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Old 26th April 2010, 18:54   #1
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Unhappy Octy saved from theft by fate - Accent lifted instead

I got both good news and bad news this morning. Talk about starting a day with mixed feelings. Here is how it went.

I live in a rented accommodation with the house owner living on the ground floor and me on the first floor. The owner parks his car inside the house while I park it on the ramp in front of the house (not in front of the gate but near the front wall of the house adjoining the gate). Once in 3-4 months the situation is reversed - I park inside and he outside (when he comes home pretty late at night). I own a Octy L&K and he has an Accent.

Last evening, I got a call from him requesting me to park the car inside the house (which I did after the call) since he will be late. He came and parked his Accent outside at around 11 pm. By 2 am the Accent had been lifted! I know it had been lifted by 2 am because I went out in the balcony at 2 am and there was no car. I did not know till then that the owner had come home and parked his car at around 11. At that time I thought he hadn't come home yet. It was only in the morning that I knew otherwise.

Now here are things that have shocked me no end:
a) There is a street light (the big halogen one) bang in front of our house and it was on at the time of the theft. Add to that 2 big gate lights of our house.
b) I was sitting in my drawing room the whole time (11 pm to 2 am) that pretty much overlooks the street in front of my house. Anybody on the street could clearly see that the occupants were awake.
c) I was studying - not even watching TV. It was night time so the street was pretty quite. I did not hear the engine start at all - in fact I heard nothing to make me suspicious. And I consider myself the alert type.
d) Last but most importantly - if not for yesterday - it was my car that would have been lifted because that is the one that is parked outside 99.9% of the times.

I do suspect that it was my car they were after. I have the only Octy in my street - which also has 2-3 Accents. I do not believe the thieves just walked into the street and saw an Accent and lifted it.

Now my car has an engine immobilizer (floating code chip) and it is insured and all that. BUT I love my car to bits and insurance money will be scant consolation. I am really scared now. This might just prompt me to get one of those high-end car security GPS systems. Don't know how much value that will add over the immobilizer though. I have heard - and my family has experienced - that the factory fitted immobilizers are pretty good. There was a theft attempt on my sister's Civic (also parked out in the street) but the theif could not get the engine going even though he wrecked the door lock and the ignition area - resulting in 45k of damages (Honda changed the lock set on the car). Even then I do not want to take any chances.

Has anybody on the forum got a good GPS based security system installed from around Delhi/NCR area? I do not mind shelling out 10-15k if it can guarantee that I can trace my car in case it is stolen (which I hope like everybody that it never happens).
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Old 26th April 2010, 19:12   #2
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Just get steering and gear lever locks . They are the best deterrent to a thief and its visual aspect also makes sure that no tampering takes place. In addition to this ,you may just get a sticker of a REPUTED GPS based security device and have them stuck on both windscreens and driver side door . A prominent blinking LED to enhance this point is enough .

PS : i think this thread should be in street experiences.
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Old 26th April 2010, 19:32   #3
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You were seriously lucky, that you car did not get stolen!!

There is a company by the name of Micro VBB, they give ads in TOI & HT almost every other day.

Apart from this a gear & steering lock combination is very very highly recommended.

I have an Autocop gear lock (MGA) + the manufacturer's immobiliser and anti theft device (ICATS + Nippon Antitheft Device which is factory fit as my car is the ZXI variant)
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Old 26th April 2010, 20:13   #4
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So how is the owner of the accent following up with the case??
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Old 26th April 2010, 20:24   #5
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@Cesc you are really lucky but sometimes it makes me wonder " is it so easy " to lift a modern day car like an accent or have the thieves become smarter. I am guessing since you didn't hear anything they should have somehow opened the door locks and pushed it to a safer place and then tried to start it or may be towed it.
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Old 26th April 2010, 20:35   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARCUS_520i View Post
So how is the owner of the accent following up with the case??
That's the question.

@Cesc, the accent was lifted by pro thieves; you have listed the reasons to believe so.

Consider this, do you really think such guys will mistakenly take an Accent for an Octie L&K? Also, are these cars sport the same color?

Adding additional security is always a good idea, but IMO, you are getting paranoid. I wont be surprised if the thieves were there to lift that particular Accent for some reason.
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Old 26th April 2010, 20:46   #7
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@Cesc - Pal, I don't know what to say, you may want to Thank your stars & God; I know how you feel now & I won't be surprised if you say, that you wake up every hour in the night to check your ride.

