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Theft. I am heartsick  RSS feed

 
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I'm a little late to the conversation, but as a safeguard for future large items, you might consider GPS tag devices. They are tiny things made for tracking lost animals, purses, keys, children, etc. I could easily think of a dozen ways to attach them to large equipment where they wouldn't be noticed and then if anything goes missing, you could just pull it up on a computer or phone. Hand said device to the police with a pinpoint notation of where the thief happens to be. Just an idea. They are pretty cheap and can remain functional anywhere between 6 months and 3 years depending on the model.
 
master pollinator
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I love the GPS tracker idea. Not only do you recover your stuff, but you catch the meth heads who did it and they go away, maybe even go to jail where they might get some help. Well, in some parts of the world anyways. Not in the Philippines, or the US, I would guess, but in Canada and most of Europe, anyway.

How do meth heads sell such things anyways?

-CK
 
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I need to get GPS trackers, I haven't had time to research them, see if I can afford any. Any brand you'd recommend? Money is an issue.

I did spend time learning that I can't afford game cameras, need to put more time into learning what else I could use that isn't SO expensive. I wish I could get some kind of a security camera that sweeps the area, and watches it all, but the ones I saw were expensive, needed power in places I don't have any yet, or were solar and even more expensive, and then couldn't get close up shots easily as well as long range.

I REALLY need to be living there in my house, and during the construction I really need to find someone who can live out there. I'm going to be too busy, and have too many health issues, to be trying to handle living in another location, as all of my compensating systems are at the rental, and trying to change all of it and not just install it in my house where it all belongs is not going to work. Love to find someone who wants RV space, haven't yet. I'm not good with people, I'm not social, this isn't helping. I don't talk to 25 people a week to ask them stuff, just doesn't happen. I know there are permaculture people in this area, but I haven't found them, so the only places I know of to meet people would be something like church, which is just stressful. This area is heavily Baptist, I'm some shade of Buddhist. I don't want to go to their churches just to meet people (who I don't share their opinions.)

It's quite possible, from what I have heard, that the local meth heads are selling either on Craigslist (mine never showed up there that anyone saw, we were watching) or are selling to people who take them out of state and sell them.
It's also possible, from what I have heard, that the local prosecutor declines to charge people with crimes when they are caught, or at least that's the local gossip. People who have camera footage, good clear shots, and the person is never charged... whee.

End rant. Sorry. Hard morning. Any info anyone has on GPS trackers would be welcomed. Anyone who has a good way to camera up a place for under 100.00 would be my hero. Anyone who knows someone who I'd get along with that wants to live in MO in an RV, I'd like to get a PM.

In the meantime, Ms Ramkin the horrifyingly painted tractor has a blown electronic ignition, parts that haven't gotten here yet, and I'm planting trees today with a mattock. Whee. Gotta get the poor things in, whether I have the right tools or not, the weather has been weird, and they have been holding too long.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I. I wish I could get some kind of a security camera that sweeps the area, and watches it all, but the ones I saw were expensive, needed power in places I don't have any yet, or were solar and even more expensive, and then couldn't get close up shots easily as well as long range.



This is not as expensive as you would think.  We got a camera as part of our Christmas, it lets you see what is going on when you are not at home via your computer though software.  They are probably cheaper than the game cameras.  The camera could place in an inconspicuous place in your barn and with a motion sensor light.

I looked at the GPS trackers and they aren't that expensive either, cheap for peace of mind.  

Whoever stole the tractor probably already had a buyer.  I wouldn't be surprised if there is not a network for this.

 
D. Logan
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I haven't yet had a reason to need one, but did look into them a while back as something to possibly have attached to my kid's shoe laces or something. Heaven forbid I ever need to use them. As I recall, there are smaller ones with limited ranges such as TrackR that run around 25 bucks. With those, once it is out of range, you need to move around as a means to find it, so maybe not ideal. Others like the one being developed by SticknFind will have a much larger range, but also a higher cost. If I remember right, that one gives a sort of directional tracking beacon. Not sure how far they are along, but they did an indigogo a while back to fund the long range version. They probably finished it by now. Either way, I wouldn't expect more than 100 for the highest end version on the market and probably just around 30 after tax for most of the ones with range limits.

Regarding cameras, you might consider dummy cameras. Things that are just a cheap shell with a blinking 'record' light that you put up high and point towards the entry and the building. Deter people who think that they might be caught on camera. Of course you mention others being caught on camera and not getting in any trouble, so maybe not that helpful.
 
