Tag Archives: Tips and Tricks

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.

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.

Having a car stolen is a hassle, especially with belongings inside.

Stolen vehicles remind drivers to take precautions

Having a car stolen is a nightmare. Not only is a vehicle likely one of the largest purchases someone has made in their lifetime, but their are also often personal belongings inside a vehicle when it’s stolen that might not be able to be replaced.

That was definitely the case for GEELONG musician Taylor Henderson, who recently took to social media after his car was stolen.

“Is this a joke?” Henderson said. “I have tried to be the best of who I am … and now I walk outside and my car has been stolen. What kind of sick person does this? Everything in that car, from my guitar, my brand new MacBook Pro, Sony camera and a suitcase filled with clothes is now gone. Whoever you are, you are absolute filth. Taking something that’s not yours … you’d want to hope you can play my guitar like a boss.”

It didn’t take long for fans of Henderson’s to comment of the post, expressing their disgust with the crime. “Hopefully police will catch the scum bags that took your car,” Jean Muggleton wrote. While Vicki Cessar noted that it’s a learning experience adding that “I wouldn’t leave my phone in my car let alone all that.”

Utah State student learns similar lesson
In a separate incident, Tammi Seamans, who is enrolled at Utah State University, had a similar experience to Henderson’s, according to a recent report from KSL.com. Seamans’ car was stolen, and like Henderson, had a number of personal belongings taken as well.

Here 1993 Honda Civic hatchback contained clothes, a brand new laptop and a backpack with her identification and debit cards.

“All of my books, all of my notes from class, from the whole semester of lecture. I have cumulative finals, so I need this information and it’s all gone,” she told the news source.

As stealing a car can happen in no time, Seamans couldn’t have seen it coming.

“With basic tools, they can break into the car rather quickly, and once they get inside the car, it’s usually less than 60 seconds,” said Charlie Roberts, spokesman for the Division of Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division. “They get in the ignition and drive away.”

As Seamans’ laptop was in plain view, that might have been enough to encourage a break in. Motorists are encouraged to equip their vehicle with a lock box in order to keep items safe and out of the line of sight of any criminals.

Best and worst cities for the outdoorsy type

Spring is in full swing and campers, hikers, hunters, mountain bikers and fishermen are taking to the woods. As this time is perfect for outdoorsy types, it’s helpful to know where to go for these types of activities.

A recent article from Outside Magazine helped answer that exact question, investigating 50 of the most populous cities across the country and looking for six that are all wrong for the woodsman. So what did the magazine consider when looking into outdoor-friendly cities?

“First, a few tangible factors have to be taken into account, such as a lack of green space, poor access to parks and little to no municipal investment in recreation,” the article stated. “Then there are the intangibles to consider. Is the vibe hostile, or at least ambivalent, enough to the environment? Is there a sufficient enough absence of gear shops and outfitters?”

The magazine took into data from the Trust for Public Land Park Score Index as well as Siemens Green City Index. It also investigated what it calls “our own revealing, statistic: the number bike shops per person within the city limits.”

Portland, Ore. - one of America’s most outdoor- and bike-friendly cities – has one bike shop for every 6,500 people, while the six least outdoorsy cities in America ranged from one bike shop for every 21,000 to 87,000 residents, the measure becomes revealing as a trend of places cyclists might want to avoid.

Here’s the list of the six worst cities for the outdoorsy type:

  1. Dallas
  2. Detroit
  3. Memphis, Tenn.
  4. Charlotte, N.C.
  5. Fresno, Calif.
  6. Cleveland

So what makes Dallas such an atrocious place to live for someone who loves the outdoors? According to the magazine, only half of residents are within walking distance of the city’s parks. Not to mention, the city’s lacking public transit system and few bike lanes cause residents to drive almost everywhere. It is also noted that the one large park that does exist, the Mountain Creek Lake reservoir, prohibits people from eating the bass or catfish caught there because of fears of PCB contamination.

Dallas also has one bike shop for every 59,000 people, according to the data. Those in Fresno likely have the least luck when it comes to getting their bike tuned up, as there is only one bike shop for every 87,000 residents.

Best cities for the outdoorsy type
Enough with the places to avoid. Mother Nature Network has highlighted 15 cities where the outdoorsy type will flourish. Whether it’s because of a short distance to a snow cap mountain or an abundance of hiking trails, these cities stand above the rest when it comes to activities to take advantage of outside.

