All posts by tuffy

Thieves ransacked South Carolina homes and vehicles.

Spring brings warmer weather, vehicle break ins and home invasions

Home and vehicle owners should always take precautions when it comes to safeguarding their family and belongings, but that goes double during the springtime. As the weather improves, prowlers and teens are out wreaking havoc, looking for opportunities to steal. Those who are prepared can make it tough on these criminals, and a lockable storage box would likely make all the difference.

Recently in Montgomery, South Carolina, three teenagers were arrested in connection with 15 reported vehicle break ins. However, when it comes to keeping the contents of a vehicle safe, simply locking a door can make all the difference. The three who were charged were D’Aaron Colston, 18, Tavis Colston, 17 and a 16-year-old, only entered vehicles that were unlocked, stealing several unnamed items from the unsuspecting victims.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris told the Herald that many of these crimes could be prevented if vehicle owners locked their doors. He also encouraged them to take their valuables inside every night so thieves aren’t even tempted to break in.

More incidents of theft
This past weekend was a rough one for the citizens of Montgomery, as there were 10 reports of vehicle and home break ins, accounting for nearly $9,000 in stolen items and hundreds of dollars in damage, the Montgomery Advisor reported.

In one home, thieves made away with a 42-inch television, watch and necklace, totaling $1,300. Aside from the home break ins, there was a wide array of items take from cars in the area. Here’s a short list of what victims reported as having been stolen:

  • 120 GB iPod
  • Seven-inch Samsung tablet
  • Wallet with $500 cash
  • Kindle Fire
  • Social Security card
  • Debit card
  • Driver’s license
  • Perfume

One thief even broke into a convenience store and stole a $3 bottle of wine and a $60 carton of Newport cigarettes.

Keeping items safe at home and in cars
Whether it’s due to the spring weather or not, incidents of theft seem to be on the rise, and home and auto owners need to have some extra security in place. Making a few easy adjustments, like locking a car door at all times, can be the difference between becoming a victim of theft or not.

Lockboxes are also a great option to keep valuables in homes and vehicles safe. Storing expensive items encased in steel will keep them safe, and a lock box can be mounted in an inconspicuous place, likely deterring a break in altogether.

Watch out for your vehicle if you go by Mike or Liz.

If your name’s Michael or Elizabeth, you’re more likely to have your car stolen

Don’t think your name has anything to do with your car being stolen? Think again.

A study from Erie Insurance recently investigated the boys’ and girls’ names attached to those who are most likely to have their vehicles stolen. The insurance provider used the the Social Security Administration’s annual list of popular baby names, along with its claims data, to see which names have the most cars stolen. And sorry if your name is Michael or Elizabeth, because these were the No. 1 male and female names to have their cars stolen.

“Of course we don’t think parents should use this information when choosing a name because a person’s name has no bearing whatsoever on anything related to their insurance,” said Matt Myers, senior vice president of claims, Erie Insurance. “But people are fascinated by baby names, and as a car insurance provider we have claims data that can be correlated to names. We thought we’d share the information knowing that people will find it interesting.”

Following Elizabeth as the leading name for vehicle thefts were Emily, Emma, Olivia, Sofia, Abigail, Ava, Mia, Isabella and Madison. For the boys, the list continued as follows: William, Daniel, Alexander, Jacob, Noah, Ethan, Liam, Mason and Jayden.

The data showed, and rightly so, that a number of the most popular names for babies were featured on the list of those likely having their vehicle stolen. Michael was the seventh most popular name this year while Elizabeth was 10th. Considering the popularly of these names, it’s no wonder they are more likely to have a vehicle stolen, since there are so many Michaels and Elizabeths out there.

Protecting your car and belongings
If you own a vehicle – even if your name wasn’t  featured in the 10 most likely to have your car stolen – you are encouraged to take precautions to ensure you are not a victim of theft. Here are some best practices to avoid having a vehicle stolen:

  • Always lock doors, no matter how long you are away from your vehicle.
  • Choose your parking spot wisely; a well lit area is a good bet.
  • Make sure valuable are out of sight

While it’s not always a good idea to keep expensive belongings in a vehicle, sometimes it’s not an option. Lockboxes are the ideal solution to keeping items safe inside a car. These products will mount on the inside of a vehicle, keeping personal possessions out of sight, locked away and safe.

