PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

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Ascentionist
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PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by Ascentionist » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:39 am

I've been around for a while. I have a history in the Red. So what I'm about to write comes with painful experience. I ain't preachin' atcha right now either. This is good, sound, sage advice. Was a time we all practiced these things.

I'm talking about preventing break ins.

Last week I was at Martin's Fork (named for Hackworth?) getting ready for a trail run. I was parked next to a banged up caddie with Buckeye plates. The cabin of said yacht was crammed with backpacks, personal effects, and all kinds of goodies. There was an ipad laying on the back seat. There was a CD case in the front floorboard.

The car looked like the bait in a state police theft ring bust. Maybe it was. That thought was the only thing that stopped me--an honest person--from looting that rig.

This is self protection on my part. I've been broken into twice. Once in the New and once in the Red. And both times I really had nothing of value in the car. The first time they took a bag with 5 CDs and my friend's retainer. We didn't even have a CD player in the car. The second time there was nothing of value in sight except the CD player. Evidence that there were CDs under the seat.

I don't feel that break ins are a problem right now, but I don't want to see them flare up again. It was really bad in the early aughts.

1) leave valuables at home or somewhere else. Don't bring your 'lectronics to the parking lot. Definitely don't leave them in plain sight.

2) don't leave purses, backpacks, or ditty bags in sight in your car. There have been cases where empty backpacks were stolen because they potentially held valuables.

C) Stickers attract thieves.

4) assume that a thief will break your window for the change in your console. They will. Leave nothing of value visible or implied.

V. Carpool with the guy driving the beater car. Seriously. Or the person with local plates (I charge less for a shuttle than potential thieves will extract from your hoopty)

6. Report every crime. Local law enforcement needs to be able to track this stuff if nothing else. When in doubt call the KY State Police.

Break ins were so bad at one point that people were leaving their windows down just hoping they wouldn't get broken. One friend freaked out because I was going to leave my for-deposit Ale8 bottle in his floorboard. The Red had a sketchy rep for awhile. Kept people away. Influenced auto purchasing decisions for some climbers. I still don't drive a nice car for fear of attracting a lustful eye. Well, that's one reason.

Keeping this under control takes all of us. It takes dilligence.
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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by EricDorsey » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:30 pm

Ascentionist wrote:The car looked like the bait in a state police theft ring bust. Maybe it was. That thought was the only thing that stopped me--an honest person--from looting that rig.
That was a super long winded FYI but basically you would have broken into someones car if you didn't think it was a set up?

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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by Ascentionist » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:10 pm

Only to teach them a lesson.
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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by veela-valoom » Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:54 pm

Someone from the Lee County Sheriff's department drove through PMRP today when we were leaving. He told us someone had broken into a car in one of the lots. He didn't know which lot and said it was a trail day volunteer. They stole a laptop and camping gear that was clearly visible. He said the guy who usually does it is still in jail. He asked if we saw a red truck with a white stripe or he could have said SUV (He was throwing out specific model names and I don't know much about cars) that had been seen looking into the car. Told us to call dispatch if we saw that vehicle. So yeah, don't leave your stuff out where potential thieves can see it. Your warning turned out to be pretty timely.

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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by Meadows » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:45 am

Great advice.

About yesterday's situation:

The car was parked at the top of the Motherlode hill and all items taken were actually stored away in the trunk of the car. So even non-visible items are vulnerable. The owner of the car also found the gas cover open and assumed the thieves were going to siphon the gas from the tank (thankfully, that didn't happen). A witness who saw the truck said there were two men.

The part that really sucks is that the victims weren't climbers; instead, they were two guys who volunteered for trail day and worked their asses off for us.

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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by milspecmark » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:19 am

So I guess it is safe to assume that the break ins are back! My policy is leave doors unlocked and my truck empty.

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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by DriskellHR » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:46 am

Shitty for sure, one feller was a employee of mine and the other his buddy who wanted to tag along. I would like to take a moment and thank all those that donated a bit of coin to those guys. The efforts and concerns of our wonderful community helped sweeten the the taste of an otherwise very bitter situation for those fine gentlemen. Thanks Yall.
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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by Ascentionist » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:40 pm

Man, I wasn't prophesying, but I have seen a lot of bait cars lately and knew it was coming.

I'm really paranoid now. I don't want to scare people, but lets nip this in the bud before it gets bad. Pass the word to people to take precautions.
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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by lena_chita » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:18 am

milspecmark wrote:So I guess it is safe to assume that the break ins are back! My policy is leave doors unlocked and my truck empty.
The thing is, it is not really an option for most people. Let's say you had to bring a laptop with you, becuase, you know, some people need to.

You can't leave it at Miguel's, not really. There have been things stolen from tents at Miguels in the past couple years, too. Most of the time, you'd be fine leaving your things at camp, and collecting them at the end of the day. But most of the times you'd be fine with leaving things in a trunk of your car & out of sight, too.

What's your solution? Bring all your camping gear, clothes, and electronics out to the crag with you? Or only go to Muir Valley?

As far as risk/benefit analysis go, I think keeping your stuff in the car, and out of sight, is still an option that most people will go for. Because, unless you are a daytripper, you will have more stuff than you can carry with you to the crag, at least on the last day of the trip.

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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by climbhigh » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:31 am

I'm surprised a business hasn't opened a small area of their place, put in lockers, let customers bring their own locks(or rent them)and rent the locker(of various sizes) for a couple bucks. Brings people to your biz for up sales and helps fix an issue. Less easy big scores and the thieves go elsewhere. Used that type of service in Mexico and Argentina when we hit big cities and had our lives in packs.