Here’s the list, in no specific order:

  • Portland, Ore.
  • Jackson Hole, Wyo.
  • Burlington, Vt.
  • Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Asheville, N.C.
  • Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Seattle
  • Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Juneau, Alaska
  • Boulder, Colo.
  • Bend, Ore.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Portland, Maine
  • Bozeman, Mont.

These cities all have their own benefits when it comes to outdoor activities. Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. Jackson Hole is right next the Grand Teton National Park and is just a short distance to Yellowstone National Park.

Ideal gear for the outdoors
Because it is a popular time to purchase outdoor gear, those heading up a mountain or planning a fishing trip are encouraged to secure their items with car roof racks or aluminum truck boxes.

When it comes to keep anything safe out in the wilderness, durable products are the ideal solution. And as the same suggests, Tuffy Security will get the job done.

Be sure everything is ready for the big camping trip.

Get ready for camping

The weather is improving and more Americans are likely planning their spring and summer camping trips. As this time of year is perfect to get away from it all and head out into the wild, it’s important to plan ahead.

There are a variety of things someone will want to do before heading out on a camping trip. From packing some extra supplies to making sure a vehicle is ready for a trip, it’s important to adequately prepare for a camping trip. Here are some lists of things any camper should consider bringing:

General camping supplies

  • Flashlights
  • Bug spray
  • Sewing kit
  • First-aid kit
  • Rope
  • Saw
  • Soap
  • Towels
  • Toiletries
  • Plastic bags
  • Tent
  • Firewood
  • Lighter

Cooking supplies

  • Portable grill
  • Skillet
  • Extra fuel
  • Eating and cooking utensils
  • Silverware, plates cups and bowls
  • Trash bags
  • Tin foil

Sleeping gear

  • Extra clothes
  • Sleeping bags
  • Air mattress or mat
  • Tent light

While the above lists include some necessities to bring on a camping trip, it’s always important to remember entertainment, as well. Whether it’s for the trip into the woods or once you get there, bring reading materials, board games and electronic devices to pass the time.

Get a vehicle ready
There are a wide array of supplies and gear anyone will need to camp comfortably. However, it’s just as important to make sure a vehicle is ready for the road trip into the woods.

Owners should first inspect the vehicle themselves. Many issues with a car can be taken care of by an owner, saving money on having a service shop look at it. They will want to check the battery, brakes, engine, tire tread, fluids and lighting systems. If an owner then notices an issue with any of these vehicle parts, it might be time to have it inspected.

Storage space is another important aspect of camping to consider. There are a variety of products available that will streamline a camping trip, freeing up space in the car and keeping items safe. Here are some helpful camping and security products:

  • Lockbox: The ideal way to keep personal belongings safe and secure during a camping trip is by using a lockbox.
  • Car roof rack: Where vehicle owners are likely need more storage room, a car roof rack provides ample space.
  • Lockable storage box: For those in need of even more secure space to store their belongings, a lockable storage box is the solution.
Make sure to have the right supplies before heading on a long trip.

What’s in a vehicle emergency kit?

Every driver should have a roadside emergency kit in their car, especially those who are going on long camping or road trips. An emergency kit can be the difference between life and death in certain situations, and therefore, it is critical to make sure it is always stocked.

However, many motorists might be wondering what their vehicle emergency kit should include. Here’s a list of various items to consider:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Small camping shovel
  • Chains for tires
  • Tools: A wrench, pliers and Philips- and flat-head screwdrivers
  • Knife
  • WD-40
  • Extra clothes
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Two quarts of oil
  • Gallon of water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Extra food
  • Toilet paper
  • Road flares

While motorists don’t necessarily have to have all the items on this list, as they might not have room for each piece of equipment, taking extra precautions can make all the difference when are stranded far away from home. And while emergency kits can be purchased in stores, the list of items included might not be as comprehensive as the one above.

Other accessories for long trips
In addition to ensuring roadside emergency kit is well-stocked, motorists taking long trips should also put a lockbox in their vehicle. This keep items safe inside a car. Even if a criminal were to break into a vehicle, they would have trouble getting into a locked security box mounted into a vehicle.

Taking care of your car this spring could mean adding secure storage.

Improve vehicle storage and security during National Car Care Month

While April is typically a time where vehicle owners have their cars inspected at body shops, why not also improve a ride by adding some additional security and storage accessories?

