Category Archives: Tips and tricks

Camping in the near future? Get a lock box

The warm weather has arrived and Americans are taking to the woods for camping and other outdoor activities. That means they’ll need to start preparing now.

As Memorial Day is also on the horizon, camping trips will be a popular endeavor. However, while many campers know to bring the bug spray and tent, too often they leave behind much needed security equipment to keep valuables safe. A lock box is the ideal product for a camping trip. It can easily be mounted inside a vehicle, including the trunk, keeping expensive or dangerous items safe.

Whether someone is just looking for a safe place to keep their cell phone while they enjoy Mother Nature or they need a secure place to store their handgun so children won’t get their hands on it, a lock box is the answer. This product will make it impossible for someone to access valuables inside, keeping a family safe and secure on a camping trip.

And for those who need even more secure storage space, a car roof rack is the perfect accompaniment for a camping trip. All gear and other items will be safe on the roof of a car, freeing up space inside.

An true overlander offers his insights on safe travel.

Security products allow a traveler to feel comfortable doing more

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Overland Expo at Mormon Lake Lodge outside of Flagstaff, Arizona and was able to catch up with a veteran of the event.

J. Brandon, founder and president of American Sahara, a marketing, communications, and event management services for adventure travel companies, has attended the expo since it started four years ago, experiencing its significant growth. Overland is designed to encourage and educate attendees on traveling, and this year was another hit.

With no place to sit down and interview J., a combination coffee/paracord vendor kindly offered me one of their tents, representing the camaraderie event attendees have at the Overland Expo. I got another taste of that sense of community when J. asked me when I wanted to go on a motorcycle ride across Death Valley.

Donning an all-khaki ensemble, a hat and a beard, J. Brandon could have been pinpointed as an overlander by his appearance alone. But he also had the attitude to match. A true adventurer, Brandon was eager to convey how great this lifestyle is, asking if he could do anything to help us. I made it clear I was there representing Tuffy Security Products, and J. immediately recognized the trusted brand.

“Good, good products,” he said. “And a great brand recognition in the Jeep community.”

Tuffy designs a wide array of security products that help keep valuable items safe, and as Brandon noted, they have a great selection of security equipment for Jeeps as well as a good reputation among law enforcement.

And while J. noted that he had taken the necessary precautions to avoid having his vehicle broken into, he said he understands the importance of security equipment.

“I have traveled with folks in open Jeeps,” Brandon said. “The classic Tuffy audience. And those guys are all about security. I’ve also traveled with guys who are law enforcement officers and they’re armed all the time because it’s their job. So security is 100 percent important for them. You can’t go camping with people you don’t know and have a gun in your car and have it fall into nefarious hands.”

Brandon added that he’s been on trips with a wide array of people, some he only met on the Internet through an online community of travelers and off-roaders. And with that being said, security is all the more important.

“This independent adventure travel is all about being prepared when things don’t go according to plan,” Brandon said. “And so that being prepared means I have the right equipment, I have the right skills and mostly the right mental space… If you miss your plane, the appropriate response is just to go and get a beer. And so that sort of mindset is one of the cultural traits of this community. And those of us – this ain’t our first rodeo – we’re all about helping new folks learn because we want them to be a part of our community.”

J. is from an area near Lake Tahoe in Nevada. He rode his 2005 KLR 650 dual sport bike the nearly 800 miles to be in attendance at the Overland Expo, and what he calls a “very doable trip.”

It’s all about risk assessment when traveling
The Overland Expo saw a wide range of travelers in attendance, from those with multimillion dollar equipment to recently retired couples in campers. And J. said that depending on a person’s level of risk, they need to take the necessary precautions to avoid any disasters.

“It’s a all about risk assessment,” he said. “And good risk assessment skills come with experience – plus I got a little gray hair, that helps…Some people are just more or less risk averse. If I had small children at home, my sense of acceptable risk would be different. My children are grown. I have a wife and dogs who are totally self contained. If I didn’t come home for a month the dogs would get fed and the laundry would get done.”

The point J. is making is that people need to plan accordingly with their level of risk. A Jeep Rubicon owner would benefit from a lockbox since they can’t secure their vehicle in a traditional sense because they have an open top, for example.

“If some guy is carrying firearms in his vehicle, that’s high risk,” Brandon said. “If he’s only got a spare water bottle and some socks, that’s not really high risk. A guy who’s got a Jeep he paid $30,000, plus another $20,000 in modifications, he needs to be concerned about security and his risk assessment is critical.”

Whether it’s equipping a vehicle with a mini safe or taking some other precautions, high risk requires more security, and J. understands just how important Tuffy products are.