Pearl Sutton
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I answered C.E. Rice in private message, but thought I should probably answer publicly too. I have been stalked before, I DON'T like it. I feel like I'm too open on Permies sometimes, I know after everything I have learned about stalking, I could find me by what I have said on this site.

So anyone can feel free to repost my picture of the tractor paint job, but DO NOT CREDIT ME. Don't link back, nothing. Pictures are public, who did them I would REALLY rather was not. If I had my choice, the pic with feathers would be shared, but the pic with text would not be, but I won't be too horrified if it does get shared, I did post it. That one just kind of... the quote make me think it might attract the stalker types. ("Mouthy little bitch ain't ya? Well, you need a real man to teach you your place!") (And that's NOT an uncommon thought in the stalker world.)

Fine line between paranoid and aware, I dance it. Might be on the paranoid side here, but oh well. Share the idea of painting your stuff up to make it easy to identify, just don't share who I am.

I curtsy nicely at you all :)
Pearl
 
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Pearl, I feel heartsick FOR you.  I'm afraid to leave anything on the property just yet for the very same reason, not even a small solar panel.  So far only a guitar and wheelbarrow have been stolen from us but it's enough to make me scared.  I'm finding law enforcement really is no help in these situations (never there when you need them sort of thing, as always) so I don't know what to do about it myself.  And I live way out in the woods.  Love and prayers.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I’m heartsick. And scared. Advice is appreciated.



Missouri has the "Castle Doctrine", or "Stand Your Ground Law" in place.

I would buy a gun, if you haven't already, to protect yourself, your family, and your property.

There are few criminals lower than thieves, in my book.
 
Pearl Sutton
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I don't live out there yet. The problems happen when  I am not there.
 
Paul Petrea
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I don't live out there yet. The problems happen when  I am not there.



I see, Pearl. Well, until you do live there, I hope you find a solution to help protect your property.

I am very sorry this happened to you.
 
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Hello, really sorry to hear about your troubles. A tractor is a huge loss. I'm about two miles from Missouri over the border into Kansas, and I've been encountering some similar issues. Originally I was going to buy a place in Cass County MO but I encountered so many zoning and bureaucratic roadblocks that I decided it wasn't worth it and decided on Linn County, KS, where they have no building codes whatsoever in the unincorporated parts of the county. I know a lot of counties in MO put any new improvement that you want to build up to a community vote, which I found totally unworkable. I've noticed that Missouri tends to have a whole lot of small town old boys clubs that can sometimes be sort of hostile towards newcomers trying to come in and start a new business or build a house, especially an unconventional one. I too recently had something stolen probably by a meth-head, although nothing as major - my chainsaw was taken from my land where it was sitting in a plastic container. I reported the crime and they just said "yeah, it was probably meth-heads, most theft tends to be related to drugs around here." I guess meth is a hell of a drug. I'm building a house on my land and similarly having a whole bunch of issues dealing with getting anyone to make time for the things I need done. I eventually gave up and hired an experienced MC to bring his crews out for me, but I realize that isn't an option for everybody. Getting rural water out here has been a real nightmare too, it has taken me nine months to get someone willing to put it in but it was finally installed last week. The first guy I had out here to do some basic road building work for the entrance way overcharged us because he took us for some green city people - he took six days and two big machines to complete what should have taken one small bobcat and a few hours. It takes time to find trustworthy contractors, but they do still exist. Just try to trust your gut and if you think someone is milking you for cash. Feel free to just let them go and find someone else. A few weeks extra time taken can be worth it when you consider that if someone really thinks they have a live one they can overcharge you for more than your rent would be for an extra month. It will go slower than you had imagined but if you keep trying at it you will get your house built and you'll find trustworthy contractors to build it. Also, sorry if this sounds preachy or like twisting the knife, but try to be sure to get insurance on any machinery from now on.  I think that thieves in states like MO and KS tend to target places under construction because they know that nobody is likely to be sleeping there. Once someone is obviously living there they tend to assume that if they trespass they may be shot, even if you aren't a gun owner or the type to shoot trespassers. Try to not let the thieves get you down, they will get their karma eventually even if it's not from you. Hang in there and god bless.
 
master pollinator
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Lady Sybil Ramkin is a real beauty. Reminds me of the flower power Porche that Janis Joplin drove around Austin in the '60's.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Mike Barkley wrote:Lady Sybil Ramkin is a real beauty. Reminds me of the flower power Porche that Janis Joplin drove around Austin in the '60's.