Crime doesn't pay for the ambulance thief.

Woman arrested after stealing ambulance from fire station

She might have been aspiring to be a paramedic, or maybe she just took the video game Grand Theft Auto way too seriously, but things didn’t end too well for 41-year-old Terri Efaw when she broke into a fire station in McMinn County, Tennessee and stole an ambulance.

Not only did she not get away with her bone-headed crime, but she caused quite a bit of damage on her way out of the volunteer fire station.

“The ambulance crew heard a vehicle start up,” Englewood Fire Chief Billy Roach, told Englewood ABC affiliate WTVC. “They heard the racket, came outside and she was driving straight through the bay doors.”

The theft left firefighters with quite the mess from the ambulance smashing through the bay doors – one is now being covered with plywood until it can be fixed. Although the fire station does have a security system, storms that recently moved through the area knocked out the power, so authorities were unaware Efaw broke in until they heard her.

“This week we had storms and the power went off,” Roach said. “We have electronic codes on them and once the power’s out, if the battery back up doesn’t kick in, it unlocks the door.”

Efaw made it only a few miles before police officers stopped her. She was arrested for theft, vandalism and criminal trespassing, and is currently in McMinn County jail on an $11,000 bond. Total damage to the bay doors and ambulance is estimated at nearly $8,000.

“The one thing about Englewood – we’re a small town but we battle back and we’ve got good people here,” George Carroll, who lives across the street from the fire station, told McMinn County NBC affiliate WRCB.

The kicker
Efaw actually had a pretty good reason for wanting to get into an ambulance – she just should have called one. When police asked her why she stole the vehicle, she said because she was pregnant and needed to get to the hospital fast. Surely there was a better way for Efaw to find a ride.

Law enforcement, firefighters and other similar personnel are encouraged to take extra precautions when securing gear and vehicles. Whether it’s adding a reinforced lock to an ambulance, mounting a lockbox inside to keep valuables safe or adding a mini safe to keep gear secure in a station, there are helpful products on the market.

Jeep's five-year plan looks to poise automaker as go-to source for SUVs.

Jeep making big moves in the next five years

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Machionne recently released five-year plans for the automaker, and it appears Jeep is in for some monumental changes.

The automaker is looking to reposition itself as No. 1 in sales of sport utility vehicles and crossovers. They intend to do this by ramping up the brand’s image as rugged and releasing all-new Jeep models.

The first new model to be released will be the new Renegade subcompact, which is set to debut in 2014.

“The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade symbolizes the brand’s renowned American design, ingenuity and innovation, marking the Jeep brand’s first entry into the small SUV segment,” said Mike Manley, president and chief executive of Jeep Brand. “Renegade expands the brand’s product portfolio and targets the rapidly expanding small SUV segment with a best-in-class combination of fuel efficiency and off-road capability while at the same time delivering outstanding driving dynamics and the open-air freedom customers expect from Jeep.”

In 2015, the Jeep Cherokee will receive a major update, while the Patriot and Compass are expected to be phased out in 2016 and replaced with a new compact crossover. However, perhaps the largest news of the Jeep five-year plan was the re-release of  Grand Wagoneer. Set to hit dealership floors in the mid-2018, the Grand Wagoneer is the what Manley calls the “most premium Jeep we will have ever made.”

Jeep accessories ideal for improving performance
Fans of Jeep vehicles are likely thrilled by the automaker’s push toward innovation through new models. However, as these vehicles are highly customizable, owners often add Jeep parts and accessories to best suit their needs.

Whether someone wants a lock box mounted in their Jeep for improved storage security or they want a cargo drawer for quick access to gear, products are available to help.

Travelers are flocking to the Overland Expo this weekend.

