Hangar Burglary

Lowflynjack

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Jack Fleetwood
When I got to the airport yesterday around 3PM, my door was closed but unlocked. When I close the door, I always try to twist the knob and push on it just to make sure it's latched. I was surprised, but didn't put a lot of thought into it. I unlatched the big door and opened it. I turned around and saw the passenger door on my plane was open and quickly noticed my headset wasn't on the hook behind the seat where I keep it. At first my mind didn't want to accept that something had been stolen. I thought maybe I had left it in my friend's plane when flying the day before, but I remembered I had taken my cheaper ASA headset instead. Looking in the plane, my Bose and my DC Pro X were missing, along with my Icom handheld. I turned around and saw my desk drawer and large cabinet were open. Only then did it hit me... someone got in here and robbed me! None of my tools were missing, and there were a lot of expensive things like fans and heaters, so I assume they just grabbed things they found valuable and small and got out.

I went to the airport manager to let him know and tell him I was calling the police. He came over to my hangar and the police showed up. I was surprised the officer actually took fingerprints, which are easy to see on my plane. For once I'm glad it's a fingerprint magnet!

All-in-all, I'm mad, but I take things for what they are - kind of an "it is what it is" policy. It could have been a lot worse. I still have my plane and nobody was hurt, so the $2K out of my pocket will sting, but I'll survive. I doubt they'll catch anyone, but you never know. I think the worst part for me is trying to figure out how they got in. The door knob wasn't damaged. Two of my close friends have keys, but I would trust them with my life, much less my plane which is why they have a key. That leaves two other options. I wasn't as OCD as checking my door as I usually am, or someone working for the airport with the master key got in. I hate to suspect anyone, so I'm going to let the police do their job.

Will I change anything, probably not. I'm not going to take the time to remove my headsets every time I go home. I'm thinking about hiding a game camera, but if they see it they will just take the whole thing. Feeling tired and frustrated today, maybe I'll be more ****ed after some rest.
 
Glad the collateral damage was relatively small.

One option you left out — a quick scan through YouTube and lock picking will show you, by lock brand and model, how ridiculously quick and easy it is to open most locks.
 
That blows Jack. At least you'll have calendar sales money coming in! ;)
Ahh, just trying to cheer you up. I'm with you though, probably someone at the airport who knew what you had and hopefully the police may find your goods at a local pawn shop.
 
My homeowners policy covers small portable items that are stolen from my car.... would that apply to aviation items soften from the hangar?
 
That blows Jack. At least you'll have calendar sales money coming in! ;)
Ahh, just trying to cheer you up. I'm with you though, probably someone at the airport who knew what you had and hopefully the police may find your goods at a local pawn shop.
I may have to change my policy of no-profit calendars! :)
I think it was a pilot and they knew what they wanted. It's not the first time headsets have been stolen at our airport, and it's the second time they've been stolen from a hangar.

My homeowners policy covers small portable items that are stolen from my car.... would that apply to aviation items soften from the hangar?
Yeah, but my deductible is $5200! I think I lost less than $2000.
 
That really blows, and I am so sorry. I'm genuinely surprised a pilot would do this. After all, if they do it to someone what's to prevent someone from doing it to them?

Is your airport fenced? Is there any sort of security? Perhaps conditions exist to narrow down the suspects?
 
That sucks Jack. I’m sorry this happened to you.

Anyone ever consider putting something like a simplysafe system in their hanger? Since I don’t own and don’t have a hangar, I haven’t put much thought into that side of the equation.
 
Some one with a drug habit? All sounds like fenceable items. Sad.

At least they didn't take your engine or propeller. That happened here at Glenwood MN. The engine log books from multiple aircraft were even out so they were more certain to get a good one.
 
Sorry to hear this Jack. I'll keep an eye/ear out for you.
 
Sorry for your loss. Hearing these stories makes me angry. Hope (but doubt) they catch whoever did this!

When I first bought my hangar I was notified that the FBO/Maintenance shop I use have keys. Also not knowing how many copies may have been produced and floating around I went straight to Home Depot and bought a new locking knob and dead bolt.

If it were me, even if renting, I would replace the lock immediately and not let anyone (except those you mentioned you trust with your life) have a key.
 
Some one with a drug habit? All sounds like fenceable items. Sad.

At least they didn't take your engine or propeller. That happened here at Glenwood MN. The engine log books from multiple aircraft were even out so they were more certain to get a good one.

More likely an aviation habit. These things were taken by a pilot, or student pilot, or a wanna be pilot. These really aren't fenceable items. They are far too specialized and if they just wanted quick cash they would have taken the tools instead. These things will end up on eBay, or aviation classifieds, or maybe personal use by the thief.

Sadly, as the Barefoot Bandit illustrated, criminals like airplanes too and flying is expensive.
 