I remember reading somewhere in this (ARTICLE: How to protect your car from THEFT) thread about having a hidden switch in addition to turn on the car apart from the regular key. Do have this option apart from the gear lock & steering lock. I know it cannot be done overnight, but, try considering that point.
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Old 26th April 2010, 21:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absynthguzzler View Post
In addition to this ,you may just get a sticker of a REPUTED GPS based security device and have them stuck on both windscreens and driver side door . A prominent blinking LED to enhance this point is enough .
I already have all of those for REAL. Not the GPS but the sticker, LED and all. The car came with Skoda's own security system. Even my car's audio system is factroy theft protected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maglev View Post
There is a company by the name of Micro VBB, they give ads in TOI & HT almost every other day.

Apart from this a gear & steering lock combination is very very highly recommended.
Thanks buddy. I will check that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARCUS_520i View Post
So how is the owner of the accent following up with the case??
Police came this morning and said "Yours is the fifth car theft case of the morning". That statement and the manner in which it was delivered said enough about the way police approaches car thefts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
@Cesc, the accent was lifted by pro thieves; you have listed the reasons to believe so.

Consider this, do you really think such guys will mistakenly take an Accent for an Octie L&K? Also, are these cars sport the same color?

Adding additional security is always a good idea, but IMO, you are getting paranoid. I wont be surprised if the thieves were there to lift that particular Accent for some reason.
The colors are completely different. Mine is wine red and his is silver. I am not saying they mistook the Accent for the Octy. Just saying they came for the Octy but since they already made the sureveying effort they took out the Accent when they didn't find the Octy. Just really hope I am getting paranoid though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
@Cesc - Pal, I don't know what to say, you may want to Thank your stars & God; I know how you feel now & I won't be surprised if you say, that you wake up every hour in the night to check your ride.
Thanks buddy. I already thanked my stars enough today. God help me sleep tonight.
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Old 26th April 2010, 23:16   #9
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1. Is your locality made up of houses or bunglows and not apartment buildings?
2. Is the neighbourhood quiet after about 10pm or so and does not stir till about 6am? No late night office workers, no call centre people or shift workers staying in the neighbourhood?
3. Are there lots of small lanes, trees, compound walls?

If answers to both of the above questions are Yes, it would be an ideal setting for the thieves. Since nobody ventures out onto the streets after 10pm, they aren't likely to meet any unexpected visitors, making it easy to lift cars. Also if anyone does come, they can hear the vehicle from far away and temporarily suspend their activities. Bylanes, trees or recesses in the compound walls can provide excellent cover in case they hear anyone coming.

Also I feel they must have watched the place for quite some time (if it's a gang, they would always be doing that). Some of the members may be assigned to the surveillance duty, whose only job is to observe and report the coming and going, parking, anti-theft precautions of the various vehicle owners. The gang may then make a plan to lift this or that vehicle a particular night and send in the actual team which does this.

Also I don't think they mistook your Skoda for the Accent. Whichever car was parked outside, they would have lifted it. So yes, you have been lucky. It might also be interesting to find out if your houseowner had fitted any anti-theft devices in his Accent. It could be he didn't have any sophisticated security system installed, relying instead on factory fitted central locking or something, or had forgotten to switch it on, maybe if he was drunk/sleepy etc, or the thieves are armed with knowledge of disarming the sophisticated security systems.
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Old 26th April 2010, 23:23   #10
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Boy. That sounds nasty. Guess we need to have beat constables doing rounds, security cameras etc apart from regular car security stuff. Thank your stars.
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Old 27th April 2010, 05:44   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Guess we need to have beat constables doing rounds, security cameras etc apart from regular car security stuff.
In that case, you can expect more theft with a bigger budget cars; Sorry I don't trust cops.
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Old 27th April 2010, 07:22   #12
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An interesting & amusing anti theft device I saw was on one of the "Mr. Bean" episodes. The car thief gets inside happily, only to find the steering wheel missing !

I am waiting for car manufacturers to introduce easily removable steering wheels (and quickly removable tyres as well), so that I can keep them at home with me, while I sleep peacefully. I can next imagine car thieves moving around with an assorted set of wheels (steering or otherwise) to steal cars, but this would raise suspicions !

