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Be sure to take preventative measures to keeping belongings safe.

National Vehicle Theft Protection Month is in July

July is National Vehicle Theft Protection Month, according to the International Association of Auto Investigators and LoJack Corporation. Vehicle owners are encouraged to take necessary precautions to ensure their automobile and the belongings inside are safe from theft. For those looking to ramp up security in their ride, lock boxes are a great solution to keep expensive items secure and out of sight from prying eyes.

“The summer months of July and August are the top months of the year for vehicle theft, which continues to be a significant problem throughout the United States,” said Christopher McDonold, member and past president of IAATI. “Despite the common misconception that theft is often a result of teenage joyriders, auto theft cases often involve professional thieves using sophisticated technology and techniques. It is our goal to provide vehicle owners with tips and information that will help protect them, as well as their personal assets like laptops, GPS devices and cell phones, that are often at risk due to being left behind in vehicles.”

According to Lojack and IAATI, July and August are the two most popular months for auto theft, meaning vehicle owners need to be more cautious. The report also included a number of ways vehicles are stolen and what happens after an owner notices they are missing. For instance, many car thieves are professionals. In addition, many vehicles are being stolen inside the U.S. but are being exported and sold in other countries.

LoJack and IAATI also reminded motorists that older cars get stolen, too. Many thieves will strip the vehicle for parts, making just about any automobile a target for theft.

Improve security to keep a ride safe
Whether it’s to protect a vehicle from getting stolen or to discourage a thief from breaking in, security products are the ideal solution to avoid becoming a victim this summer.

For those looking for a practical solution to keeping their belongings safe, a lockbox is the best bet. As many thieves will scout out vehicles for expensive items before they break into a vehicle, keeping valuables in a lockbox that is mounted in the trunk will ensure they aren’t tempted. And for owners with a lot of gear they want to keep safe, a security box is the perfect product.

Tuffy Security Products has everything a owner needs for vehicle protection.

The most stolen vehicle is a Ford Escape.

What are the most stolen SUVs and CUVs?

Having a vehicle broken into or stolen can be a nightmare, so it’s important owners prepare with security products like a lockbox.

Unfortunately, having a car stolen is all too common, evidenced by a recent study from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which looked into the most commonly stolen sports utility and crossover utility vehicles from Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2013. According to the data, 21,711 of these vehicles were stolen over this period of time, highlighting just how important it is owners take extra precautions.

Here are the most commonly stolen SUVs and CUVs:

  1. Ford Escape (1,421 thefts)
  2. Ford Edge (1,140)
  3. Ford Explorer (958)
  4. Jeep Grand Cherokee (912)
  5. Kia Sorento (725)

Any individuals with these vehicles might want to take some preventative measures to ensure their ride is safe. If at all possible, pull a car into the garage at night or don’t leave any expensive belongings in plain sight. A lockbox is great way to discourage a break in or theft because it will keep valuable items secure and mounted in the trunk.

Jeep owners turn to security products
Since Grand Cherokees are some of the most stolen vehicles, these owners might want to look into Jeep parts and accessories that will ramp up security. For instance, reinforced locks are available to make a break in nearly impossible for a thief. There are also security drawers available that will seamlessly install into a Jeep and keep items organized and secure. But Jeep owners shouldn’t be the only ones looking after their belongings.

So should vehicle owners in these states
Security products don’t just benefit Jeep owners. Anyone who wants to protect their valuables can do so with the proper products. And that should definitely be the case in the states below, which the National Insurance Crime Bureau found were the most common to have SUVs and CUVs stolen in. Here’s the list:

  1. California (3,531)
  2. Florida (1,897)
  3. Michigan (1,834)
  4. Texas (1,686)
  5. New York (1,577)

As a vehicle is one of the largest purchases someone will make in their lifetime, it’s important to have the products in place to stay protected. For those who live in high-theft states or have vehicles that are commonly stolen, their level of risk is high and measures should be taken to guard from that risk.

Tuffy Security Products has the answers auto owners are looking for when it comes to protecting their vehicles.

Avoid being a victim by installing a lockbox.

California city plagued with over 100 vehicle break ins

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department recently reported that since November, Fallbrook, California, has had more than 100 vehicle burglaries. Victims have had valuables stolen out of their cars – some items were worth thousands of dollars.