That sucks. Keep your fingers crossed that they've been arrested before and their fingerprints are in the system (or printed for a job, etc).
 
Small, relatively expensive electronic items, quickly turned into drug money.

Any other hangers/planes have stuff stolen at the same time period?

A previous girl friend left her CD case on the front seat of her car. Rock through window, CDs gone. Christian music. She was thinking whoever stole them would listen to them and change their life. :nonod:

If you haven't already, check the thief's best friend, Craigslist.

What kind of lock.... door knob? Does the door open into the building or out of the building?

Sorry this happened to you. Wakeup for everyone, secure items even in a locked building.
 
That sucks. Keep your fingers crossed that they've been arrested before and their fingerprints are in the system (or printed for a job, etc).
Some states are now doing finger prints for driver's licenses for this reason. An attempt to catch thieves that haven't been caught yet.
 
When I got to the airport yesterday around 3PM, my door was closed but unlocked. When I close the door, I always try to twist the knob and push on it just to make sure it's latched. I was surprised, but didn't put a lot of thought into it. I unlatched the big door and opened it. I turned around and saw the passenger door on my plane was open and quickly noticed my headset wasn't on the hook behind the seat where I keep it. At first my mind didn't want to accept that something had been stolen. I thought maybe I had left it in my friend's plane when flying the day before, but I remembered I had taken my cheaper ASA headset instead. Looking in the plane, my Bose and my DC Pro X were missing, along with my Icom handheld. I turned around and saw my desk drawer and large cabinet were open. Only then did it hit me... someone got in here and robbed me! None of my tools were missing, and there were a lot of expensive things like fans and heaters, so I assume they just grabbed things they found valuable and small and got out.

I went to the airport manager to let him know and tell him I was calling the police. He came over to my hangar and the police showed up. I was surprised the officer actually took fingerprints, which are easy to see on my plane. For once I'm glad it's a fingerprint magnet!

All-in-all, I'm mad, but I take things for what they are - kind of an "it is what it is" policy. It could have been a lot worse. I still have my plane and nobody was hurt, so the $2K out of my pocket will sting, but I'll survive. I doubt they'll catch anyone, but you never know. I think the worst part for me is trying to figure out how they got in. The door knob wasn't damaged. Two of my close friends have keys, but I would trust them with my life, much less my plane which is why they have a key. That leaves two other options. I wasn't as OCD as checking my door as I usually am, or someone working for the airport with the master key got in. I hate to suspect anyone, so I'm going to let the police do their job.

Will I change anything, probably not. I'm not going to take the time to remove my headsets every time I go home. I'm thinking about hiding a game camera, but if they see it they will just take the whole thing. Feeling tired and frustrated today, maybe I'll be more ****ed after some rest.
Jack, that wasn't a Bose M or S model (I have a hard time reading pawn shorthand)? One was pawned in Waco yesterday.
 
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I think leaving the door open is a better idea because if they break the window, it's a lot of money to replace.
 
Jack, that really sucks. Is your home airport AOA secure, e.g. high fence and card key entry gates with surveillance cameras?
 
Some states are now doing finger prints for driver's licenses for this reason. An attempt to catch thieves that haven't been caught yet.
Remind me what (police) states I don't want to live in.

Edit: Here they are:
California, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, and Georgia

Apparently Texas dropped it recently.
 
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you might want to put a note on the other hangars, let them know you had a theft and they should check their plane.
 
Sorry for the loss. When I saw your post I was hoping it was not about one of your cameras being stolen. Now that would hurt Big Time!!!
 
Get a night vision security camera, suppose they come back again.

Reminded me of a caller on Car Talk. Woman in NYC had her battery stolen, wanted to know what brand to replace it with. They told here a junker from a local junk yard because the thieves were going to be back to steal the new battery soon.
 
It might not look good but etch your name and last four of you ss number on things. If it is marked it is hard to pawn or sell.
 
Sorry, I've been at the airport. The police came out and finished fingerprinting. The officer got an urgent call yesterday and had to leave. There have been a lot of questions since I last posted.

The airport has a fence around it, but the gates are manual and always open. Not sure if any future plans have card access gates in the plans. As much as this sucks for me, I really don't want to limit access to the airport as I think that is part of the decline in GA. I would prefer cameras and signs saying there are cameras.

I have a standard door knob that would go on a house

In Texas, fingerprints are sent to the State Troopers. They are way behind and a small theft at a small airport won't rank high on their priorities. If they catch someone, fingerprints are useful to prove they were in the hangar, not so much to track someone down.

I'm going to put a game camera in my hangar, so at least I might get a photo. I'm about to move to a new hangar at the same airport. I will put a deadbolt on it in case they were able to pick this lock. There doesn't seem to be evidence of any prying or any scratches on the knob or door.

One of my headsets was a Bose A20, one was a DC Pro X. They are easy to sell, I've sold a few. I don't know the serial numbers since I don't have the original boxes. I will watch Craigslist, but on Ebay I wouldn't recognize mine from anyone else's.
 