This might work better than autocops and, well, cops

But, on a serious note, I feel the cops must evolve smart strategies and track down stolen vehicles at the earliest, instead of doling out the daily statistics ! Hope your owner gets his ride back at the earliest.

Last edited by mooza : 27th April 2010 at 07:29.
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Old 27th April 2010, 07:56   #13
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@Mooza - Very valid point & infact I was about to tell that point in one of my replies above. What stopped me was the thread on car theft; you see these guys are very smart now days & have become very informative after watching movies such as Gone in 60 seconds. They study the owner's pattern, they anticipate every move & know what they do & don't. If they find the car owner removing the car steering everyday, then on the DDay, they bring along the steering wheel; if the owner always prefer to keep less fuel, they bring in less fuel or find out alternatives.

As the technology improves, they also keep familiarizing themselves with those technologies.

Once at Kappad beach in Kerala, my uncle was locking his Zen; he had a remote lock, steering lock, gear lock & then he decided not to use a lock on wheel for some lazy reason. So I was laughing at him & told this will not save his car from theft. But his view was different, he said, he was aware of that, but the intention of using the gadgets were to make the theft as difficult as possible. Instead of a minute's job, make it more.
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Old 27th April 2010, 09:10   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
@Mooza - Very valid point & infact I was about to tell that point in one of my replies above. What stopped me was the thread on car theft; you see these guys are very smart now days & have become very informative after watching movies such as Gone in 60 seconds. They study the owner's pattern, they anticipate every move & know what they do & don't. If they find the car owner removing the car steering everyday, then on the DDay, they bring along the steering wheel; if the owner always prefer to keep less fuel, they bring in less fuel or find out alternatives.

As the technology improves, they also keep familiarizing themselves with those technologies.

Once at Kappad beach in Kerala, my uncle was locking his Zen; he had a remote lock, steering lock, gear lock & then he decided not to use a lock on wheel for some lazy reason. So I was laughing at him & told this will not save his car from theft. But his view was different, he said, he was aware of that, but the intention of using the gadgets were to make the theft as difficult as possible. Instead of a minute's job, make it more.
Valid point. The Maruti dealership near my home empties fuel tanks & removes fuses of the stocked cars which are kept out in the open as they don't have much space inside.

Also, I do think that the thieves were mistaken, they were after your Octy for sure.Remember that no car is impossible to steal provided the thieves get enough time. The people in my locality use Weld-Less heavy chains through the wheel and axle and tie it to a Lamp-Post(a little crude but works).

I would still not rule out the thieves TOWING away the car(since you mentioned no noise)
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Old 27th April 2010, 09:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooza View Post
I am waiting for car manufacturers to introduce easily removable steering wheels (and quickly removable tyres as well), so that I can keep them at home with me, while I sleep peacefully. I can next imagine car thieves moving around with an assorted set of wheels (steering or otherwise) to steal cars, but this would raise suspicions !
Well, it would mean they are not only going to go after whole cars, but also for any removable wheels, because instead of lifting the whole car, it would make more sense to just take the wheels out and vanish. I have heard of stories where thieves jacked up vehicles, removed the wheels and escaped, sometimes in full view of the owner. One particularly scary one is that the owner watched from his fourth/fifth floor residence helplessly as a gang of thieves (probably armed with some crude weapons too) lifted the wheels off his car, daring him to come down and stop them.

My sister once narrated a story how their Omni was saved from being stolen as the battery had discharged and the car wouldn't start. In the middle of the night they were woken up by a neighbour who alerted them the doors of the Omni were open. Upon making enquiries they learnt a group of people had tried to lift it, found it didn't start and so abandoned the attempt.

Instead of expecting the police force to run after each and every car stolen, it would be better if we came up with one or more measures to make it all the more difficult, and then be able to track the vehicle in case it was stolen. Modern security systems are GPS enabled, and a vehicle could be tracked anywhere. Also as aargee narrated, adding many security measures will ultimately deter a potential thief who will look for a softer target.

Removable steering wheel or tyres may be an innovative idea, but I can't imagine myself doing this every day and then carry all the four wheels and the steering up two flights of stairs to my home. I may not have enough strength to carry it all back down the next morning, for one.
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