It’s National Car Care Month, according to the Car Care Council, encouraging motorists to look assess the following aspects of their vehicles:

  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Fluids
  • Belts and hoses
  • HVAC system
  • Battery
  • Tires
  • Wipers
  • Lighting

The list goes on, but essentially, spring kicks off the driving season, so it’s important to make sure a vehicle is ready. But, ensuring all parts of a car are properly maintained is just one way to get it ready for warmer weather.

Accessories for security and storage
Vehicle owners should also look to add accessories to improve their vehicle as a part of National Car Care Month. Whether it’s to protect valuables inside a car, as break-ins typically increase with the improving weather conditions, or it’s to add more functional storage for an upcoming camping trip, accessories are available to help.

aHere a number of popular options that are great for someone at work or play:

  • Mini safe: Keep items out of a robber’s hands.
  • Roof cargo: Add some more storage space to the top of a vehicle.
  • Truck bed box: Get more functional storage space in a pickup.
  • Lockbox: Great for a cop who is off the job and looking for secure storage for their gun.

The list also goes on, as well. This spring, every driver should make it their goal to not only make sure their vehicle is well cared for – practicing preventative maintenance – but also ensuring it is as functional as possible. Accessories are a valuable tool in improving the performance of a car or truck – improving security and storage – and will make life easier on a jobsite, camping trip or anything in between.

Deter criminals from breaking in. Lock your doors and keep items safe with a lockbox.

Tips to avoid having items stolen from a vehicle

Having a car broken into can be a nightmare. Not only might personal belongings get stolen, but you could have to wait around to file a report, then have to deal with an insurance company.

A few preventative measures can help you avoid these situations altogether, and when it comes to your vehicle it's better to be safe than sorry.

Get an alarm system
While an alarm system might cost you some extra cash, it will be worth it in the end. Criminals will shy away from cars with alarms. One simple and effective way to avoid a theft is to have an alarm system present in a car.

Lockboxes will keep items safe 
While it's a good idea not to keep expensive items in your car, sometimes it's not an option. Whether it's a GPS system or even a gun, motorists should always keep a lockbox in their car. Thieves will be thoroughly disappointed if they break into a car and find that they can't even see what's in a lockbox, much less get their hands on it.

Watch where you park
Choosing a dimly lit corner of a parking garage could be a mistake. When parking, always try to pick an area with high traffic and plenty of lighting. This will deter thieves from even considering a break in.

A Northern California car thief is finally behind bars.

Auto burglar finally behind bars

A man who broke into more than two dozen cars in Northern California has finally been arrested. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Vernon Rayshaun Evans-Carmichael, 22, was taken into custody in January facing 27 felony charges of burglary and grand theft.

Police told the source that Evans-Carmichael has been breaking into cars for at least six months. He was initially arrested in October but was able to post bail at that time. Since his release, he has broken into cars at two separate locations before getting arrested a second time. He is currently being held in a Santa Clara jail on $350,000 bail.

Los Altos Police Agent Mark Thompson told the Los Altos Town Crier that, in addition to the initial felony charges, Evans-Carmichael the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office also filed for four additional burglary and two more grand theft charges. These were for several auto burglaries that he allegedly committed in mid-January.

Evans-Carmichael's M.O.
According to the Chronicle, Evans-Carmichael generally targeted parked rental cars by smashing the windows. In the most recent car thefts, he stole electronics like laptops and camera equipment, which appears to be another pattern in his thefts.

For example, on Jan. 14, the Palo Alto police reported nine cars – seven of which were rentals – with smashed windows and electronics stolen from them, reported the Town Crier. At the time, the evidence turned up by the investigators pointed to Evans-Carmichael, who was also wanted for an outstanding bench warrant. He was then arrested on Jan. 16 in Contra Costa County and turned over to the Palo Alto police, where he was booked with another 17 felony charges.

Though Evans-Carmichael is currently behind bars, police are still warning area residents that similar thefts have continued. As recently as Jan. 27, eight vehicles were burglarized in a similar manner in downtown Palo Alto.

It seems that rental cars are a primary target, so those with "clear markings" that show the rental company logo or other indications that it is a leased car should be especially cautious. Police also stress the importance of not leaving valuables out on car seats or other place that are easily spotted from outside a vehicle.

"It's a crime of opportunity," Thompson said. "They're obviously just looking for anything they can take that is in plain view."

