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Snatch and Run

KleanRide

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I'm usually pretty anal about keeping pump room doors and my truck locked while I'm at the wash. On Wednesday I dropped my guard for a minute and paid big for it.

I was working on a project in the pump room and stepped out to grab some tools out of my truck. A tweaker parked at a vac a few yards away must have noticed that I didn't hit the lock button on my keychain. When I stepped back inside he grabbed my toolbox out of my back seat and took off. No great loss there, but inside my toolbox was the spare key set for the entire wash. I had brought it with me that morning to give keys to a guy that's helping me clean.

Two pump room doors - 4 deadbolts
2 bill changers - 4 T handle locks
7 bay vaults - 7 pucks and 7 T handle locks
7 bay meter boxes - 14 cam locks
9 vac vaults - 9 disc locks
9 vac meter boxes - 18 cam locks
4 laurel vendors - 8 disc locks
9 trash cans - 9 disc locks
1 coke machine - 1 T handle and 1 puck

This happened at 7:30 am and I didn't get the wash completely secure again until after dark, that night. Cost of locksmith plus replacing all of the cams, pucks, discs, and T-handles will end up well over $2,000.

Cops arrived within minutes and ran his plates (thank you BackStreet Surveillance!) turns out he had stolen the truck he was driving 30 minutes before he hit me. They found the truck stripped later that day. Obviously my tools and keys were not to be found.

Since he'll probably come back to try those keys, I'm thinking about setting a trap for him.

Any ideas?

Here he is tossing my stuff in his truck...
 

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MEP001

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How well does S.A. police respond to calls? I'd hide in the ER with a shotgun and call the police if he shows up. I've found a few key words that helps get the police there in a hurry - once I called and said I was outside handling the money and a guy was hiding behind the fence at the rear of the property making me nervous, and they were there in a minute. The other day I caught a repeat loiterer who spends half the day hanging out in a bay to use the neighbor's wi-fi, and when I told the 911 operator he was getting combative they stepped up the call and got them there very fast. Last night, however, I was at a friend's wash working and we saw a couple pull into a bay and very clearly saw the passenger smoking crack. Called 911, no cops came before they left 45 minutes later.

It might be a bad idea, but I'd call and say if cops aren't there before he leaves I'd be out there holding him for them at gunpoint when they arrive.

Your locks are very easy to replace. The hardest one would be the T-handle locks, and it just requires an Allen wrench. You should be able to get everything for around $800.
 

slash007

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I've learned the only way they come is if you make it seem thratening. I usually mention " I think they have a gun" Or " I think I saw a knife" but I'm not sure. Speeds things up tremendously. Of course that's only for situations where there is a criminal act taking place, not for just random homeless trespassers.
 

KleanRide

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I suspect that all of our response times in TX are about to get much slower with Covid cases blowing up again. Back in March (first covid panic phase) they wouldn't even respond when I called in an oil dumper.

They did tell me, though, that since this perp is now on the hook for auto theft to call direct if I see him again, but not to spook him away. I'm only a mile from their NE dispatch station.

Yeah, I can get the cams and T-handles at a decent price. They are second priority. But I had to get the pump room doors re-keyed with an emergency call ($$$) and fortunately they had the pucks and discs that I needed to re-secure bay and vac vaults, but at a pretty steep price. Total locksmith bill was $985 and I had no choice but to pay it.
 

Randy

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WOW! That really sucks. Are you saying all your locks are keyed alike? There are a couple of lessons to be learned here.
 

KleanRide

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Some were keyed alike, others were not. Regardless, he has every spare key so every lock has to be changed.
 

MEP001

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I have everything keyed alike that I can, so there are only five keys on my ring. Sure better than the 18 I needed when I first got it. No one's getting those keys without prying them out of my dead hands.
 

KleanRide

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I have everything keyed alike that I can, so there are only five keys on my ring. Sure better than the 18 I needed when I first got it. No one's getting those keys without prying them out of my dead hands.
Yep, I’ve now got bays all on one key, vacs on another...vendors, trash etc on their own key. My small key ring now fits in my pocket on a belt lanyard instead of 50 keys around my neck in plain view.
 

Randy

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We have 3 key rings, 1 for vac’s coin boxes, clean out doors & garbage cans, 1 for coin vaults & meter boxes, and 1 for vending. We have a complete set of locks for the car wash ready to install should we ever have a major problem. We had a local locksmith coming in every night couple of nights and picking the locks or at least trying, we have also caught homeless people trying to pick the locks. Now we pick up the money every day from the vac’s and the coin vaults.
 

OurTown

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We had a local locksmith coming in every night couple of nights and picking the locks or at least trying

Are you freaking kidding me? Was this a legit locksmith that had an actual business?
 

Randy

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Are you freaking kidding me? Was this a legit locksmith that had an actual business?
Nope, I’m not kidding you. The guy was a legitimate locksmith. He had a van with his information on the side, worked out of his 2 car garage next to his house. When he came to the car wash he would be driving a pickup without the magnet signs on the door of his truck. He was pretty smart he never took it all just a little here and there. He got caught getting into a pop machine in front of the Safeway store. The guy is retired military. He’s no longer in business.
 

Keith Baker

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I'm usually pretty anal about keeping pump room doors and my truck locked while I'm at the wash. On Wednesday I dropped my guard for a minute and paid big for it.

I was working on a project in the pump room and stepped out to grab some tools out of my truck. A tweaker parked at a vac a few yards away must have noticed that I didn't hit the lock button on my keychain. When I stepped back inside he grabbed my toolbox out of my back seat and took off. No great loss there, but inside my toolbox was the spare key set for the entire wash. I had brought it with me that morning to give keys to a guy that's helping me clean.

Two pump room doors - 4 deadbolts
2 bill changers - 4 T handle locks
7 bay vaults - 7 pucks and 7 T handle locks
7 bay meter boxes - 14 cam locks
9 vac vaults - 9 disc locks
9 vac meter boxes - 18 cam locks
4 laurel vendors - 8 disc locks
9 trash cans - 9 disc locks
1 coke machine - 1 T handle and 1 puck

This happened at 7:30 am and I didn't get the wash completely secure again until after dark, that night. Cost of locksmith plus replacing all of the cams, pucks, discs, and T-handles will end up well over $2,000.

Cops arrived within minutes and ran his plates (thank you BackStreet Surveillance!) turns out he had stolen the truck he was driving 30 minutes before he hit me. They found the truck stripped later that day. Obviously my tools and keys were not to be found.

Since he'll probably come back to try those keys, I'm thinking about setting a trap for him.

Any ideas?

Here he is tossing my stuff in his truck...
This won't help with your current problem, but it would keep it from happening again. I installed this a while back and I am very happy with it. The magnet has a 600 pound pull. I set the timer on the key fob for 5 seconds so
it unlocks just when I get there and locks right after I walk through. Works great. I can't find a brand name but the invoice shows who I bought it from.

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