Overland Expo encourages attendees to get out and explore the world

This upcoming weekend is the 2014 Overland Expo. The international event is held outside of Flagstaff, Arizona and looks to educate and inspire people to get out and explore the world by bike or vehicle. Each year, there are two Overland Expos, one held outdoors in Flagstaff in May and another held inside in Asheville, North Carolina in October.

Travel enthusiasts from across the globe will be flocking to Mormon Lake, where the upcoming event is being held. They will have plenty of things to keep them busy this year as the one-of-a-kind event will feature more than 140 different classes, workshops and roundtable programs. And that’s not even close to everything this event will include. Over 180 companies are also putting exhibits up at the event, featuring everything from motorcycles and ATVs to security products like a portable safe for travelers.

Event-goers will also have the chance to speak with various experts, authors and videographers from across the globe, as well as enjoy a wide array of food and drink options. The event will even include a film festival and various happy hours. This year, event planners expect that more than 6,000 attendees.

For someone who travels often, the Overland Expo might be the only place they can call home. And with so many travel enthusiasts arriving to the same location for a weekend of fun, there will be onsite and nearby camping available.

Registration for the event is still open, giving attendees a full, all-inclusive education package known as “the Overland Experience.” However, day passes are also available for those who can’t make it for the whole weekend. Those who choose this option can still participate in a number of “a la carte programs,” according to the Overland Expo website.

Representatives from Tuffy Security Products will also be at the expo, both presenting and enjoying the events each day, so be sure to stop by, say hello and check out our products and services.

Prepare for a break in before it's too late.

Protect household items with a lockbox and extra security

Unfortunately, home break ins happen, so it’s important to be prepared. Thieves can ransack a property in a matter of minutes, taking everything from expensive jewelry to vehicles. Not only do they make off with any valuables, but they also take a homeowner’s peace of mind.

Every homeowner should have some sort of lockable device to keep their expensive belongings safe. Even if a criminal were to enter a home, getting a lockbox open will prove to be a challenge. Instead of getting in and out of a home in minutes, taking expensive items with them, a thief will be forced to leave empty handed, or wait to get arrested as they try to get a lockbox open.

Lock boxes are also the ideal storage solution for a gun. Whether a homeowner wants to keep a weapon out of the hands of their children or they don’t want a thief finding it, a lockbox is ideal in ensuring everyone stays safe. And if someone needs to quickly access the gun in their lockbox, certain products feature keyless entry, allowing owners to get their hands on it in a matter of moments.

Other ways to keep items safe
Aside from having a safe or a lockbox, there are a number of things homeowners can do to make theft more difficult for criminals.

First and foremost, it’s essential to discourage  thieves from breaking into a home. There are a variety of solutions homeowners can take advantage of. For example, getting a guard dog or adding an alarm system can be just enough to get a burglar to move on from a home.

Aside from a little added security, however, homeowners should always make sure to follow some basic steps to avoiding, or at least minimizing, the damage caused by a break in. Here’s a list of guidelines to follow:

  • Keep all entrances to a home closed and locked, including doors, windows or pet entrances.
  • Secure sliding doors and windows with a metal rod
  • Get a peephole for a front door
  • Get insurance for expensive household items
  • Create an inventory list of all the belongings in a home

A break in can be a traumatic event for a family, so it’s important to take precautions to avoid it at all costs. It only takes one incident for a homeowner to lose their peace of mind, so the best bet to avoiding a break in is to take preventative measures now.

Truck sales were strong in April.

Pickup truck sales strong in April

Pickup truck sales are typically popular in the spring, and that remains to be the case this year. Whether it’s the fact that more homes are being built or that automakers continue to innovate the trucks they are building, this category of vehicles is showing strong gains. This, in turn, may have an effect on the sales of security products such as lockboxes in order to protect items inside newly purchased vehicles.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the popularity of pickup trucks, along with small SUVs, has helped auto sales rebound in 2014. The news sourced used Autodata Corp. information to show that total sales was just under 1.4 million vehicles in April, marking an 8 percent increase from this time last year. The report noted that the sales translate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of more than 16 million.

