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Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/20/20 11:51 a.m.

I've had multiple occurrences of my cars being vandalized.

My 04 Lancer Ralliart wagon got keyed this weekend, sitting in front of my garage. It's a separate garage, about 50 feet from the house. The driveway is well lit, I just installed an LED light to replace one of the carriage lights.

The car was sitting sideways in the driveway behind two other cars, and next to my truck.

My just purchased 04 WRX wagon received the same treatment a couple of nights earlier. I wasn't sure that had occurred after buying it, but there's additional scratches in the paint today.

It's not the first time that I've had someone key a car at my house. The lancer was keyed several years ago, but I was able to buff out the scratches. I suspected that it happened at home, but wasn't certain. 

My autocross miata had a couple of scratches put into it last year, definitely while parked at home. The scratches on the Miata are hard to find if you don't know where to look for them. It lives under a cover now. I saw the front of the cover had been flipped up from under the bumper one day last week. It has a clip in front of the tires to hold it down it a high wind. I assumed that it just blew out from under the car, but now I'm certain that someone tried to pull it up over the hood.

This time they really went to town on the cars. The lancer and the WRX have scratches multiple panels.

I don't want to put in a claim, these old cars are liable to be totaled.

Reading on some previous posts, I saw Keith comment that a motion detector setting on the light will work better as a deterrent, so I'll change that today. I've thought about getting a couple of security cameras, but cheap stuff is useless, and I haven't wanted to spend the money for good cameras. I have a old four channel recorder, but no cameras. I'm looking at cameras and systems now.

I'm about to call the Sheriff's dept to do a report, but figured that first I would jump on here for some advice.

Mr_Asa HalfDork
4/20/20 11:53 a.m.

Game cameras.  Call the Sheriff's Dept to start the ground work, but get a couple game cameras surrounding the cars

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) UltimaDork
4/20/20 11:54 a.m.

Trail cams are cheap and good for a case like this.

edit Mr. Asa beat me while I was reading.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
4/20/20 11:55 a.m.

Nothing useful to add other than that's really wild, and I'm sorry to hear it's happening. I would be pretty upset in your shoes, even if it's not because the cars are overly valuable - just on principle. I would think light as much as you can, and have another light on motion detection.

There are also motion detectors that will make noise - alarm, scream, etc. Might be an extra deterrent if/when someone (and your neighbors?) hear that..

Carbon (Forum Supporter)
Carbon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/20/20 11:55 a.m.

Sorry man. Nothing that’s not violent and inflammatory to say, it’s happened to me and I wish it would never happen again to anyone. 


Also, like any other soulless vermin that damage your property. Traps. 


E36m3, that was violent and inflammatory wasn’t it? Well I tried. 

Mr_Asa HalfDork
4/20/20 12:08 p.m.

I'd try and catch them before scaring them off.  That's me, though.

clshore Reader
4/20/20 12:08 p.m.

You can get free software that will run on your PC webcam, and record to disk whenever the frame image changes.

You can set how sensitive it is to changes, and for how long it records once triggered.

mr2s2000elise Dork
4/20/20 12:10 p.m.

I use the Netgear Arlo Cameras. I have 5 cameras, 2 in backyard (constant bear and deer and racoon), and 3 in front yard for amazon delivery, cars, etc. Best investment I made 4 years ago. All wireless, and waterproof, and easy peasy - that even an imbecile like me can do it. All wireless. 


Reason I got the cameras in the first place, 4 years ago, someone was walking their dog and leaving their poop on my front yard. I had a GREAT idea, who it was, but I couldn't catch them. After I caught them on camera, I went over to their house, with my phone and the video. 

Hasn't happened since. 

I also have sensor lights in front and side and rear of my house. Annoying part is when its windy or rainy, they pop on. Otherwise, animals/people walk, and they turn on, and pretty apparent there is cameras and lights at my house. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/20/20 12:17 p.m.

Is this happening to others in your area? If not, who did you piss off?

I'd go for deterrence first, lights and signs about cameras. Cameras themselves won't prevent it from happening, they'll only help if you can actually get a clear picture of someone damaging the car and that's going to be a matter of luck. 

We've had trouble with kids coming and doing donuts in the gravel parking lot at FM. It digs trenches and throws gravel on the paved area and if someone parks a car in the lot overnight there's a real risk of damage. We installed a motion sensitive camera and caught video of it happening, but we could barely identify what kind of car it was. Best way to cut down on it was to break up the expanse with some pieces of railway tie. You can still park, but there's less room for hooning. My suggestion was for some rebar buried deep but the tops flush with the gravel. You could drive over it but it would sure mess up a sidewall. "Liability", whatever.

clutchsmoke UltraDork
4/20/20 12:19 p.m.

Nothing really helpful to add since I think everyone that has chimed in has it figured out.

What kinda E36 M3 bags live in your neighborhood??

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/20/20 12:32 p.m.

I've often wondered about making a device that electrifies the entire outer surface of the car to like 40k volts making anyone touching the car get a nice zap. Sort of like 20 thousand leagues under the sea.

Or, maybe get one of those rental car one-way tire shredders at the end of your driveway? But make it so it is moveable and retracts when you want someone to be able to leave.

You could just go with sharks with laser beams attached to their heads. but seriously, that sucks. I'd be pissed.

pirate HalfDork
4/20/20 12:36 p.m.

