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Vanagon theft statistics
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squeegee_boy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:46 am    Post subject: Vanagon theft statistics Reply with quote

Hi,

The recent threads on fuel-pump relay kill switches and other theft deterrents got me wondering... statistically speaking just how often are Vanagons stolen in North America?

I don't mean burgled with a missing stereo, I mean "Dude, where's my van?" kind of stolen.

I did some searching, but all I can find is the Top 10 and Bottom 10 stolen vehicle lists, and the Vanagon is on neither. So, it must be somewhere in between. Does anyone have access to that sort of data? My Google-fu fails me here.

Of course I lock the doors when I'm away, don't leave stuff visible, don't park in known bad neighbourhoods, sometimes an opportunist wanders by, etc... I get that part. But the data geek in me wants to know just how big a risk there is.

Robyn
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HeftySmurf
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I noticed if your slider windows dont latch you can slide them open from the outside pretty easy as well. I have seen quite a few stolen van post pop up on here.
I am curious as well to see what pops up.

I am defintely looking into an alarm setup for one of my winter projects...
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albiwan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It certainly happens. I recalled a member reporting one stolen in Santa Monica a while back. I did a search of the forum just using the term "stolen" and turned it up; nice white westy snagged off the street.

Personally I am more concerned about someone busting in and looking for stuff, and busting up the dash and interior panels just to get at my relatively inexpensive audio equipment, look around in the drawers, etc., (nothing there worth much) and generally wreak havoc with the interior.

It would take a special kind of car thief to really be interested in one of our vans. I think there's a much better market for fenders, glass, bumpers, etc., off of old accords and camrys. But apparently they are out there.
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a lot of stuff stolen due to the slider window.
no damage.

I was in the red wood forest 3000 mile from home, with now money or credit cards. Sad
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laterPeter
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

imagine the GETAWAY... 35 miles an hour up hill.
I think the Westfalia/Vanagon family's pretty tight... a lot of folks would/could be aware of a potentially stolen vehicle.
just my thought.
later,
Peter
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thewump
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never lock my slider door, but don't leave stuff visible. I'm thinking if someone wants in, then I'd rather they can get in without doing damage. Having the front doors unlocked is a visible indicator and asking for trouble, but I feel that if someone decides they want in they are going to try all 4 doors before breaking a window. An evil Vanagon owner would know for sure that I have nice tools under the seats but hoping your average crack smoking idiot doesn't have as much sense.

Kill switch seems like a good idea though. Just a switch on the low tension side of the coil, right.. or a switch on the fuel pump so they get about 100 yards then have to bail?

K
PS. Just had a super nice power nap in the pop top in the work parking lot which overlooks a river.
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candyman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thewump wrote:
I never lock my slider door, but don't leave stuff visible. I'm thinking if someone wants in, then I'd rather they can get in without doing damage. Having the front doors unlocked is a visible indicator and asking for trouble, but I feel that if someone decides they want in they are going to try all 4 doors before breaking a window. An evil Vanagon owner would know for sure that I have nice tools under the seats but hoping your average crack smoking idiot doesn't have as much sense.

Kill switch seems like a good idea though. Just a switch on the low tension side of the coil, right.. or a switch on the fuel pump so they get about 100 yards then have to bail?

K
PS. Just had a super nice power nap in the pop top in the work parking lot which overlooks a river.


hmmm never lock your slider door eh? tools under the seat, where do you live? Think
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rolfsky
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hero419 wrote:
I had a lot of stuff stolen due to the slider window.
no damage.

I was in the red wood forest 3000 mile from home, with now money or credit cards. Sad


I'm probably not going to spring for one of these myself, but Rocky Mountain Westy's underseat storage drawer seems like a fairly good solution if secured properly:

http://www.rockymountainwesty.com/NewVanagonWestfaliaProducts.htm

Also beware of the wing vent windows. I always wondered why my driver's window latch wouldn't latch correctly, they DO actually lock. Under some examination I noticed that a long time ago, someone had jimmied the lock with something sharp and flat through the window seal, leaving now-rusted marks on the surround for the window.
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1621
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I added these simple 10-32 allen head bolts behind the latch mechanism after another Samba poster described the process. Sure, I need to unscrew them when I want to open the windows, but I rarely open the rear sliders anyway.

