06-14-2005, 06:44 PM
I have real dog puke in the back seat of my car. A dog threw up there once and I kind of thought it wasn't worth cleaning out as it was gross and filled with beef jerky.

-Dr. Wu

Truly laughing out loud...

The Gatorade is probably one of the best ideas of all.

Barbarossa
06-14-2005, 06:45 PM
I deliberately keep my car as disgusting as possible -- both as a deterrent to breakins in the Whites but also in my crummy neighborhood in Boston. Although, people smash off my sideview mirror so often that I've taken to stocking up on them as they only cost $15 and it's about a 5 minute fix. Anyway, my car is filled with bottles, candy bar wrappers, papers, dirt, dog puke, and who-knows-what. I'm always hoping though, if my car gets broken into that the criminals take a swig out of one of the "gatorade" bottles in the back seat. Bleh! :p

-Dr. Wu

This method works! I work nights in Boston and have not had a problem. I don't have any 'gatorade', but no one is going to look at my car and say 'There is a laptop under all that debris!'

AntlerPeak
06-14-2005, 07:21 PM
Well, yeah, but it's nice to vent...I don't think I'd have a problem shooting someone with my paintball gun if he was breaking into my car, though. Maybe legally I would, but I wouldn't feel bad about it...

Don't assume anything I had a neighbor once who left the lid open on their washing machine. It was in the cellar under a window. A thief broke the window then stepped inside to rob the house. You guessed it, he went right into the the washing machine and broke his leg. He sued! and won! My neighbor's insurance company had to pay this guys medical bills plus additional for pain and suffering. I didn't believe it either when told about it but it happened.

1ADAM12
06-14-2005, 08:36 PM
[QUOTE=cantdog]The camera surveillance sounds great, but how much would it cost per location and how would it be paid for?[QUOTE]

They are very inexpensive and I just thought it would be cool to do some undercover work. I was not talking about funding or anything but hoping that maybe one of our fellow VFTTers could be a hero :)

Rich Lachapelle
06-14-2005, 10:42 PM
First of all, anyone who would leave a wallet in a car is more or less
perpetuating the problem.
I leave a bunch of spent shotgun shells on the dashboard and rear deck.
Also, several NRA stickers on the side windows for good measure.
A petty thief does not fear police or people who drive Volvo's
with Sierra Club and "love your mother" bumper stickers on them.
Make 'em fear you.
Seems to work, even in Vermont where we have a
virtual lack of a criminal justice system.

Paintball gun??? How about a .45?
"Honest officer, he came charging at me so I
had to fire in self defense". Better to be
tried by twelve than carried by six!

Rich in Vermont

jjmcgo
06-15-2005, 11:16 AM
We're all allowed a moment of rage but this is a police problem. You don't want to lie in wait for them because unpredictable things can happen. I tried apprehending fleeing vandals at night once and wound up knocking down from behind a ... mid-teen girl. Lucky not to get sued.
You could get shot approaching car thieves or stabbed. You could get run off the road trying to make it to Gorham before they do.
The cluttered, rusting s***box has always been the best deterrent. Cleaned out cars with open glove boxes just makes you think everything's in the trunk.
BTW, this was a big problem back in the 1960s so it's nothing new. Happens all along the Appalachian Trail.

slowmo68
06-15-2005, 11:21 AM
I know this may be kind of gross but I have an idea about leaving a spot of fake throw up that you can buy in a joke shop or worse a fake dog doo in the back seat. This may deter a thief from wanting to enter your vehicle. Although if a lot of people started doing this people may look into these cars and think that hikers in general were a really disturbed group.

Quack
06-15-2005, 12:44 PM
Cleaned out cars with open glove boxes just makes you think everything's in the trunk.


Good point. This may only be working for me because I drive a Subaru (no trunk).

spicyjeff
06-15-2005, 04:20 PM
I was camped on Gale River Rd when the breakins happened at the Gale River Trailhead. When I was driving on Gale River Loop Rd, I was near the North end near Rt3 and saw a Silver Dodge Ram truck go by me at a normal speed. I looped down Rt 3 and re-entered the Gale River Loop Rd at the South end and a couple miles in (before you get to the Gale River trailhead), the same silver Dodge Ram went by me like a bat out of hell. He was really flying.

