stolen equipment/tool registry
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  1. #1
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    Default stolen equipment/tool registry

    Good afternoon folks, I would like to propose a registry on PM for stolen tools and equipment, and also remind everyone to record their serial numbers NOW for the possible police report I hope you never need to file.

    I had my Miller Maxstar 161STH welder stolen from my checked baggage on Thursday. I travel with my welder and tools 3-5 times a year, and have never had a problem, but on thursday I checked my bags at Orlando International (MCO) 5 hours before my flight. when I got my bags back at LaGurdia, I opened my bag to get my winter coat, and no welder.


    filed a report with airline, and Orlando PD.

    Miller Maxstar 161STH serial MH500104L

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    For baggage handlers, every day is Christmas...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    For baggage handlers, every day is Christmas...
    That is a fact. When I was working for Jim Halls Indycar team I flew into Philadelphia late one night and when I got my bag it had been opened and my Pennzoil Team Jacket had been stolen. It was late and nothing was happening at the terminal. Boy did I start some shit! I gave managers a real boliking, called the cops and airport security, I was pissed and everyone knew it. After about a half hour it appeared as if by magic. They said it must have fallen out of my bag! What a load of shit.

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    Used to be they said mark it with your social security number. Now they say do not let that number out. I have heard the police like to see your drivers license number engraved on the stolen stuff. They are very equipped to track down that number.
    Bill D

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    Years ago my neighbor had his hanging fern stolen from his front porch. It was stolen the night before mother 's day. i figure a dutiful son gave it to mom and told her her "I stole this just for you."
    Bil lD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Years ago my neighbor had his hanging fern stolen from his front porch. It was stolen the night before mother 's day. i figure a dutiful son gave it to mom and told her her "I stole this just for you."
    Bil lD
    Nothing says "I love You" like theft.

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    Well some do say they stole her heart away.
    Bil lD.

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    Story

    A small town had just two churches, a Baptist and a Methodist church. The two ministers lived such that they passed each other every Sunday on their way to church, the Baptist riding a bicycle and the Methodist on foot. It was a small town, everyone was on friendly terms and the ministers greeted each other cordially as they passed.

    One Sunday when they meet, the Baptist minister is walking to church. "Say brother," the Methodist asked, "what happened to your bicycle?"

    "I just don't know." the other minister said. "I keep it right there on the front porch, but this morning when I went out it wasn't there. I can't think what I've done with it."

    "You're just not suspicious enough." the other replied. "Someone must have stolen your bicycle. And since almost everyone in town belongs to either your church or mine, it's probably someone who will be sitting in church this morning. Let me suggest this. We both preach a sermon on the ten commandments, and when we get to 'Thou shalt not steal', dwell long and hard on thou shalt not steal and maybe the guilty party will get the message."

    So they go on their respective ways. The next Sunday when they meet again, the Baptist minister is back riding his bicycle. "Well brother," the Methodist says. "I see the sermon on the ten commandments did the trick. I wonder if it was your sermon or mine?"

    "Oh, I know it was my sermon, all right," the Baptist says with some chagrin, "but it's not quite the way you think. Just like we agreed, I preached a sermon on the ten commandments and dwelt long and hard on 'Thous shalt not steal'. But when I came to 'Thou shalt not commit adultery', I remembered where I left my bicycle."

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    I was actually trying to start a quite serious thing here. Not to be a downer, but it’s gone off the rails. I know, shocking that would happen here...

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    Serial numbers can be removed (although stampings are hard to remove all traces). I wonder if using the chips like my dogs have would be better. Just a tiny hole somewhere and put in the chip with all your information. I don't know if a chip can be read through metal or not. Perhaps someone out there knows. My daughter in law works for a vet and can get the chips. I was thinking about embedding a couple of them in my gun stocks.

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    Having a record of the serial number is mostly for getting the police to take the repot of theft seriously. They quite reasonably want a way to ID the property conclusively before spending time looking for it.

    Of corse the serial can be defaced, but with electronics they can be on the factory internal chips, and in multiple locations in general.

    Putting your name address and cell phone on the unit in multiple locations, including engraving it in the metal and covering it with a sticker is another way to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyanidekid View Post
    I was actually trying to start a quite serious thing here. Not to be a downer, but it’s gone off the rails. I know, shocking that would happen here...
    OK, but I don't understand too much how a serial number on a commercial piece of equipment helps, unless said thief just wanted to pawn it? I mean if I stole something like calipers or mics, I would likely take them to work and use them, or use at home. How do the police know what they even are, or where to look? I dunnno, maybe I am over thinkin this...

