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Thread: Prevent Stolen Decorations

  1. #1
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    Default Prevent Stolen Decorations

    We have a considerable amount of reports of people stealing Christmas decorations. The police doesn't care much because if the theft is below $1k the police can't do anything about it (this also applies to department stores, etc). So do you have anything in place to prevent people stealing your props/controllers/displays that are not only expensive but more importantly you spent a lot of time to build?
    Last edited by munu; 12-06-2021 at 04:03 AM.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2012
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    Lebanon, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: Prevent Stolen Decorations

    Munu, your profile doesn't show it - where are you located?
    Live, Laugh, Love.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Prevent Stolen Decorations

    We chain up our nice wire frames. Guy wires keep trees in place.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Prevent Stolen Decorations

    Well, it isn't really that the police can't do anything but frequently they don't due to our laws. That's laws in California which is where I am from. The problem in CA is that theft below $950 is considered as just a misdemeanors and because of overcrowded prisons and other reasons there is a good chance nothing much happens even if you get caught. Also just a short while ago 3 armed policemen were refused service in a restaurant because the employees felt unsafe with them having weapons in a restaurant (imagine they leave it in the car and someone steals the weapons). In addition, some stores have policies that you can't touch a "customer" even if an employee sees them walking out with unpaid merchandise. I haven't heard this in previous years but apparently people now even take Christmas decorations. I am not too worried about my $10 inflatables but when it comes to my LED matrix, my TR24 controller, my Falcon F48, etc we are talking about hundreds of dollars (still below $950) and many, many hours of work. I guess I could try to put everything on the roof but if you pull hard enough on the cables you can still get to it. So I need to think of some good protection for those items.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2015
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    Default Re: Prevent Stolen Decorations

    Quote Originally Posted by munu View Post
    Well, it isn't really that the police can't do anything but frequently they don't due to our laws. That's laws in California which is where I am from. The problem in CA is that theft below $950 is considered as just a misdemeanors and because of overcrowded prisons and other reasons there is a good chance nothing much happens even if you get caught. Also just a short while ago 3 armed policemen were refused service in a restaurant because the employees felt unsafe with them having weapons in a restaurant (imagine they leave it in the car and someone steals the weapons). In addition, some stores have policies that you can't touch a "customer" even if an employee sees them walking out with unpaid merchandise. I haven't heard this in previous years but apparently people now even take Christmas decorations. I am not too worried about my $10 inflatables but when it comes to my LED matrix, my TR24 controller, my Falcon F48, etc we are talking about hundreds of dollars (still below $950) and many, many hours of work. I guess I could try to put everything on the roof but if you pull hard enough on the cables you can still get to it. So I need to think of some good protection for those items.
    In addition to chaining my control boxes down to make them more difficult and more time consuming to steal, i would add a sign to my props saying “For Sale, $951”.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Prevent Stolen Decorations

    My controllers are hidden. A schmuck would have to really trespass and look. And know what is valuable. I had my laser light stolen, and that made me pretty mad. I left out a sign on the dangling cord saying, "Light stolen. Thanks. That's the Christmas spirit ".

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Prevent Stolen Decorations

    You can always use more expensive props so that they can prosecute when they're stolen.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Prevent Stolen Decorations

    hmmmm....the Grinch that stole Christmas....

    depending on the method of mounting, etc you *could* loop a thin wire through all of the devices, that if that loop gets broken it sets off an alarm, or turns on all of your blinky flashy all at once.

    Of course, most that steal probably don't care about alarms they just run to the car and leave. Look at all the smash and grab thats going on now. Unbelievable.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Prevent Stolen Decorations

    We have our property covered with cameras and well illuminated (not just during x-mas) but that only helps you record how people take your stuff. We also have various gnomes and other things in the front yard so I have been thinking of having some wire connecting everything and then have an outside alarms going off (lights blinking and sound) like @Utimgr suggested. My main concern is about false alarms and getting neighbors upset. But I should revisit that idea.

    My controllers are in generic boxes (CG1500, munition boxes) and I will have them close to the house behind some flowers (not much blooming now) but I still would like to secure the boxes somehow. Maybe I drill some holes into the controller boxes, use some guy wire as @rsthele suggested have the wires go through a ventilation opening (which is very close, about 10" x 6" leading to the crawlspace) and then go around one of the some 8" think wooden pillars in the crawlspace. If properly done you would have to break the controller boxes to take them. That seems like the best solution.

    It's actually sad that you have to care about these kind of things when you try to share the xmas spirit... It won't prevent me from doing more, though...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Prevent Stolen Decorations

    Not sure if good idea, but if you bury a post sufficiently deep underground, it takes a huge amount of force to try to exhume that. If you can bracket or anchor your controllers to them and make it awkward for them to remove quickly, perhaps that's enough deterrent to keep them in place. If they come with shovels, well props to them, but you made them work to steal it. You can bury the guy wire to the post underground to make it a little more annoying.

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