I talked to some of the breakin victms and found out that while the window was smashed, nothing was stolen, not even a wallet that was in the car. So, it looks like the thief was scared off. The speeding truck could be a coincidence, but it might not be. Something to keep your eyes on the lookout for.

Darren:

I hope you mentioned this possibly circumstantial detail to the authorities. If enough of these little details are put together hopefully they will catch the perps.

And unless you were at Galehead Hut on Saturday night telling me this story, I heard from another source almost the exact same story from when this gentelman was at the Gale River trailhead parking lot late last week.

patrickbrusil
06-15-2005, 11:42 PM
As a community we could take shifts on different days of one or two people staked out at the prime target parking lots

True, those staked out would not get to hike but if anything happened they could hopefully get all the essential information on the delinquents or prevent any vandalisim from occuring.

this would be a monumental effort and take plenty of preparation.

amstony
06-16-2005, 06:58 AM
Paintball gun??? How about a .45?
"Honest officer, he came charging at me so I
had to fire in self defense". Better to be
tried by twelve than carried by six!

Rich in Vermont[/QUOTE]

Don't forget the throwaway piece, comes in handy for this type of situation.... a big knife will do too. ;)

Open the glove compartment and empty it, leave a window open some, take a car to the trailhead with a 177,000 miles on it, and DON'T leave your wallet and all in the car. Unfortunately crime has migrated to the White Mountains, which is no surprise. Look at the national parks, some of them are pretty bad and they have armed Park Rangers.

Jasonst
06-16-2005, 07:11 AM
As a community we could take shifts on different days of one or two people staked out at the prime target parking lots

True, those staked out would not get to hike but if anything happened they could hopefully get all the essential information on the delinquents or prevent any vandalisim from occuring.

this would be a monumental effort and take plenty of preparation.

I think I would rather have my car broken into than hang out in the brush all day with the mosquitoes, hoping someone tries to break into my car so that I can take the chance that he's armed and then get shot. Just hike already. :confused:

dropack
06-16-2005, 07:43 AM
Last year my wife and I took our yearly two nighter backpack in Vt, when we got back to the trail head two days later four of the six cars at the trail head had been broken into. I do not know why mine had not been but maybe it is because I did not leave anything in it and make it easy for anyone looking in the vehicle to see ther is nothing there. Also, we always place a sign on the dash board stating: " There is nothing of value in this car, please do not trash it". I do not know if the sign worked that time or any other time but, I did notice the other car at the trail head that did not get broken into also diplayed a sign with the same type of message. And they also had left nothing in the car, ie: blankets, clothes, papers or anything else someone looking in might think is hiding somthing of value. Just this year we had some empty bottles and I did not want to leave them in the car so I put them in a trash bag and tied them to the bumper, they were gone along with my twenty cent deposit. The thiefs must have been heading back to Mass to cash them in.

KayakDan
06-16-2005, 10:20 AM
The problem of break-ins,particularly at places like Ninteen Mile Brook,or Zealand,needs the attention of AMC. If breakins at NMB become a chronic problem,it could potentially cost the AMC thousands of dollars in revenue. Who wants to book a spot at Carter if there's a good chance of having ypur car "ventilated" before your return?
Perhaps the AMC should consider investing in a camera surveillance/lighting system to protect their "clients". If you use the huts,and are concerned about parking,e-mail the AMC and let them know that Carter may not be your choice next time.
To add to the dillema,if your car gets trashed by these fools,and there's no sign of forced entry-your insurance company could decline payment for damage. So,do you lock the doors,and lose a window for insurance purposes,or hope they just open the doors and rifle through,and leave.?

bcskier
06-16-2005, 02:23 PM
The camera surveillance sounds great, but how much would it cost per location and how would it be paid for?

Paid for? Hmmm, how about using the "trail" use fees which, since they are only assessed on people who DRIVE to the trail, are in actuality, parking lot use fees. Seems like a logical place to get some money to fund such an activity.

