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Bad karma comes 'round again

Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:54 pm
by asavage
Back in 1999, I had pretty much my lifetime collection of tools stolen from my G30 1T van in a parking lot in Bellingham, Wash. They broke in through a wing window.

Last night, my replacement tools were stolen from my '93 Aerostar while parked at work Sunday night, right at midnight. First, the dude came by and sliced the fuel filler hose on my Dodge service van, draining 2/3 of a 33 gallon tank, from the looks of things most of that 20 gallons ended up in the dirt (dark circle is about 8' round in dirt, which is a LOT of gasoline).

We have four exteriour cameras driving a Linux-based HDD recording system. Still, no license plate and only a poor visual of the perp's car. Decent pic of the perp himself.

He drives away, then comes back ten minutes later, parks between my service van and my Aero, breaks out the passenger-side slider door sliding window (spewing glass everywhere in the gravel and all over everything inside), took my portable toolkit and my 80 lb box of specialty tools. Left my CDs and portable CD player, rifled the console and left my allergy medication but took my codeine tabs. Took three new pairs of jeans.

After the police left, it took me about 45 min. with a shop vac to vacuum up all the glass-contaminated gravel in the parking area, so we could use it again. Then another hour of vacuuming the van to be able to even move it.

Partial list:
  • Armstrong long-pattern metric combo wrench set in roll-up pouch
  • Armstrong metric line wrench set in blue roll-up pouch
  • Two blow-mold cases (about 5x7" ea) of hex-drive bits, including security bits. One case red plastic, the other blue with a sliding latch.
  • Two pipe wrenches (10", 16")
  • Lisle quick-disconnect fitting removal tool set
  • About twenty odd 1/2" drive sockets, all in near-new condition
  • Tubing bender
  • Specialty sockets (O2 sensor, TVV sensor), oil filter wrenches, other special tools
  • Craftsman portable tools in grey blow-mold case. Started out as a $150 metric socket-n-combo wrench set, which I had augmented to include another $150 of SAE sockets, extensions, etc.
I figure I could replace all of it (including the jeans) for maybe $800 -- not that I have $800, but I can live without these tools for a while. Not including replacing the broken window, which looks easy at first, but the more I look at it, probably isn't. It's inside the warehouse for the night.

The service van is probably only going to need a $30 hose and an hour labor (plus $80 of fuel).

So this has been the poorest Labor Day I've had so far.

Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:27 pm
by goglio704
:( :(

I can relate. In addition to the financial aspect and feeling like you've been kicked in the head, people who earn their living with tools don't like to lose them under any circumstance - let alone theft. Not everything is exactly replaceable in a world where the driving force is how and where to make products cheaper year after year.

I'm not helping, so I'll shut up. Been there and done that, so I know how you feel...

Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:18 pm
by redmondjp
Sorry to hear about that, Al--that really sucks! :cry:

When I infrequently travel with my automotive tools in my pickup (probably less than $1K value with me, but it's the inconvenience of replacing a 25-year accumulation including some specialty tools which are very hard to find), I am very paranoid and try to sit where I can watch the rig while I stop to eat. The worst is staying overnight somewhere, when you come out to the vehicle in the morning hoping and praying that everything is still there.

I have obtained one of those 4' x 4' x 10" locking tool drawers that installs in the bed of a pickup (wicked heavy), but it is leaning up against my shed in the back yard because I don't want to lose that space for carrying other items. My best strategy is to hide stuff so it looks like nothing of value is in there (that doesn't stop the desperate and/or stupid criminals however).

Were any of your tools visible from outside the vehicle, or is it possible that this perp knew of you and/or what your business does?

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:51 am
by plenzen
See here: ... algaryHome
This will most likely not proceed any further than the formalities that have already taken place. The "visitor" "witness" has returned to England. He wont be back to testify of what he saw. That means "no wittnesses". The perp is on the mend and perhaps marginaly a bit smarter than he was a few days ago,,,,,,,,,,maybe. His reccollection of exactly what happened might be a bit foggy,,,,,,,,,,head injuries will do that.

Oh well! :wink:

The video player on the right will give you more info.


Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:02 am
by asavage
None of the tools in my personal van were in view.

We've have several vans have their fuel fill hoses slit in this business park in the last year. They are high enough to easily slide under (if you are thinner than I am), to access the hose and cut it. Just his luck that this particular van has a 33G tank and it was pretty much full, so when his catch pan was full, being unable to shut off the flow, the rest went on the ground.

Rumour now is that the perp is a recently-released criminal who got caught a while back cutting valuable catalytic converters out from under Toyota pickups in our town. Just a rumour.