Picture of the slider window over the stove:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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thewump
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't get it. Someone who is ok with stealing something from you is ok about breaking glass. My feeling is that if you had someone get in through a weak slider window... CONGRATS! Their ingenuity saved you from fixing a broken window.

K
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1621
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thewump wrote:
I don't get it. Someone who is ok with stealing something from you is ok about breaking glass. My feeling is that if you had someone get in through a weak slider window... CONGRATS! Their ingenuity saved you from fixing a broken window.

K


To each their own. Just keeping it from being too easy.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most theives are creatures of convenience. They will search for unlockled doors and open windows and steel from there first. If your car is locked they will most likely move on. If you are in a remote area though, all rules are tossed. Someone wanting to get in will break windows if they see something worth steeling.
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RCB
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spend $100.00-$150.00 and get a brake lock and a clutch lock. Damn near impossible to remove them unless you have the key...ya cant cut em or freeze em and forget trying to drill out the lock.

They have a nice new model out on the market and its real real shiny but the old red ones I have work just fine.

As for the sliding windows...just drop a plastic dowell into the inside groove of the window..I think it measures about 13 or 14 inches in length.

Its clear solid plastic and near impossible to see once it sits in the groove....fits about 1/4 inch under the window lock so you cant even push the lock down to slide the window open.

Remove the door opener and file down the threaded post so it sits below the surface of the door . Leave the opener off so if someone was to break the window they couldnt open the door since there isent anything to grab onto.

The only way to open the door is with a key Very Happy
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errolprowse
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ive done to much work to my van to let it go without a fight. i would be soooo pissed off if someone stole my van.
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HeftySmurf
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Criminals pray on easy opportunity for the most part. If they walk buy and the door is unlocked, or you can push a window open thats an easy inviting target.
If the door are locked, windows closed and secure, or they see a flashing red light on the dash, most of the time they will move one to the next car.

True.... if they want in they will get it through force......

But dont invite them by leaving your car unlocked or your windows open
sheesh Brick wall
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Rhinoculips
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon theft statistics Reply with quote

squeegee_boy wrote:
... statistically speaking just how often are Vanagons stolen in North America?


Statistically for a 1990 Vanagon, 1.2223 out of every 1,000 produced has been stolen. This is directly from the NHTSA. It does not say what year this data is from, but I believe its 1990. For 2005, it did not make the top 233 most stolen vehicles.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/theft/theft.cfm

laterPeter wrote:
imagine the GETAWAY... 35 miles an hour up hill.

Three times faster than O.J. Simpson's getaway attempt!
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Last edited by Rhinoculips on Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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aquaboxa
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
Most theives are creatures of convenience. They will search for unlockled doors and open windows and steel from there first. If your car is locked they will most likely move on. If you are in a remote area though, all rules are tossed. Someone wanting to get in will break windows if they see something worth steeling.


My old boss at the boatyard used to say, as we would snap a tiny padlock on a trailer holding $50k worth of boat: "Locks keep the honest honest."
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climberjohn
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone on this forum suggested this psyche-out trick for parking at remote rural areas:

Leave an empty pistol case in plain sight and an empty box of .45 ammo next to it. Anyone scoping your van might have severe second thoughts when they see it.

(I've never tried this, but was impressed with the concept.)
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1621
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

climberjohn wrote:

Leave an empty pistol case in plain sight and an empty box of .45 ammo next to it.


Laughing I'd certainly think twice if I were to see that - but I'm not a junkie desperate for another fix.
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squeegee_boy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon theft statistics Reply with quote

Quote:

Statistically for a 1990 Vanagon, 1.2223 out of every 1,000 produced has been stolen. This is directly from the NHTSA. It does not say what year this data is from, but I believe its 1990. For 2005, it did not make the top 233 most stolen vehicles.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/theft/theft.cfm

Cool, thanks Rhinoculips!

Robyn
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