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Author Topic: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?  (Read 7785 times)

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EastAnglianTed

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« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 12:44:03 AM by EastAnglianTed »
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syale

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Here is an interesting product if you have a bluetooth enabled phone...

http://www.gizmag.com/blue-watchdog-mobile-phone-all-purpose-anti-theft-device/16471/
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syale

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On ebay.com for $25 (from china!)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Secu4-BlueWatchDog-Pickpocket-Bluetooth-Alarm-System-/170567312482

Check compatibility before you purchase
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 01:53:17 AM by syale »
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Steve_freereeder

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If someone is determined to steal your instrument, they will. I suspect most thefts are opportunistic - perpetrated by a thief on the lookout for unguarded items at festivals, in cars, at gigs, etc. As far as possible, never let your instrument out of your sight or possession.

If the worst does happen, you need to (a) provide as accurate a description as possible to the police and (b) be able to prove the instrument is yours, if and when it is recovered.

To that end, take a series of photos from different angles of both exterior and interior. There is usually some sort of unique wood-grain pattern which could be a useful identifier. Also, in some unobtrusive place in the interior of the wood casework, scribe your name and and date of acquisition or post-code using a hard pencil (4H or harder). This will become indented into the wood and be very difficult for a thief to obliterate, even if they are savvy enough to find it. Include the marking in your photos.

Keep receipts, proofs of purchase and your photos stored in a secure place.

Consider marking your instrument with a UV marker pen or anti-theft forensic fluid such as 'Smart Water' or similar. You get warning stickers which you can apply to the carrying case and which may act as a deterrent to thieves. The police like this.

Make sure your instrument is insured with an all-risks policy (see New Moon insurance discussions on this forum), or else ensure you have your own funds sufficient to replace the instrument if the worse happens.

Other than that, it's just common sense and reasonable care and vigilance.
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Lester

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As Steve said 'insure your box', most boxes are fairly easily replaceable with sufficient cash and no amount of marking etc will stop some low life nicking things. Another vote for Newmoon, cheap enough and covers your boxes in locked boots etc.

oggiesnr

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You can't stop some b*****r nicking it.  The most likely place is probably from home (where mine went from) and the thief will know sod all about it and pass it on for peanuts (my three row Lachenal anglo was car-booted for a tenner).  Down the road, when it reaches someone who knows about it, it may have passed through enough hands for your rights to be lost and if you've insured it and replaced it you would need to repay the insurance money to get it back anyway (what happened to me and didn't have a spare grand lying about).

So, by all means mark it (I do and did) so if it turns up in a local Cash Converters you can prove it's yours but your best security is to be careful locking doors and windows, have decent locks on your car boot, and keep it to hand if you're out and about.

Steve
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Chris Ryall

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I've been burgled a couple of times. They took the wife's bling and the hi-fi, leaving several thousand pounds worth of folk instruments behind. In my experience (other people's) boxes have gone from gig or festival.

Insurance is a no brainer in my view. Box theft is rare and Newmoon's rates reflect that. Think I have £12k or so "on risk" for about £40/year. Get on the phone, melodeonistas … But that's not quite what this thread is about. A favourite instrument becomes part of you, and its theft something of a bereavement, dare I say amputation. How to stop that?

Keeping it close is one thing. I am not one for those heavy square cases and try to do a festival or session with a single box, in a soft shoulder bag. That way it only is out of contact if I go to bar or loo, and the other players are a safe haven for that long.

Being "distinctive" can be a deterrent to the casual thief. I inset the St Chartier "pompiers" pin into my Lilly. Not had the balls to butcher my Gaillard though ;). All my boxes also carry current postcode in Biro impressed into the softer wood inside. Would aid identification, not sure the police would have the gumption to look in there though?

But basically my policy has been to keep in contact. The thefts I've heard of have been from cars, and backs of stages. Not lost a box in 27 years, though I may just have been lucky :|glug
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Andrew Wigglesworth

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You can't stop some b*****r nicking it.  The most likely place is probably from home (where mine went from) and the thief will know sod all about it and pass it on for peanuts (my three row Lachenal anglo was car-booted for a tenner).  Down the road, when it reaches someone who knows about it, it may have passed through enough hands for your rights to be lost and if you've insured it and replaced it you would need to repay the insurance money to get it back anyway (what happened to me and didn't have a spare grand lying about).

So, by all means mark it (I do and did) so if it turns up in a local Cash Converters you can prove it's yours but your best security is to be careful locking doors and windows, have decent locks on your car boot, and keep it to hand if you're out and about.

Steve

A couple of, um, slight inexactitudes in there.

It matters not whether a stolen box has gone through the hands of a dealer and been "resold", because it is still stolen property and the sale does not exist in reality.

CAB guide to finding yourself in possession of stolen goods

Also, if you get an insurance payout, the stolen goods become the property of the insurance company. Just as when you agree to have a car written off and receive the insurance money. You can buy back the written off car, as a friend of mine did recently. He paid the market rate (well, probably a bit below that since the insurance company wanted shot of it), just as you would if they gave you the chance of buying back your instrument. How this relates to the amount paid out on the insurance claim depends upon the nature of the policy.

oggiesnr

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You can't stop some b*****r nicking it.  The most likely place is probably from home (where mine went from) and the thief will know sod all about it and pass it on for peanuts (my three row Lachenal anglo was car-booted for a tenner).  Down the road, when it reaches someone who knows about it, it may have passed through enough hands for your rights to be lost and if you've insured it and replaced it you would need to repay the insurance money to get it back anyway (what happened to me and didn't have a spare grand lying about).

