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Old 12-20-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
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My baby was stolen - Socal

Last night, my 2002 TJ Sport was stolen from right outside my house in Oceanside, CA. Just finished dumping $2k into her including tires and lift.

If anybody has ever been through something like this, any advice is welcome.

Keep an eye out for her!


She's probably in Mexico right now

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Old 12-20-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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Sunnova. So very sorry.
I hate thieves.
Penalties are too lax. A finger needs to be cut off for each conviction.

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Old 12-20-2013, 06:47 PM   #3
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Sorry about the theft, if the person is found with the lovely California law the penalty for first time auto theft is probation.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:07 PM   #4
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Sorry about your theft. But, you must have an alarm on your vehicle. Before I even picked up my Jeep, I had scheduled an alarm installation. As soon as I picked it up, I drove it straight to the car alarm shop. Triggers for doors, hood and trunk, and ignition kill, in the very least. Viper is one of the best. And being so close to Mexico, I would have considered a Lo-Jack too. This way if your Jeep is stolen, and you run out after you hear the alarm, and if its already gone, you can phone it in, and probably get the Jeep back before the thieves can cross the border. I doubt the thieves could even cross the border with the alarm going off, if they just tow it. They would have to stop somewhere and try to deactivate it, and remove the alarm because the ignition kill wouldn't allow them to drive it. In all that time, the Lo-Jack would find it. I doubt the thieves would even risk wasting all that time. If they heard the alarm, they would just look for a less risky theft. I seriously doubt that the border patrol would let a California Plated vehicle be towed into Mexico. So, your Jeep was likely driven into Mexico.

There was a lady here who had the same problem, living near Mexico. She had an alarm but didn't set it. On her next Jeep, she got an alarm and Lo-Jack, first thing, after getting her insurance replacement. Lucky for her, she had a new Jeep, and she got a better one after her's was stolen.

I don't understand your error, living so close to Mexico. Unless, you didn't bother to activate your alarm too.

It was a beautiful looking Jeep. Maybe you'll get a better one too, and learn from your mistakes. Unfortunately, this is the type of world we live in. It looks like the Mexican Drug Cartel just got a new black Jeep.

(Chas now checks his Key Fob to make sure he set his alarm. I am always "second guessing" myself and checking it. It is better to be safe than sorry.)
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:18 PM   #5
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... A finger needs to be cut off for each conviction.
And when all ten fingers are gone, if the thief is stupid enough to continue stealing, then just keep chopping off more joints. Eventually, he\she WON'T BE ABLE to steal anymore.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:02 PM   #6
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Im a moderator on a motorcycle forum with a strong SoCal membership. Ill repost there as an FYI.
There was a large bust of motorcycle theft ring in SoCal too.

Any distinguishing marks or features?



As for alarms(not to thread jack) but they should always be thought of as a hinderance but not actual anti theft. I used to manager sales and installations for circuit city and I specialized in security for them and another company as well training installers for their MECP certs. The other major problems are 1) The alarm is only as good as the installer and most want to be done quickly. Once inside a car it usually only takes me about 15 seconds to find the brain of an after market alarm with out removing any interior parts. I wont say any more because I dont want to educate any would be wrong doers. 2) There are steps installers and manufacturers take to make the alarm more user friendly for the non tec savvy customers and these steps make the vehicle much easier to steal.

Alarms should be looked at as a way to slow the thief down and draw attn, thats all.

The best way to have your alarm be effective is to be involved in the install as much as possible and I would gladly give pointers if any one wished to PM me.


GOOD LUCK!
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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I'll keep my eyes open, you never know. You mind posting any unique distinguishing features?
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:08 PM   #8
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Rubichick on here went thru the same thing out in Cali a few months ago.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:51 PM   #9
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I had the Ravelco ignition system installed on my Jeep 7 yrs ago. Not a problem. I spotted two teens looking in my Jeep yesterday (through tinted glass). I don't keep anything besides the emergency tool bag (that you can't see very well) inside. They got bored and kept walking.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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OP I shared it as I said I would. Most of my bike buddies from SoCal are military and good ppl into the bike/car scene so hopefully they hear something. I know its a long shot but why not try. They said the shared on facebook too. The internet is powerful, ya never know. Any other info or identifers will help.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:07 PM   #11
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OP I shared it as I said I would. Most of my bike buddies from SoCal are military and good ppl into the bike/car scene so hopefully they hear something. I know its a long shot but why not try. They said the shared on facebook too. The internet is powerful, ya never know. Any other info or identifers will help.
Thanks. Much appreciated!