“April’s numbers suggest that car shoppers are still motivated to buy new cars, erasing any doubts raised by lackluster sales at the beginning of the year,” said Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst with the car shopping site Edmunds.com. “The sales performance the last two months is more in line with what we projected for 2014, and there’s every reason to believe that car shoppers will continue to keep this pace.”

And while overall sales were strong, pickup trucks were leading the charge.

Best-selling trucks
PickupTrucks.com released its list of best-selling trucks through April. As this segment helped boost the automotive industry last month, pickup truck sales were strong.

“Both of GM’s truck brands – Chevrolet and GMC – had a good April, even though corporate executives have gone through several rounds of congressional investigations during the last two months regarding ignition switch recalls,” the PickupTrucks.com report said. “Likewise, Ram continues its strong – meaning double-digit – push into the full-size truck market, closing in on second-place nameplate Chevrolet. Finally, some prognosticators are a little disappointed with Ford, seeing only slight gains for the month and just a 4 percent gain for the year so far.”

Here’s the list of April 2014’s best-selling trucks:

  1. Ford F-150 (63,387 units sold)
  2. Chevrolet Silverado (42,755)
  3. Ram Truck (36,674)
  4. GMC Sierra (17,246)
  5. Toyota Tacoma (13,871)
  6. Toyota Tundra (10,217)
  7. Nissan Frontier (5,697)
  8. Honda Ridgeline (1,328)
  9. Nissan Titan (956)

Storage solutions for trucks
Pickup truck sales continue to improve, and therefore, more owners are likely looking for accessories. A truck bed box is the ideal solution for owners looking for more organization and security when it comes to storing their gear.

Whether they are on or off the job, a truck bed box will keep whatever an owner is hauling safe. And when it comes to keeping items safe in a vehicle, there’s no brand like Tuffy Security Products. Their truck bed boxes have a wide array of features that make them a notch above the rest.

Tuffy’s truck bed box is made to take on the harsh elements. It features built-in weather seals and fully welded aluminum construction, keeping moisture outside of the box. Aside from a bed box, however, Tuffy has some other great accessories for truck owners.

A lockbox installs easily into the bed of a truck for some added storage space that can be locked away. Owners will have peace of mind while away from their trucks, knowing a lockbox is mounted inside a bed, securing all their belongings.

CORVA event looks to make off-roading safe and fun.

Annual California off-roading event to be held May 17

The California Off-Road Vehicle Association is holding its 2014 annual meeting at the Historic Santa Maria Inn in Maria, California. The meeting is open to both members and non-members.

CORVA is comprised of a group of outdoor enthusiasts who look to promote positive aspects of vehicular access to public lands.

“The group is composed of many owners of street legal and ‘Green Sticker’ vehicles such as ATV’s, motorcycles, 3-wheelers, trail bikes and dune buggies, as well as 4X4 vehicles, dual sport motorcycles, bajas and desert racers,” read CORVA’s website. “Plus many others that use access for – hunting, rockhounding, bird watching, fishing and others activities.”

The association will discuss best practices for off-roading at its annual meeting and ways to promote these activities. CORVA looks to educate event-goers on the constantly changing rules and regulations associated with taking vehicles off road as well as provide the strategies necessary to help keep trails pristine for these activities.

“We are active at all levels of the land management public process with both the BLM (the Bureau of Land Management) and the USFS (United States Forest Service),” CORVA’s website read. “We do this by commenting on environmental documents on as many issues as possible and maintaining close relationships with personnel in the field as well as the staff.”

Tips for heading off road
Taking a vehicle down a dirt trail is thrilling. However, when it comes to ensuring all passengers are safe and the vehicle doesn’t get damaged, it’s a good idea to follow some advice.