Thank you!! :)  
And since I'm in backwoods Missouri, I'm horrifying the locals as much as she did, I'm sure! But they will remember her if they see her. I said, way back in this thread "People remember artwork if it hits their emotions, either so lovely they can't forget it, or so horrifying they are appalled. Beauty is very subjective (I personally am not a fan of the Mona Lisa) but appalling is pretty widespread." I wanted memorable, I went with what the neighbors will consider appalling :)
I think she has class and pizazz!
Or cooties. Or something. But you KNOW her if you see her :)
 
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While reading this is occurred to me that maybe you could park the tractor right in front of the door sideways so they cannot easily carry anything out. And then remove 2 parts necessary to start it so they can't move it. Then they couldn't drive or drag it off or out of the way. And TWO parts so if they realize it won't start and find one issue, they aren't likely to look for a second.

I like your paint job, but I'm thinking maybe we should paint the entire tractor (and wheel barrows and anything else we have) some wild color that everyone would notice going down the road. Yellow, green, or blue tractors blend in - but a bright pink or purple tractor would definitely get noticed.  
 
Pearl Sutton
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Gail: I do take important bits off Lady Ramkin when I park her. And drop her bucket over a stump so she can't be pulled anywhere. I have a heavy tow chain hooking her to a welded metal fence that is back behind my barn where she's not visible from the road. Not unstealable, but the best I can come up with, make it a total PITA. My Kubota was too easy, just tear the door open, and put a winch on her.

When I was going to do that paint job, I practiced the design and debugged the strokes and colors etc on the wheelbarrow I bought to replace the stolen one. It also got the property address painted on. I had to practice it, not a design I had done before, normally if I do something I consider important I'd make stencils, to keep it looking how I want, and debug the colors before I started. I wanted this one freehand, I have sold my stencils in the past, I didn't want anyone to be able to claim "I bought the stencil from her, that's why it looks like hers." Paranoia was pretty high when I painted her.

The place and way I park her is a problem if I have problems with her. I had problems that ended up with installing a new electronic ignition. I had no room to work on her, no way to jack the bucket up so I could reach easier (it was wedged on that stump, couldn't get anything up there big enough to lift it loose) and if I hadn't managed to fix it, I don't know if I could have gotten her to the shop at all. "The hardest thing to forgive someone for is the very quality that made you fall in love with them." I love her because she's big, sturdy, not easy to steal... but I have to forgive her that shes OMG big (I had to have another step welded on her) and heavy, and can't be pushed or dragged anywhere by me. My little Tetsuko the Lady of Steel, the Kubota that got stolen, was easier for me to deal with, to work on. But also easier to steal.  

And the fallout continues from that mess. I moved all my tools to the rental we live in, this last week I have been half-assed looking for a tool that I just don't see, it may have been by the tractor and got stolen. And I had to buy a new compressor (been sick, it's still in the box) to replace the one that got stolen, I don't have money for tools, and had to buy a POS that is nowhere near as good as the one that they took. Standing in Harbor Freight, trying to remember which of the air tools and tubes and fittings and such had been stacked on top of the compressor, that I needed new ones of, made me want to cry again. I have a big stack of PVC pipe that can be seen from the road (stuff for earth tubes and french drains) every time I drive up, I look at it, fearing it's going to be gone, and my stomach clenches every time.

I don't want "justice" for this, them in jail would be nice, but I want restitution. My budget was trashed, and no amount of money can pay for the emotional havoc this has left in it's wake. Part of it was it hit some psychoses deep in me that I thought were under control that flared up badly (the knowledge/fear that I am not safe.) When this happened I was about to get a building permit to get my house construction going. It's 11 months later, still haven't managed to get to that stage again, and won't happen till at least spring now. I lost another year. I don't know how I could ever be paid back, but $10,000 worth of tractor and tools that I can't afford to replace, but have to, would be a good start.

Sorry, hard mood this morning, bad dreams last night. I'll get over this mood soon, and probably edit off that whole last paragraph.

Edit: this is a pic of some shirts I painted, the design was stenciled (same stencil on both) and 2 or 3 copies of that stencil were sold to other painters. This is why the tractor was done freehand. You can see where the design for the tractor came from, it's related to this one. These are much snazzier :D


 
Chris Kott
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I will offer an amusing, perhaps useful distraction in the form of a suggestion to ease your mood.

Have you thought, Pearl, of seeing how much UV-paint costs? It might not be worth the money or hassle, but imagine stencilling your name and some safe contact info onto your property, specifically the larger pieces, in paint only visible under an UV light. Imagine having that as a backup, should something happen again, and make it to the cops.