    PS- all threads go off topic, just some stay on topic longer than others...

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    I think that the OP's idea on starting a stolen equipment registry would be a great idea. I belong to a musical instrument group for a specific brand of instrument and that site has just such a registry. I don't know how well it works, but it would be a good place for a pawn shop owner to look if it were publicized.

    Years ago, when my brother and I owned a guitar shop, we were required as part of our second hand dealer's license to send a report to the police department with the serial number of any musical instrument that we bought, If we heard nothing for 21 days we could then resell the instrument.

    There are companies that sell their services to heavy equipment owners and operators to prevent loss. They place a GPS unit hidden inside of the machine and are able to track it at great distances. Here is a British company that is very successful.

    YouTube

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    Sometimes airport personnel will try to steal your stuff while you watch. My wife and I took a trip to Europe five years ago. When the trip was over and we were in the airport in Frankfurt Germany I saw a liter of Grand Marnier at a good price so I looked to see how much money I still had in Euros. It was almost the exact amount so I bought it. The duty free store double sealed it in duty free packaging and off we went. Crossed the Atlantic and landed in Chicago. We went through customs and a young man asked to see the package. He cut the sealed packaging and put it onto a scanner of some sort. Each time the scanner told him to remove it and he left it for a few extra seconds and it rejected it.

    He told me that I couldn't take it with me. I told him that I had no plans to leave it there. We argued a little bit about it and I finally told him that I wanted to see his supervisor as I didn't plan to leave without it, explaining that if I could cross the Atlantic with it there shouldn't be a problem with crossing Lake Michigan with it. He finally said that I could check it and take it that way but it would take a long time to do that. I told him that I had plenty of time so he walked me back out of the secured area to the ticketing agent area. They gladly boxed it up in a box that was about a two foot cube and checked it with other baggage. No charge, which shocked me a little bit. I asked the ticketing agent what happens with all the stuff that they confiscate and she told me that they trash it. Sure they do. Maybe in a trash can party at someones house. Fucking little thief.

    It almost seemed to taste a little bit better than usual when I got home.

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    Well Mike, maybe YOU would steal calipers and a mic to use !

    Most things are stolen to get cash (especially by organized operations).

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    Sorry for your loss, but I don't think a registry on this forum would yield much results.

    I don't imagine too many buyers of a used welder at a pawn shop or CL would check in with PM (even know PM exists) to see if it was stolen. Or care??

    I have had tools stolen, gave the police the SNs and never got anything back.
    Hopefully your case will be different.

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    What ive found with the police is you will have to do all the police work, then hand them the case, all ready to close, and they will let the guy go without charging him.
    I fly alot, with tools and other useful stuff, had some theft by officials in airports and customs houses. I dont know why i have to protect myself from those sworn to protect me. Its a modern world, i guess. Being loud, and knowing your rights helps. Thieves dont like attention being drawn to them.
    In my shop, after 3 breakins, 2 with me present, one working late at night, one sleeping in my camper waiting for them, I keep a pistol. Hang the practice targets on the wall. Much less trouble.

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    I would think about a gps tracking device that recharges each time the welder gets plugged in. Hide it so that it is not obvious with the cover removed.

    It might be fun to have tracking software on you phone when you go through airports.

    I like the idea of the registry, the topic of the thread.

    Newman109 beat me to the gps idea. Oops.
    Last edited by David_M; 12-22-2019 at 05:31 PM.

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  30. #19
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    That sucks. Might have stopped the theft if the welder was in a locked travel case.

    Bought a expensive Fluke meter on Amazon. Storage facility was about 25 miles away. Shipped in a Amazon labelled box but it never arrived.
    USPS person stole the box. Called Amazon and they admitted that they have a agreement with USPS. After a certain threshold of thefts the
    USPS pays a fee of some sort.

    On a side note. I have a couple of used tools that have engraved words like "Room 314" or a serial number on the tool.
    When the engraving is done freehand with sloppy hand writing it's worse.

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    more often than not TSA opens my bags, so, would get my lock trashed 80 percent of the time, and I doubt these thieves would have been slowed down at all by a TSA approved lock, which may have been removed anyway by the time they hit.

    the Orlando sergeant I spoke to said " the problem there is they don't have cameras in that area". I suspect this crew has worked out a tight system. I'm not the first one to experience a loss there.

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