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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by lena_chita » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:55 am

climbhigh wrote:I'm surprised a business hasn't opened a small area of their place, put in lockers, let customers bring their own locks(or rent them)and rent the locker(of various sizes) for a couple bucks. Brings people to your biz for up sales and helps fix an issue. Less easy big scores and the thieves go elsewhere. Used that type of service in Mexico and Argentina when we hit big cities and had our lives in packs.
I vaguely remember there being lockers at Miguel's a long-long-time ago, along the back wall under the shelter. But I don't remember clearly if they were lockers, or just shelves. I think there were some metal lockers with doors... But you didn't have to pay anything for them, so people would just leave their crap forever, some people were leaving stuff there for a week, while they were gone, so they wouldn't have to lug their stuff back and forth every weekend.

It would make sense to have lockers, but I am guessing that it is too costly to instal and maintain the lockers. They'd have to charge something, so people don't just leave their stuff there forever, but it would have to be low enough that people would be willing to pay it. Climbers are cheap, I bet you anything, even with lockers costing $2/day, there would still be people who would opt not to. And if there are provide-your-own-locks type thing, you'd have to have someone in charge to keep track of who put what in which locker, and for how long they paid, and then cut off the locks if people leave stuff longer than they paid for, and do something about the stuff that was left behind... I'm guessing it is more hassle and expense than is really worth it, to most businesses.

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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by milspecmark » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:01 pm

lena_chita wrote:
milspecmark wrote:So I guess it is safe to assume that the break ins are back! My policy is leave doors unlocked and my truck empty.
The thing is, it is not really an option for most people. Let's say you had to bring a laptop with you, becuase, you know, some people need to.

You can't leave it at Miguel's, not really. There have been things stolen from tents at Miguels in the past couple years, too. Most of the time, you'd be fine leaving your things at camp, and collecting them at the end of the day. But most of the times you'd be fine with leaving things in a trunk of your car & out of sight, too.

What's your solution? Bring all your camping gear, clothes, and electronics out to the crag with you? Or only go to Muir Valley?

As far as risk/benefit analysis go, I think keeping your stuff in the car, and out of sight, is still an option that most people will go for. Because, unless you are a daytripper, you will have more stuff than you can carry with you to the crag, at least on the last day of the trip.
Good point. I have struggled with this in the past as well, especially if i want to climb in the southern region on sunday and get on the rode to go home after climbing. I camp at Koomer Ridge, I have camped there for years and I usually make friends with the host. I have asked the question for years, "any theft here?" The answer remains the same, "Never". So I keep my stuff at the campground and bring an empty truck to the southern region. I also do not climb there on sunday because of that issue. I dont want to name any names in particular, but I am sure many of the local business owners would be happy to let you store your "stuff" somewhere safe at there location. It is a real bummer that the few bad seeds down there only target out of towners. But i would caution anyone down there of having anything of value in your car, these theives are desparate and they find value in things you may not. They will break your window just to check your glove box.

The guy that the cop is talking about that has been responsible for the break ins is Trial Tutt.
http://kool.corrections.ky.gov/KOOL/Details/18979

He is in jail but there is a ring of theives down in that area. The last time this was going on I saw theives (I am making a pretty accurate assumption). They were leaving the scene on foot and I drove past them coming into the entrance later to find out cars were just broken into. It was a man and a woman, man was tall and skinny with dark hair, late 30s or early 40s. I think there is a continuous racket of organized theivery going on down there, somthing the local police can never get their hands around. Maybe just passing the word around will help, but I think more needs to be done.

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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by Ascentionist » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:11 pm

A week or so ago I was on my way out of Bald Rock and a man and woman walking along the road on top toward Motherlode waved and smiled too enthusiastically. I didn't think a lot about it but it was enough to get me thinking which led to this post. I try not to make assumptions about people based on the way they look but they looked rough.

Unfortunately I would not be able to describe them.

I wonder if Linda Black would be willing to work with the community. I also know the lady who owns the store at Bear Track which is a little closer. I'll ask her if she would be open to the idea of lockers on site. Koops has the storage buildings already...maybe convince them to expand their business model?

Unfortunately I think the risk/benefit analysis argument is true. If you're going to come climb best to keep everything out of site and try to mitigate the risk as best you can.

And absolutely report any verifiable funny business or break-ins at PMRP or MFRP to the Lee County sheriff (606) 464-4140. If a break-in occurs at Roadside or Lady Slipper those areas are in Wolfe County (606) 668-3569. The main Gorge area is a split between Powell (Military/Left Flank and Tunnel Ridge Road area), Menifee (all of Indian Creek, Fortress/Phantasia, Tower Rock, etc) and Wolfe (Funk Rock, Wall of Denial, Chimney Top Road area). When in doubt in the Gorge call the USFS (606)-663-8100.

Oh, and if you get broken into at BMW Boulders call Kipp Trummel. It was probably him; confused and trying to get into the wrong car.
Last edited by Ascentionist on Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by Ascentionist » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:16 pm

I've been mulling this over too: back in the early Aughts when this was a problem we didn't have the same technology we have now.

What about community investment in some well-placed trail cams? Y'know, the ones that are triggered by movement?

I don't know the legal implications. Would trail cam images be admissible in court? And even if they pointed investigators to the perpetrators would it make a difference without other evidence?
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Re: PSA: The Crust is Coming Off

Post by milspecmark » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:08 pm

They will steel the trail cams

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