Auto security
The Evans-Carmichael burglaries shine a light on the importance of proper security. Though you may feel that your valuables are safely secured in your car, a single smashed window can lead to the theft of your electronics or firearm. When traveling, it is especially important that you take the proper steps to keep your items safe so you aren't stuck hundreds of miles from home with no phone or cash. Because of this, be sure you are taking every possible step to ensure your belongings are safe while on the road. Invest in a portable safe, which is large enough to fit a hand gun, small electronics or other valuables, but small enough to take with you in the car. Look for one that features a cord that allows you to anchor it to the vehicle.

When it comes to electronics, be sure to use laptop locks. These will not only protect the computer from theft, but will also protect it from damage sustained from the jarring movement that comes with travel. Again, find a laptop security box that features a padlock mounting point so it can be secured to the vehicle. 

Taking these steps will keep your belongings safe in case of a break in, and will have the added bonus of  discouraging someone from attempting to rob your car in the first place.

Protect your car from theft.

Keeping your valuables safe in your car

It seems that we have more valuables on us at all times than ever before. Smartphones, MP3 players, GPS devices, personal firearms, purses, wallets and watches all are usually on our person or at least in our vehicles at all times. While most of those objects make our daily lives easier, they also put us at risk of theft. If you leave your car parked on your driveway or the parking lot of hotel, you need to take every step to ensure that it – and the valuables that it holds – are protected from thieves. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

Common sense
While most of these seem obvious enough, they do bear bringing up as good first steps to protecting your valuables. First of all, lock your doors and roll up your windows. If someone is going to try to break into your car, not having your car doors locked is like rolling out a welcome mat. Even if you're just stepping away from the car for a moment or two – like when you're running into the convenience store to pick up a drink after you pump gas – lock the doors behind you. If you have any valuables, especially small electronics that can easily be grabbed and resold, don't leave them on your dashboard or in the passenger seat where any passerby can see it. At the very least, store it in your center console or glove compartment. This goes for chargers as well. A few cords strewn around your center console are an indication that there are electronic devices nearby.

Choose a safe spot
If you're leaving your car, especially if it's overnight, be smart about the spot you pick. Parking it on a dark street in a questionable area will definitely result in a higher likelihood of a break-in than than in a secure, video-monitored parking garage. Of course, the latter isn't always an option, but you can still take steps to select a safe spot to park your car. Do your best to leave it in a spot with a lot of foot traffic – preferably near a busy store or restaurant. The key is to keep it in sight of as many people as possible. If a criminal is smashing your window, there's a better chance of someone calling the cops if there are a lot of people around to see it. Well-lit areas are preferable, and those under video surveillance are even better.

Keep your car tidy
Aside from not leaving your brand-new smartphone out in plain view, keeping a generally neat car is another deterrent. If you have lots of boxes or a spread over your back seat, potential thieves may assume you may be hiding something of value. There are many GPS models that anchor to car windshields. Even if the whole contraption is removed, it often leaves a circular smudge on the glass, which indicates a GPS device is likely in the car.

Hide valuables before you park
If you pull into a hotel parking spot and spend five minutes stashing various electronics or other valuables out of sight in different parts of your car, there is a good chance an alert criminal has observed the whole thing and now knows that you have expensive items and where they are hiding. Before you reach your final destination, pull over and stow away these items safely.

Avoid valets if possible
While the vast majority of parking attendants are honest, it only takes one to make off with the GPS you left in the center console or the extra cash you keep in the glove compartment. If you do valet park, remember to lock up your valuables if possible well before arriving.

Invest in a security system
Should someone break into your vehicle, you should make it as difficult as possible for the thief to make off with any of your belongings. There are a few items you can pick up that will help keep your valuables secure. Laptop locks are great for those who need to carry their computers around with them. They'll not only keep your laptop safe from theft, but it will keep it from getting jarred and damaged during transport. A portable safe is a good all-around product for things like cash, electronics, handguns and other smaller valuables. Look for one with a strong cord that can anchor it to your car. 

Check your car upon returning
As soon as you get back to your car where you have valuables hidden, check for them immediately. If you do discover anything missing, you'll want to call the police and file a report as soon as possible, which will give you the best possible chances of recovering the stolen items. Remember, a car doesn't have to look ransacked to have been robbed. They may even have taken your laptop and left the case undisturbed.