So, by all means mark it (I do and did) so if it turns up in a local Cash Converters you can prove it's yours but your best security is to be careful locking doors and windows, have decent locks on your car boot, and keep it to hand if you're out and about.

Steve

A couple of, um, slight inexactitudes in there.

It matters not whether a stolen box has gone through the hands of a dealer and been "resold", because it is still stolen property and the sale does not exist in reality.

CAB guide to finding yourself in possession of stolen goods

Also, if you get an insurance payout, the stolen goods become the property of the insurance company. Just as when you agree to have a car written off and receive the insurance money. You can buy back the written off car, as a friend of mine did recently. He paid the market rate (well, probably a bit below that since the insurance company wanted shot of it), just as you would if they gave you the chance of buying back your instrument. How this relates to the amount paid out on the insurance claim depends upon the nature of the policy.

Thanks for the correction on title Andrew.

In my case the insurance company would only sell back to me for the whole amount they paid out.

Steve
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Newmoon

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An insurance company would normally charge you "market value" for you to buy back an instrument which has come into their possession.

As said ,there is nothing you can really do to stop people stealing things. Thankfully enough - general toe rags normally don't recognise the value in musical instruments, so are very rarely a target! (and long may that continue...)

Obviously i would say insure the boxes, ( ;) !) but most of all just don't give any potential thief's the opportunity to steal things. Keep things close by at all times (when possible), and if you need to go somewhere where the instrument can't follow, either lock it away in a car - or if someone else is around them make sure they know you are leaving it with them!

Joe
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Strigulino

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 02:19:31 PM »

Boxes are insured, my name and mobile number written inside, Smart Water.  We are a sufficiently insular group that the moment you bought a box off someone and found someone else's name inside, you'd probably have a fighting chance of knowing who they were and that they were missing a box. 

I know that Martyn White puts one of his little stickers inside when he fettles also - again, a reseller spotting that he's had a hand in the box (literally) might contact him to check its provenance and find out it was stolen. 
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pikey

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 10:14:28 AM »

A risky time is when you turn up for a gig and when you leave - how many of us leave the car unlocked with the boot open whilst we lug out / lug back in PAs, drums, tubas, boxes, etc etc......

Always, always make sure someone is with the gear in the car at all times, and when unloading leave the easy to carry stuff like melodeons until last, but put them in first when loading.

Plus postcode as per advice above in case it turns up.

If youre worried when youre in a gig or a session, you can get small movement alarms from CPP
 http://cpc.farnell.com/defender-security/mg78/portable-motion-alarm/dp/SR08097


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Adam-T

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2013, 01:22:48 PM »

A risky time is when you turn up for a gig and when you leave - how many of us leave the car unlocked with the boot open whilst we lug out / lug back in PAs, drums, tubas, boxes, etc etc......

Just leave the Drums and PAs til last - you may find more when you get back  ;D
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Strigulino

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 03:12:32 PM »

One idea I do remember being mooted previously was (relatively expensive idea but cheaper than many other tracking solutions; if you have a REALLY posh box it might be worth doing) - getting an old smartphone that has GPS, using Find My Phone or similar app, charging it up, tape it to the inside of the box before the gig.  Then if it does go walkies, you can track it.  At least until the battery runs out.
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ladydetemps

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 05:42:21 PM »

I don't own a car so don't have boot to lock it in. My room looks like its been burgled half the time if i can't find stuff in there...well. Lol
When i take my boxes out they are attached to me at all times. (or someone i trust). Those that know me will probably have noticed i'm like gollem with my instruments. ;)
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oggiesnr

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2013, 11:09:31 PM »

Final thought, if you sell a box that has been marked make sure that the new owner knows of the markings (and on down the chain).

Steve
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boisterous budgie

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2013, 10:04:21 AM »

I bought a cheap laptop lock (long metal wire with padlock that fits through the strap brackets) for when you go to places and then decide you want to dance and can't bear to leave your beloved box unattended - to stop people picking it up and walking out with it. Thing is, I feel too embarrassed to actually use it.

In keeping with this season's fashion you could of course always paint your box fluorescent yellow.
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Howard Jones

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2013, 12:39:34 PM »

A risky time is when you turn up for a gig and when you leave - how many of us leave the car unlocked with the boot open whilst we lug out / lug back in PAs, drums, tubas, boxes, etc etc......

It's notable how many reports of stolen instruments say it was taken "after a gig".  I always the lock the car between trips - it only takes a moment, and with central locking it's not really much of an inconvenience.

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2013, 02:24:59 PM »

I've been advised to leave my box unguarded and in full view.
Admittedly this was by someone who wanted me to stop playing....

Peter
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EastAnglianTed

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Re: How do you mark your box to attempt to stop some b*gger nicking it?
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2013, 06:00:57 PM »

    I have taken the drastic step of permanently handcuffing the box to me  ;D
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