I have the Blink system that is owned by Amazon. These are motion activated cameras that send a message to your phone/iPad/others when armed and activated. They also record whatever activated the camera and there are no monthly fees. I bought system with three cameras don't remember exactly what I paid but under $250 and they also run deals. I don't have a vandalism problem but we are often gone in our motorhome and have peace of mind knowing I will get a warning if anyone is in our home or shop. These do not send a message to police but I can quickly call police if needed. I can also activate to see what is going on if needed in the case of a storm, etc. Super easy to set up all that is required is  WiFi. Also have a couple of game camera but that is after the fact information.


psteav (Forum Supporter)
psteav (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/20/20 12:39 p.m.

Don't go with traps that could in any way potentially injure the E36 M3stains that are doing this.  Like it or not, you get into liability questions if you hurt someone..even if they were trespassing.  

Bright LED motion lights would be where I would start.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/20/20 12:57 p.m.

I set up an LED motion light just a few weeks ago. I had picked it up in clearance  years ago. I seem to have a lot more spare time, right now.

I just came inside from putting up the signs. I'm waiting for a call back from the Sheriff's dept. Not sure whether to notify the insurance company, don't want old cars getting totaled over this.

itsarebuild Dork
4/20/20 1:02 p.m.

We also have the Arlo system. It’s pretty good but needs some planing to get the right photo angle and minimal distractions. I would honestly go that way as I would be very interested in being able to sue the dirtbags for the damage. Just scaring them off from now on doesn’t give you that chance.

oldopelguy (Forum Supporter)
oldopelguy (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/20/20 1:03 p.m.

$50 for a couple of Wyze cameras and outdoor mounts is pretty cheap, and the ap alerts real time when something is happening. 

914Driver MegaDork
4/20/20 1:09 p.m.

Any neighbors effected also, or are you singled out?  Response of cameras and cops would be the same I guess.

We had a rash of car break-ins last summer, every other house in the neighborhood over about 3 weeks.  Nothing big, change, CDs and phone jack parts.  Lt stopped but moved to another 'hood 15 miles away.  Kids?  Transient crack heads?  The weight lifter next door said "Cops better get them before I do".

Good luck Doc.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/20/20 1:28 p.m.

The driveway is short. If I park a car behind another one, it's right at the edge of the street. My miata is in front of the lancer in this picture. 

I had been parking with the third car sideways behind the first two so it wouldn't be so close to the street.

Last night I moved the lancer to the front of the house. They still added more damage to it and the WRX last night.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/20/20 1:32 p.m.

Sheriff's deputies just left. Their observation was that it's kids, since the scratches are very superficial, and don't go all the way down the side of the car. They're mostly lighter scratches in a limited area. 

They just don't look to them like typical vandalism. That's lucky for me, while they're too deep to totally buff out, I can at least smooth them out a lot and make them less obvious.

Off to the store for some cameras. Can't see ordering on line, since it's become a nightly event.

FuzzWuzzy HalfDork
4/20/20 1:33 p.m.

Also throwing in the suggestion of motion sensor LED flood lights and some camera system (Arlo Pro 2 is pretty decent still).

Get them as high as you can at the angles you need. I believe the most basic package has two or three cameras, so you should be able to cover the driveway on both ends nicely.

KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
4/20/20 1:34 p.m.

Lot of unemployment right now.  Good opportunity for a side gig security guard.  Have him stake out the driveway wearing NVGs for a week and see what happens.  Somebody would jump at the chance to sit in a lawn chair listening to an earbud while waiting for the vandal while making $15 an hour.

ShinnyGroove Reader
4/20/20 1:37 p.m.

After finding 7,000 piles of dog poop in my front yard, I put a day/night game camera out on a tree.  That night around midnight, it clearly showed my neighbor walking over to my yard and letting his dog poop.  The best part is that the night vision on the camera lights up some red LED's, and he noticed it right after his dog started pooping.  After giving the camera an inquisitive look, he dropped his dog off at home and came back 10 minutes later to see what the glowing red light was.  I have all of this on video.  Aside from comedy value (which was substantial), the best part is that the pooping stopped and I didn't even have to talk to him because he knows that I know that it's him.  It would be a shame if one of those videos found their way to the neighborhood Facebook page some day...

ShawnG UltimaDork
4/20/20 1:54 p.m.

That's all I got.


With all the increase in dog walking I'm finding more deposits in my front yard, all from people with pocket dogs.

I want to get a game camera, find out where they live and bring MY dogs to use their lawn. 

I have a Great Dane and a Bernese Mountain Dog. They brought this on themselves.

nimblemotorsports Reader
4/20/20 2:05 p.m.

I've had my windows smashed out of my explorer three times now, third time was a couple weeks ago.  They did another half-dozen cars in the neighborhood.

I've also had eggs thrown at my cars parked on the street, and someone rifles through my car just about any time I forget to lock it.

Worse yet was a drive-by shooting last week a few houses away.   Police were asking everyone if they have any cameras.   I was going to setup one after the first window smashing, actually installed a pole by the street,  but still haven't done it, as it takes a lot of time, who has time for that? and my wife thinks it is ugly, but after the shooting, she is behind getting something setup now, and we will probably get something hooked up in our tree by the street.

John Welsh (Forum Supporter)
John Welsh (Forum Supporter) Mod Squad
4/20/20 2:12 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Are you working from home? 

Can you fold all the seats and sleep in the wagon? That'll surprise them when you hop out of the car!

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