Distinguishing features? Really aren't that many, my goal was with my jeep was to keep it as stock as possible, hence the Canyon alloys with spidertrax 1.5" spacers behind them, it has a small suspension lift and 32x11.5" tires. No stickers, factory hardtop, no dents, clean dark blue paint, tint, 30x9.5" spare... Plate Number: 5fdp360(I really don't give a f*** about losing my privacy at this point)

Thanks to everyone that gives a damn!

Thanks to everyone who recommends an alarm! My next Jeep will have one
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:13 PM   #12
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Sorry buddy. Best wishes, fight with the insurance company because they will low ball you on their first few offers. Make them counter,as you know, good jeeps are not cheap $$$.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:42 PM   #13
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Sorry buddy. Best wishes, fight with the insurance company because they will low ball you on their first few offers. Make them counter,as you know, good jeeps are not cheap $$$.
Thanks, good point.

I have tons of receipts.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:47 PM   #14
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You mentioned having recent work done. Who did the work? Many auto thefts are done with a cloned key. Make sure that the names of the repair shops are part of your police report. As far as theft systems and Lo-Jack in SoCal, they are very nice in theory but tend to be too little and too late. Lo-Jack is great to tell you your car just crossed into Mexico and like an alarm system, dependent on electrical power. One of the first things a tow or trailer equipped thief will kill. No battery power; no alarm and no LoJack signal.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:55 PM   #15
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Rubichick on here went thru the same thing out in Cali a few months ago.
Yup It was stolen back in September and never recovered but I have a JK now ... still wish it wasn't stolen I miss my TJ ... if she is ever found with minimal damage I'll still take her back...
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:58 PM   #16
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Thanks, good point. I have tons of receipts.
FYI USAA gave me 24k for my 2006 TJ with 47k ... I didn't get much for my aftermarket parts tho just make sure u have the receipts. I didn't have the receipt for my tires and lift
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:32 AM   #17
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Where in San Diego was yours stolen? Literally just moved to Oceanside from Escondido, Merry Xmas to me!
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:23 AM   #18
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I hate thieves. I think most of them get what they deserve in the end. And most are not too bright or they would have a better way of making a living. My strategy is just to make my Jeep a little harder to steal than the next rig. Our local city police sell the steering wheel club for wholesale cost of $12. Just like any theft deterrent, it can be compromised, but it would take a little more effort. And it is highly visible.

I hope you get your rig back and those responsible get what they deserve.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:45 AM   #19
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Penalties are too lax. A finger needs to be cut off for each conviction.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:58 AM   #20
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This exact thing happened to Jerry Bransford in Southern California a couple years ago. PM him to know exactly what steps you should take. Time is of the essence. I hear that they use the jacked up Jeeps across the boarder for the drug cartel use in Mexico.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:10 AM   #21
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I knw a girl up North that had her Bronco stolen. we suspected kids had stolen it for a joy ride. Turned out that was the case. It was found along side the freeway out of gas. The wiring under the dash was messed with and the truck dirty from them off roading in it but it wasn't too bad.

I hope you find your jeep again with minimal damage as well. Keep an eye on Craigslist too. There are some real knuckleheads out there just looking for a quick profit that will post items like that right away. If you find it, make a deal, make the announcement here you found it, stall em long enough for a few of us to arrive and we'll give them a bargain they won't refuse.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:01 AM   #22
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Oh damn man, I HATE to read it happened to you, that really sucks. The same thing happened to me in San Diego four years ago and I'm still not over it. They didn't even start mine when stealing it from where I worked, we could tell from the skid marks behind my parking space that they just dragged it out & hauled it off with a flatbed tow truck. There is a ring in San Diego that seems to specialize in Jeeps and several law enforcement people who contacted me told me that most end up in Mexico for use by either drug cartels or crooked Mexican law enforcement.

I never got mine back and it had items in it that I can never replace, like my aircrew survival knife from Vietnam. I hope you had nothing of value in yours besides the Jeep itself.

Hopefully you have good insurance as I did, AAA REALLY took care of me on my stolen Jeep. I'll never leave AAA after what they did for me. Whoever you have, you'll likely have to push back hard several times on what they offer you, they'll usually try to low-ball you and just hope you'll accept their first offer. I'd push back at least twice.

Finally, I wouldn't get my hopes up on getting it back. Not many stolen Jeeps are recovered here in the San Diego area. They're smart, they'll even park it for a few days out in the open to see if the cops show up from it having Lo-Jack.