  • Don’t go alone: First rule of off-roading is to go with a friend. Not only does having a companion make a trip more enjoyable, but it also makes it safer. For those who choose to off-road in multiple vehicles, having two-way radios is ideal for keeping in touch and navigating terrain.
  • Know how to get a vehicle unstuck: Getting stuck in the mud is likely going to happen at least once or twice for the avid off-roader. The best bet of for getting out of the mud is not to gun it and go full throttle, but rather slowly accelerate while turning the wheel. If possible, keeping a small bag of sand in a vehicle can help riders get the traction they need to free their vehicles.
  • Be prepared: Those heading off road are encouraged to pack survival supplies and security products. A GPS, first-aid kit and cell phone are essential to have when heading on any outdoor trip. A lockbox is something riders shouldn’t go without either, as it will keep gear and supplies safe no matter what.
Cops keep gear and guns safe with security equipment.

Police officers find practical security solutions with lockboxes

Law enforcement officers have a lot of gear to keep track of. And as some police tactical gear can be dangerous, officers have to be responsible with it, keeping it locked away when it’s not in use.

A lockbox is the ideal solution for storing a handgun. Whether they are on or off the job, a lockbox is the perfect product for giving a cop peace of mind. While at home, they won’t have to worry about their kids getting their hands on their gun as a lockbox will keep it secure. The same goes for in the field. Criminals will find it impossible to access the contents of a mounted lockbox if they happen to gain access to a police car.

Police officers put their lives on the line everyday to protect and serve, so shouldn’t they have equipment to ensure their safety on the job? Aside from keeping the contents of a lockbox safe and out of the wrong hands, it’s still easy for a cop to get inside. Tuffy Security products has an innovative keyless entry available for their lockboxes, So while it’s impossible for someone else to access a gun inside a lockbox, the owner can have it in in their hands in a matter of moments.

Tuffy’s lockboxes are made from high security welded steel, with a texture powder coat finish. This durable design makes them the leading lockboxes in the industry. Whether on or off he job, a police officer can count on this lockbox to function as it should, keeping gear and weapons safe and locked away. Those interested in purchasing a lockbox are also encouraged to also get Pick N Pluck foam, which allows the contents of a lockbox – like a gun – to fit perfectly inside without shifting around. Whether someone needs to keep fragile items safe or they just don’t want a gun moving around inside a box, this foam will help.

Storage boxes provide more space
While a lockbox is ideal for smaller items, with the amount of equipment required to be a police officer, many choose a metal storage box for added secure storage space.

Like a lockbox, this product is durable and will keep anything inside safe. These boxes can be mounted into the trunk of a vehicle, allowing officers safe storage for everything from their road flares to their ballistic vest.

Vehicle break-ins likely one man's doing.

Police suspect one man responsible for 50 vehicle break-ins

Atlanta police are trying to track down a criminal they believe has been on a frenzy of vehicle break-ins. According to WSB-TV Atlanta, police have surveillance from three people, showing a man breaking into their vehicles.

The  incidents span from DeKalb County to Decatur, as police are feverishly working to bring this man to justice. They have learned a lot about the suspect’s techniques for breaking into vehicles and are hoping this information will lead to his eventual arrest. The news source reported that in one of the videos the man broke a truck window, climbed into the vehicle, searched for items to steal, then got out and took a flashlight to the truck bed, looking for anything he could get his hands on.

It’s criminals like this that remind owners to take extra precautions when leaving their vehicles outside at night. For instance, secure truck bed storage is available that would make it impossible for a guy with a flashlight to access contents in a truck bed. Other precautions, like lock boxes inside a car, also make it a struggle for thieves, especially for someone using the smash-and-grab technique like this suspect.

Police have reason to believe this one man is responsible for as many as 50 car break-ins in the Dekalb, Decatur and Atlanta area. Lt. Brain DeLoach told the news source that the video evidence will likely lead to his eventual arrest, but it’s going to come down to the witnesses in order to convict him.

“Somebody recognizes this individual – that’s going to be the No. 1 way we catch this guy,” DeLoach said.

However, DeLoach did indicate that police managed to lift a fingerprint from one of the vehicles. They have yet to send the print to the lab for testing, so they are hoping to get a hit.