NH_Mtn_Hiker
06-16-2005, 02:47 PM
Paid for? Hmmm, how about using the "trail" use fees which, since they are only assessed on people who DRIVE to the trail, are in actuality, parking lot use fees. Seems like a logical place to get some money to fund such an activity.

We could replace the funds used with stiff fines on the vandals/thieves and/or from the profits generated by selling their cars. :D .....because I'm sure they're not walking out to the trailheads.

slowmo68
06-16-2005, 03:19 PM
The parking passes we pay for will only cover the costs for the deluxe bathrooms they are building for the tourists on the Kanc. Maybe they should start charging the tourists to use the parking lots on the Kanc, wouldn't that only seem fair?

sapblatt
06-16-2005, 03:21 PM
See AMC response to car break in situation at this post:

http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7150

Tuggy
06-16-2005, 07:05 PM
I hate to say it, but I think the easiest way out is the old junker. Which is tough if you have to drive a long way to get there. If ya make a long trip, you always bring some junk that ends up left in the car and hence is a temptation. I figure its part of the risk of the trip, just like the driving is(esp with the moose threads I read here). Leave everything ya can out of sight, lock your car, go have fun and hope the car is ok. Fortunately it usually is. I'd be afraid if I left it open that someone would trash it just for spite. A locked door makes that marginally harder.

Jaytrek57
06-16-2005, 11:10 PM
A friend of mine swears this works. FTR, I don't do it, but I've been lucky and never had a problem...knock on "downed" wood (LNT y'know ;) )

He leaves an old daypack, water bottle and hiking stick on the hood of his car. Basically, makes it look like, someone is there, but perhaps in the woods "answering the call of nature". He also has never had a problem.

At least different. And, well, he is is.

Peace.

RGF1
06-17-2005, 05:55 PM
I drive two differnt red pick ups compleat with with gun racks and NRA sticker ( not a member though) GO NH stricker , NH Tags one even has the plow mount . I have not had a problem as of yet . Note I do not leave empty shell casings hanging around.
Oh yeah the empety coffee cups, and other general stuff seems to deter them . They might just think I am either going going to show up at court, or that I might just show up at the wrong time.
That being said please do not try any thing let the police deal with it. If you do see something call them.
You could end up hurt , arrested or sued. . It is pathetic that a butthole can sue you if you defend your self . :(
If you see them in action do not try to stop them Call 911 or *77 ASAP the cops will be there pronto !
I hope the dip bleeps get cuaght and spend some time with Bubba

Lawn Sale
06-17-2005, 11:49 PM
Hey, I have one of those mid 80's Chevy's in the yahd as well, I should use it as my hiking truck. I'd never notice if someone vandalized it...

jgregoire
06-18-2005, 09:22 AM
this used to be isolated to only to those who had out of state plates

dentonfabrics
06-18-2005, 09:46 AM
A friend of mine swears this works. FTR, I don't do it, but I've been lucky and never had a problem...knock on "downed" wood (LNT y'know ;) )

He leaves an old daypack, water bottle and hiking stick on the hood of his car. Basically, makes it look like, someone is there, but perhaps in the woods "answering the call of nature". He also has never had a problem.




Y'know, that's not a bad idea at all!

funkyfreddy
06-18-2005, 10:02 AM
IMHO anyone who ruins someones hike by breaking into their car should become food for the ravens, bears, and coyotes.

Thunder Dan
07-12-2005, 09:38 PM
It is pathetic that the American justice system has been so screwed up by lawyers that a person caught in a criminal act can sue so easily. My thought would be that anyone convicted of a criminal act loses their right to sue for incidents related to their crime.

LenDawg
07-13-2005, 12:14 AM
Okay, so after reading this thread, the general consensus is to buy a 70's stationwagon, put lots of NRA bumper stickers on the back, get a gun rack, leave notes stating that there is nothing of value in the car, sleep endless nights by my car in the parking lot, invest in cameras to watch my car 24-7, find a dog to puke in the back seat, buy fake dog poo to place in the car, and carry everything that should be in the car (including the clutch) in my backpack while hiking... OR... go to the police. Unfortunately, option one seems to have more bite!