“If you follow the guidebook, you can expect to have the guidebook experience,” Brandon said.

instead of following a book and sticking to the road, when your belongings are safe, you can afford to go off the beaten path. And that’s where the experience really starts.

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.

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.

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.

Keep items in a lockbox while away from a car.

Prevent vehicle theft this spring with lockboxes and increased security

Having a car stolen or broken into can be a nightmare. Not only is a vehicle one of the largest purchases someone will make in their lifetime, but it’s also likely full of personal belongings.

Combined with the inconvenience of not having a vehicle to get to work and having their peace of mind taken, auto owners are encouraged to take extra precautions when leaving their cars around town this time of year. Vehicle thefts and break-ins typically jump during the spring, so it’s critical now more than ever to follow some best practices to avoiding this criminal activity.

Turn it off and lock it
Even if someone is headed into the gas station for a pack of gum, they should always turn their vehicle off and lock the door. Criminals can make off with a car or steal the belongings inside in a matter of seconds, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Security products are ideal
A criminal will be less likely to break into a vehicle when they don’t see anything worth stealing. Lock boxes are the ideal solution for discouraging break-ins. Auto owners can simply mount one in their trunk, keeping valuables out of sight. Not to mention, anything inside a lockbox will be secure, if a criminal does happen to gain access to the inside of a car.

Choose your parking spot wisely
Should you park in the dimly lit third floor of a garage or out in the open in a public area? The answer is the latter. Thieves will look for vehicles to break into or steal that are parked in dark or sparsely populated areas. It gives them more time and less risk of being caught. Not only will parking in a public area keep a car safe, but a driver will also be less likely to be mugged on their way to and from their vehicle.

Convicted by a soda can.

Man burglarizes home, soda pop DNA gets him convicted

Every criminal isn’t as dumb as Brandon Campbell, so it’s always important to keep valuable in a lockbox.

The repeat offender left behind DNA evidence on a soda can during a robbery, giving a court the proof they needed to convict this genius.

“I don’t think that there’s any doubt at all that this guy is the last guy picked on the prison Brain Bowl team,” said Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, told CBS4, which called Campbell a contender for “World’s Dumbest Criminal.”

So why was the news source so harsh on Campbell? It’s like because the latest conviction comes after a series of boneheaded crimes.

Last year, Campbell was arrested for stealing a GPS device. Ironically, he was fitted with his own GPS device, a court-ordered ankle monitor. Now this is when things get interesting.

Wearing the ankle monitor last November, which tracks his location at all times, Campbell decided to burglarize 15 homes. It wasn’t hard for police to figure out who committed those crimes. And now, just months later, Campbell finds himself convicted of burglarizing yet another home, only this time for a pop can he left at the scene of the crime.

Keep camping gear safe and sound with security products.

Keeping your gear safe while camping: The benefits of mini safes and security boxes

The warmer months of the year have arrived, and chances are that more camping trips are being planned. Those heading out to the wilderness are likely preparing their gear, unpacking tents from winter storage and getting ready to head out into the wild. However, when it comes to where all this gear will be stored on a camping trip, sometimes the trunk of the car just isn’t adequate.

Those looking for more secure storage space for their hunting or off-roading trips are encouraged to look into mini safes and security boxes. Tuffy Security Products is a leading manufacturer of these storage devices, which are sure to help any camper be more efficient while they are away from home.

Mini safes are perfect for smaller items
No camper should head out into the wild without a bringing along a mini safe. This portable product can keep anything secure, from a firearm to the bear spray. Anyone heading out on a trip with the family who is worried about small children getting into things they shouldn’t can take comfort in the fact that a mini safe will keep them safe. Not to mention, these products can be kept in a car, home or office once the camping trip is over, protecting valuables from theft and giving them use until the next camping trip begins.

Tuffy’s mini safes are a step above the rest, weighing less than three pounds and providing unbeatable levels of a security. And while they are light, they are still made of steel. The safe also which can be mounted to any sturdy surface.

Security boxes for everything else
Organizing camping gear can be a nightmare, as there is likely a lot to consider. However, security boxes will not only ensure items are safe and sound, but also organized. A camping trip has never been easier with a security box mounted into a vehicle.

Car owners can run errands with supplies in their security box, without having to worry about someone breaking in. Not to mention, once someone gets out into the woods, security boxes will keep items out of the paws of any animals. Even a grizzly bear would have a tough time breaking into a car and accessing the contents of a security box.

Tuffy features a wide variety of security boxes that are sure to meet the needs of any owner. Owners are given peace of mind on a camping trip, knowing all their gear is safe and sound.