By the way, what helped me get a good offer from AAA (so good I didn't even push back on it) was that I gave them documentation on everything I had done to the Jeep which produced two pages of an Excel spreadsheet together with photos & receipts. Not many insurance companies care, they'll just offer the minimum, but it made a difference to AAA.

Good luck with it, I hope you get it back but as I said, don't get your hopes up. Take it easy, I know you're really totally bummed right now. I had spent so many years & hours working on/modifying mine that it was nearly like a family member loss lol.

And of course I'll keep an eye out for it but a pic of how it looks now with the new tires & wheels it is now wearing would be needed to be able to recognize it. Hopefully you can post some for us to see.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:27 PM   #23
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Thanks guys.

Good news, I have AAA.

In the jeep I just had a lot of cool tools, a $300 solar panel for backpacking adventures, expensive rock climbing shoes, countless knives(No where near the value of Jerry's aircrew knife, but still)... I guess that isn't too bad. 4 weeks ago I lifted it and put brand new BFG's ATko's on it. Disco's, steering stabilizer, BDS shocks and springs. The hardest thing to deal with is I felt I got extremely lucky with my jeep when I bought it, awesome previous owner, D44 with trackloc, super clean everything, drove like a tank, perfect foundation for building a rig over the years.

I'll try to keep you guys updated with this. I am going to do my best to stay with the Wrangler family. Help me search the internet/craigslist for my next Jeep... I have around a $10k budget. Thanks everybody
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:10 PM   #24
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... No battery power; no alarm and no LoJack signal.
I thought Lo-Jack ran off of it's own battery supply. When the stealership installed MY Lo-Jack, they told me that they had to install it WITHOUT me being present. I couldn't know the location of the device. I obliged, because I wanted the Lo-Jack system to be installed. Four years later, I get a letter in the mail, stating that if I want my Lo-Jack system to continue to operate, I need to pay them a couple hundred dollars more for them to come out and replace it's battery. Sure sounded like a scam to me. I ended up selling my truck, and purchasing my jeep, instead. I do intend to install an alarm system, but it sure WILL NOT be a Lo-Jack.

I thought the system's battery stayed in "limbo" status, until you reported your vehicle as "stolen". But, what do I know???
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:20 PM   #25
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Where in San Diego was yours stolen? Literally just moved to Oceanside from Escondido, Merry Xmas to me!
I'm 5 mins from Qualcomm Stadium right off Aero drive. I don't live in the ghetto but they come here cuz people are too busy to pay attention. But a week after it got stolen we called the cops because of 3 suspicious individuals. They arrested one guy, another guy took off and the chick was the wife of the guy arrested. Nonetheless the guy had charges against him I'm not sure what ... I got subpoena but I didn't even have to go because the case was closed before I could show up to court so he is in jail now.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:39 PM   #26
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I thought the system's battery stayed in "limbo" status, until you reported your vehicle as "stolen".
It is always on and in receive mode so it can receive the signal to start broadcasting its location. It is a self-contained unit with its own battery, it doesn't run off or need the main battery.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:52 PM   #27
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Not to poop on Cali but why Is it when I hear of a jeep being stolen its in Cali? That really sucks,I really hate to hear of damn thieves taking something someone else worked long & hard to earn & have.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:06 PM   #28
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Damn. New to the forum and sad to see the first post was about someone having their Jeep stolen. I would be incredibly livid if I knew someone was out there driving my Jeep around. Sorry to hear about your loss. I hope it ends up being found.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:38 PM   #29
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Sorry to hear about your jeep!!! I am a Police Officer in PA and we had a huge problem with tow truck companies stealing vehicles. If I were you, I would drive around tow truck lots and body shops. A lot of times they change the color of the jeep and try to keep them. Being so close to the border I wouldn't doubt that the cartels own tow companies for that specific reason. Its worth a shot… If you see any jeep at all check the vin on your documents with the vin on the dash, driver side. Its visible from the windshield below the inspection stickers of driver side. Hope your jeep is found or you get what you deserve from your insurance company. Be Safe and hope you have a good Holiday!!
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:26 PM   #30
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I'm 5 mins from Qualcomm Stadium right off Aero drive. I don't live in the ghetto but they come here cuz people are too busy to pay attention.
I live right behind walmart and frys! they stole mine last night right from my parking spot!!

they managed to defeat the lock somehow because i saw no broken glass or skid marks.

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