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I live in a nice suburb in NE Jersey, a bedroom community for New York City commuters.  A couple of months ago I looked out the window one morning and saw this police officer, notebook in hand, knocking on doors and talking to homeowners up and down my street.  I was on my way out the door when he made the walk up my driveway.  Stopping at my car I asked him what was going on, and he proceeded to say there was a string of petty thefts that had occurred overnight.  This had happened once many years before....a carload of “outsiders” come into the neighborhood in the wee hours, race up and down the street and rummage through any unlocked cars taking anything they perceive to be of value.  (This time around there was one unlucky guy down the street from me who did have his actual car stolen.).  Stuff like cell phones, cash, briefcase, etc.   I never lock my car at night, neighborhood’s safe and all that.   So I lost a cell phone charger and an iPod.  (The cop actually got a little chuckle out of the fact I still had an iPod.).   These “kids” basically wanted to grab anything that’s small, easily portable, that makes for quick work and they can resell quickly.

As I was giving the officer my report I realized, “oh crap, I had some valuable boxes in the back of my wagon!”  Fortunately, the perpetrators either didn’t have the time, couldn’t be bothered with the bulk, or had no idea what was in there, never mind where to resell it.  And so these remained untouched in my unlocked car.

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I started locking my car after that.  But that lasted about a week.  Too much to remember, LOL.  There were a couple of Lionel boxes in the Volvo last night.  But they were empty.  😀

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Last edited by mike.caruso
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    I live in a small town, and I started locking my car the day I went to a gas station, filled-up, went in to pay, and came back to find some jerk removing the groceries from my car. His reaction? "Why, ****, I didn't think you'd be done so fast".

    I get nervous leaving trains in my locked car at York, I'd NEVER do it anywhere else.

Hee Hee. Sorry for the Laughter but really? I live at the extreme other end of this ARMPIT state of NJ. I live on the bay side below the Hope Creek and Salem Nuclear plants. At this end if someone left their car unlocked we call it Stupid. That is plain and simple. But those who break end or try to loot a vehicle, unlocked or not, usually feel some thing called Shot on their back side. They are lucky if they can even crawl away. I deliver plants in your lovely North Eastern area and all I can say is it reminds me of California. Whacky. Not sure how you fit in up there as you have trains and definitely can not be part of that group. If you need help I can help find a place for you down here and I would even volunteer to help you move. Personally I want out of New Jersey. They are killing us with taxes. Soon will be taxed to breath. If they tax me for my train real estate I am GONE! LOL Hey at least we have trains!

@sinclair posted:

No locking your car or house just boggles my mind.  I also lock up, even when I am in the middle of nowhere.  It takes 2 seconds to push the lock button.  I also never leave anything of value in a car.  Glad your trains are safe.

Where I used to live the police blotter in the monthly newsletter always has at least one report of items stolen from an unlocked car.  Usually, it mentioned (by the victim) these items were in plain sight!

My dad taught us (long before we were old enough to drive) to always lock the car.

Rusty

@CurtisH posted:

Maybe he is or has a trunk layout?

Actually.....I’m still fiddling with the track plan.   Stubbornly trying to keep to O-60 curves but I don’t think it’s gonna work.  May have to drop down to O-36, which will kind of limit me to switchers and LionMasters but , hey, sometimes you have to make concessions.  Was going to add a second level but that would require keeping the sunroof open, which would be a problem when it rains.  Also, I’ve heard anecdotal stories that going through EZ Pass can play havoc with the DCS signal, and I can’t operate conventional while driving so....maybe the whole idea is Stupid, plain and simple (no matter where in Jersey you live)..

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Ever see the movie "Clockers"?   A pretty good movie by Spike Lee.

The "hero", a 17 year old dope dealer in the Projects of New York, who was trying desperately to get out of the bad life due to his bleeding ulcer from stress, spent most of his money building a three tiered O-Gauge layout in his tiny project apartment.  He had a really nice ZW running it.  He loved trains, but had never ridden on one in his life.

I guess the folks who broke into your car (or, more accurately, simply opened the doors of your car), hadn't seen the movie, or else they  would have snatched up those engines.  :-)

Mannyrock

@mike.caruso posted:

Actually.....I’m still fiddling with the track plan.   Stubbornly trying to keep to O-60 curves but I don’t think it’s gonna work.  May have to drop down to O-36, which will kind of limit me to switchers and LionMasters but , hey, sometimes you have to make concessions.  Was going to add a second level but that would require keeping the sunroof open, which would be a problem when it rains.  Also, I’ve heard anecdotal stories that going through EZ Pass can play havoc with the DCS signal, and I can’t operate conventional while driving so....maybe the whole idea is Stupid, plain and simple (no matter where in Jersey you live)..

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Thanks Mike! I just had to wipe hot tea from my computer screen I laughed so hard!

-Greg

We lock everything, all the time. Meanwhile my neighbor leaves everything wide open. I guarantee I'd get robbed before he did. I'm in central Nassau County LI, can't turn you back on anything around here unfortunately. I even lock the car when I go into the gas station to pay.

I think some post war magna-traction might be best for the back of the car though

@D500 posted:

Yes, to both. In spades. I don't get it.

Guys, guys, guys....c'mon!  LOL.  Do you really think I store my trains in the car??  I had transported trains from one location to another (from the train club to my home) started unloading them, when in the middle of unloading it something came up.  Maybe my wife said "dinner!"  Maybe I walked into the house just as the TV said "Here's Alex Trebek!"  Maybe the phone rang.  In any case, enough time went by that I forgot there was still stuff in the car.  Next day, they were still there.  I was lucky.

Do I deliberately sit in my recliner every night and say "should I lock the car tonight....nah, what could possibly happen?"  No!  LOL.  If I remember, I lock it.  Most of the time I forget.  Believe me, I'm not the only one in this area.

If you want to be horrified even further, there are actually people who have left their extra key fob IN THE CAR overnight....above the visor, in the glove compartment, etc.  In some of those instances, yes, the car was stolen.

Last edited by mike.caruso

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