Probably a needlessly complicated idea, but the idea of the looks on the faces of defiantly stupid meth heads as their lies become apparent for even the biggest fool to see, just before they're arrested for theft over $5k, could offer a little comfort to ward off bad dreams. They might know to file off serial numbers, but what they can't see can really mess them up.

Also, and I'm sorry if it's come up, but it's been a while since I read the whole thread, what kind of signage do you have up to ward off trespassers? I mean, I would actually have some sort of self-sufficient guardian animal on the property all the time, but you could get signage to that effect regardless. Something along the lines of "Beware Dog" could work. Or you could mention rabid packs of ROUSes.

Is there a reason why you can't go to a shelter and find a likely canine or two young enough that they would easily adapt to living in your barn, around your stuff? You could save a good dog or two from unspeakable confinement or worse, give them better lives and an important job to do, and keep all manner of unwanted pests away from your property.

However it goes, I hope your new measures make your propery too much of a PITA to bother with. I still think some teeth marks in their asses would have real transformative power over anyone seeking to prey on you, though. Good luck, and keep us posted.

-CK
 
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Pearl just saw this thread.

One inexpensive idea to consider would be a fishing line alarm especially if your neighbors might hear it. Different options are out there but basically you run a tripwire with fishing line and use a hook or mousetrap or grenade pin so if it gets tripped it fires off an alarm. For the alarm itself some folks use ring caps (a loud "pop"), others use shotgun shells, battery operated window alarms, etc...

Anyway with a barn it could be rigged up high so it triggers when the door opens, and if you went with something loud like a shotgun shell it may be loud enough to wake up the neighbors (or at least scare the poo out of the scumbag thieves).

Just a thought, I keep $10 worth of fishing line, mousetraps and cap rings (for kids cap pistols) handy in case teotwawki happens and I want to set up a road or perimeter alarm (I do have six dogs and a fence that keep intruders out normally but iin a wrol situation I wouldn't want them outside unattended for their safety).
 
Pearl Sutton
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Chris and Lucretia:
I appreciate the thought :) Like I said, I'll get over this mood soon, just a hard day, for other reasons. Both dogs and alarms require someone to respond to the alarm, and there is no one there, and the neighbors are great, but older, sick, and I won't ask them to be my security out there. Once I'm living there, yes, there will be dogs and alarms. But I'm NOT leaving a dog there to get shot for replaceable things. That's not math I consider moral. Dogs matter more than money.

Like I said, the construction is rolling over to spring, too late to get stuff organized and cement poured before it gets cold. I'm assured "we pour in the winter!" by the same guy who told me about another pour "it was cracked before we could even cut the ease lines." Bad plans are bad plans. I don't want crappy poured concrete holding my house up. Technically, yes, it can be done well, but odds are too high it would mess up if not done correctly if it's cold, and then where am I? If buying a new tractor strapped my money bad, imagine what a messed up basement would do... (sorry, really a bad day. I probably shouldn't even be answering y'all today.) (and absolutely NOT hiring that concrete guy I quoted there.)

What I've been putting effort into is finding someone local people know and trust w ho lives in an RV or similar who can park there and live there while I build, so there IS someone to respond, as well as just keep it not empty.

Thank you for good thoughts :) And I'll edit out the hysteria when my mood stabilizes. I'm really not this bad about it all most days. (and I just interrupted my typing to answer the phone... more chaos, possibly bad, person going to the hospital, augh. Not what I need today.) Some days it gets deep.
 
Lucrecia Anderson
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Pearl keep in mind an alarm does not have to be answered to be effective. If it scares the heck out of the thieves and they take off it worked. If it was loud enough to get the neighbors to turn their lights on (which would scare the thieves) it worked. A shotgun shell tripwire may work on both counts.

Another option is very bright outdoor motion activated lights by the barn. If the thieves approach and a flood light comes on and points directly at them that makes them feel very uneasy (think of it from their perspective).

Also consider a game camera or two, video recording is pricey but game cameras catch good still shots and often provide good evidence for much less money.

I completely agree regarding a dog, I am a big dog lover and their safety is my #1 priority. They offer me a lot of peace of mind (I never lock my doors even though I am a woman living by herself in the country) but if I thought there was an actual threat targeting us they wouldn't be outside alone.

Also if you have money in your budget for a fence I would suggest running an interior fence COMPLETELY around the house (pull your vehicles inside it). Don't just fence off a patch behind the house, or put a fence just on the outskirts of the property beyond where you can monitor it. My fence is set up that way and I love it, no one can come near the house without breaching that fence (and encountering the dogs) and no sane person would try it.  My car and doors stay unlocked 24/7.
 
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