The report noted that most of vehicle burglaries take place from the hours of 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and, not surprisingly, most of the thefts have targeted unlocked vehicles. While some car windows were broken into, victims have realized that simply locking their vehicle might have saved them a lot of hassle.

Here’s a list of some of the items that were stolen:

  • Wallets
  • Bags
  • Purses
  • Cell phones
  • Identification
  • Credit cards
  • Social Security cards

The police report also noted that the thefts have had a resounding impact, as credit cards and ID have been used for other following burglaries.

In one particular case, a professional photographer left behind a wide array of expensive equipment in his or her unlocked car. A thief ended up making off with $3,000 in camera equipment. In another instance, thieves stole $16,000 in hang gliding and paragliding equipment from a vehicle in an open garage. Another case included the theft of a purse, laptop, iPad and $3,000 in cash. Police noted that the items were in plain sight, which is likely why thieves took the opportunity to break into the vehicles.

As a result of the high amount of vehicle break ins in Fallbrook, the Sheriff’s Substation is holding a community meeting on May 29 to address the burglaries. Fallbrook citizens are encouraged to always lock their vehicle doors and remember to roll up their windows. While it’s a good idea to take valuables out of a vehicle, getting them out of sight is a smart way to discourage theft.

That’s where a lockbox comes in
In a perfect world, theft wouldn’t happen at all and vehicle owners would be free to leave their expensive belongings behind. Since that’s just not the case, car owners are encouraged to take preventative measures to keeping their personal belongings safe.

And since removing expensive items isn’t always an option, products are available to keep them safe. Lock boxes can be mounted inside a vehicle – typically the trunk – not only keeping valuables out of sight but also locked away.

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.

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.

Criminal fails at bank robbery.

Failed bank robber left behind note containing his name

Bank robbers usually don’t give out their personal information. Well, at least good ones don’t.

In that case, Felipe Cruz is an amateur. The southern Florida man walked into a bank dressed in a baseball hat and long sleeves and handed a teller a note.

“Give me the 100s, 50s, 20s now,” the note stated. “Do not set the alarm. Hurry!”

Doesn’t sound to dumb so far? Well here’s where things get interesting. Cruz hand the note to the teller, who was behind bulletproof glass. All the teller did was back away from the window, knowing she was protected from any harm Mr. Cruz thought he could inflict. With no options to go on, Cruz walked out of the bank empty handed.

Easily identified
It’s usually tough for investigators to track down a bank robber. Even if they have them caught on camera, it’s still tough to attach a name to a face. Luckily, Cruz did all the work for them. The stick-up note he handed to the teller was actually the back of a job application form, and sure enough, it contained his name as well as the online username CRUZFELIPE36, along with his password. Sure enough, police fingerprinted the note, entered the information in a database only to find none other than 39-year-old Felipe Cruz, who lives just four miles from the bank he tried to rob.

“By trying to rob a bank with a demand note written on the back of his employment search form, the robber has given us a clue,” FBI agent Michael Leverock said. “He probably should have continued looking for honest work.”

While the criminal above might not scare home and auto owners into protecting their belongings, extra precautions are still necessary. Not every robber is this dimwitted. For those looking to improve security, lockboxes in a house or vehicle are the ideal solution.

Justice is swift for the man who drives a stolen car to court.

Man arrested after driving to courthouse in stolen car

Another week, another unfortunate and misguided attempt at crime. This week, the top prize has to go to James Manning, 49. After being due in court in Tuolumne County, Calif. for drug charges, Manning drove to the court house in a car he had purchased for $200 earlier that day.

Turns out the vehicle was stolen. Who’d have thought?

Police received a phone call from an auto dealership in a city 300 miles away from the courthouse, indicating that a 2001 Mitsubishi had been stolen. Officers were able to track down the vehicle through its GPS system, and where did they find it? In the courthouse parking lot.

Both Manning and his wife Teresa Castillo, who had driven to court with him, were arrested for being in possession of the stolen vehicle, along with a controlled substance. Castillo told authorities that Manning purchased the car earlier that day just so he could make it to his court date.

Police officers were swift in the handling and re-arresting of Mr. Manning. And while good police work led to the recovery of stolen property, the incident reminds both citizens and officers of the importance of keeping vehicles and the items inside them safe. Lock boxes are a great solution for both cops and car owners looking to keep anything out of the wrong hands.