Sorry, I've been at the airport. The police came out and finished fingerprinting. The officer got an urgent call yesterday and had to leave. There have been a lot of questions since I last posted.

The airport has a fence around it, but the gates are manual and always open. Not sure if any future plans have card access gates in the plans. As much as this sucks for me, I really don't want to limit access to the airport as I think that is part of the decline in GA. I would prefer cameras and signs saying there are cameras.

I have a standard door knob that would go on a house

In Texas, fingerprints are sent to the State Troopers. They are way behind and a small theft at a small airport won't rank high on their priorities. If they catch someone, fingerprints are useful to prove they were in the hangar, not so much to track someone down.

I'm going to put a game camera in my hangar, so at least I might get a photo. I'm about to move to a new hangar at the same airport. I will put a deadbolt on it in case they were able to pick this lock. There doesn't seem to be evidence of any prying or any scratches on the knob or door.

One of my headsets was a Bose A20, one was a DC Pro X. They are easy to sell, I've sold a few. I don't know the serial numbers since I don't have the original boxes. I will watch Craigslist, but on Ebay I wouldn't recognize mine from anyone else's.
Maybe you should remind Obie that this ain't littering, it's tampering with an aircraft which is a federal rap.
 
You could also put an alarm on your hangar and tell everyone you have an alarm. Also they have cameras now that are motion activated and will alert your phone and show you who is in your hangar in real time as well as record. This would require your hangar to have access to the internet by some method though.

In addition to the above suggestion of engraving your name, when I used to have to work in the public with power tools, I employed the tactic of camouflage. Use electrical tape, wire, paint, or whatever to make your tools look so bad that they get passed up. All my power tools were actually in perfect condition, but they looked like they were broken, abused and then repaired very badly. Never lost one, so I guess it works??
 
Remind me what (police) states I don't want to live in.

Edit: Here they are:
California, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, and Georgia

Apparently Texas dropped it recently.

There is so much paranoia now. What exactly would this police state gain from having your finger print on file? What would they do with it? Unless of course you are a criminal and do commit crimes from time to time.
 
There is so much paranoia now. What exactly would this police state gain from having your finger print on file? What would they do with it? Unless of course you are a criminal and do commit crimes from time to time.
There is always the chance of a mis-match.

Anyway my prints are on file for other reasons so a drivers license does not add risk.
 
It always surprised me that everyone at the airport I learned at in KS just used your standard padlock to lock the hangar doors. I guess I never heard of any issues or that anyone even messed with the planes tied down on the ramp

That sucks Jack. I’m sorry this happened to you.

Anyone ever consider putting something like a simplysafe system in their hanger? Since I don’t own and don’t have a hangar, I haven’t put much thought into that side of the equation.

SimpliSafe may not be a bad idea...

You could also put an alarm on your hangar and tell everyone you have an alarm. Also they have cameras now that are motion activated and will alert your phone and show you who is in your hangar in real time as well as record. This would require your hangar to have access to the internet by some method though.

In addition to the above suggestion of engraving your name, when I used to have to work in the public with power tools, I employed the tactic of camouflage. Use electrical tape, wire, paint, or whatever to make your tools look so bad that they get passed up. All my power tools were actually in perfect condition, but they looked like they were broken, abused and then repaired very badly. Never lost one, so I guess it works??

I knew a guy in college that had a pretty nice bicycle and would keep it in his apartment but ride it around campus to/from class. So to help prevent anyone from stealing it he spray painted it multi color. No one would have guessed that bike was worth $1k+
 
Not to be the bearer of bad news but thieves will sometimes return to steal the nice new items purchased to replace the stolen ones. Don't ask me how I know. I now have a locking cabinet inside my locked hangar where my plane sits locked.
 
$5 says the cops don't even run the prints, presuming they didn't screw up taking them, also between DUIs and tickets there isn't much excitement or money to be made recovering your property.
 
For future, I agree with the alarm. Loud and bright gets em out fast usually. Especially effective if it trips right at entry.
Camera would be secondary to me. We have them at work and it's almost always really hard to get face recognition unless it's a good system, plenty of light, and they aren't masked in any way.
Also, just for giggles, I would look closely at the oil tube opening and gas caps/openings for any evidence of tampering....maybe sand, sugar, etc.
Very unlikely, but you never know, and it's a quick inspection.
 
It considered starting to place cameras low with an up look at entrances. The problem is that it isn’t easy to find and hide good ip camera that will let me do this without spending more than I want. Think dental for borescopeor thieves.
 
There is so much paranoia now. What exactly would this police state gain from having your finger print on file? What would they do with it? Unless of course you are a criminal and do commit crimes from time to time.
You think the cops are above a frameup? Why don't you just send them a DNA sample?
 
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