Gun safes and theft

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by CleverName, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. CleverName

    CleverName Active Member

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    Ive noticed there are an increasing number of home burglaries around here (Southern Oregon) I have a fairly good gunsafe, but sometimes I wonder if thats enough. I think burglars look for easy targets, and a gunsafe would take too long and be too noisy to crack open or remove from a wall. A good pair of dogs never hurts too. But sometimes I still get concerned. Are most firearms stolen from homes with no safe, or stolen from cars? Has anyone heard of guns being stolen that were in a safe?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  2. joeroket

    joeroket Active Member

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    There was a burglary up here a while back where a few firearms were stolen from an unlocked safe. It does happen from time to time.
  3. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Well-Known Member

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    I must admit, there have been a couple of occasions when I came home from work to see that when I had been in the safe the night before I just closed the door, but did not lock it. It's a real sinking feeling until you open the safe and see that everything is still there. :banghead:
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  4. evltwn

    evltwn Active Member

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    Please check out the website of Rogue Safe in Medford. They have a video that shows two guys with a pinch bar and crow bar breaking into a "Big Box" store safe in less than two minutes. While Rogue's safes are pricey, I can tell you that I CANNOT insert a folded sheet of paper between the door and the frame...living up in the woods as we do I no longer worry so much about a burglary in our absence. Of course given enough time, a skillful burglar can break into most any safe, but in my view they look for the easiest opportunities, and do not want to take on a one ton (literally) safe. Just my two cents...
  5. jbett98

    jbett98 Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My neighbor has a portable plasma torch. It will cut up to 3/8th inch steel. Plugs into any 110v outlet and generates it's own air supply.
    I watched him cut open the side of a large gun safe. "Combo was lost when owner died."
    It took him less than four minutes to remove the the whole side panel. He spent another five minutes prying the insulation and plywood liner out.
    There was no damage to the contents, other than some smoke odor.
  6. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Well-Known Member

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    Any determined thief with the right tools can probably get into most of the gun safes out there. I bought a decent safe, if not the most expensive one, and spent the rest on additional insurance to cover my firearms. I'm actually more worried about fire damage than some tweaker looking for a quick snatch and grab.
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  7. Smoke It

    Smoke It Banned

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    I think most of the posts are correct , ease of in and out is what they go for,
    I have a secure compound I lock at night with German Shepherd Dogs that stay with us 24/7 365 and a Fort Knox safe
    although I'm sure given enough time anything is possible ,The best we can do is to do our best at prevention, I also have a complete copy of inventory ie: serial #'s and approx values with my insurance company this is good to have in the unlikely event something should happen to you the wife has something to go by .
    Great thread glad to see others see things the way most of us do.
  8. Swedish K

    Swedish K Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporter

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    Several years ago I was helping a friend move and on the second night someone stole his big gun safe out of the old house. Fortunately we had moved his guns out of the safe to my house a week or so earlier since he didn't know some of the people that were helping all that well and the moving truck hired to deal with the large and heavy stuff had told him that the safe had to be empty when they moved it. When we showed up on the third morning there were several sections of pvc pipe laying in the driveway. When we opened the garage door there was more pvc pipe sections laying in the garage. In preparing for the move he had unbolted the empty safe from the wall so at least they hadn't torn up the house in the process of stealing the safe. They had used the sections of pvc pipe as rollers to move the safe out into the garage and into the back of their truck. Apparently there had been a string of safe robberies in the area using this method for moving the safes so they could crack them elsewhere without fear of being caught while breaking into the safe. Since learning the pvc roller trick I always have to wonder when I see someone covered in prison tats buying PVC if they are doing a sprinkler job or prepping to steal a safe.

    Hope none of us ever come home to find a trail of PVC pieces lined up to where our safes once were....
  9. Redcap

    Redcap Well-Known Member

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    Not the first time I've heard of this...
  10. jazz hand stumps

    jazz hand stumps Member

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    this might be a good addendum:

    Zmodo Surveillance System with 500GB HD, DVR and 4 Weatherproof IR Cameras for $189.99 + $5 shipping - Woot® : One Day, One Deal

    has phone alerts, and offsite image capabilities.

    or, a cheap windows box with a webcam, email, wifi connection, and free webcamXP software to instantly email/SMS pics and sound of anyone going near the safe when you are away.

    also: cameras, security stickers, and good quality locks on the house.
  11. 22many

    22many Well-Known Member

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    When I was living in se Portland I opt to not having a safe. My reasoning was that if thiefs broke in and seen it they would go straight for it. Instead, in my closet I cut a a 2x4 foot rectangle in the floor and built my own box to put guns in. The closet was carpeted so with the top on it you had to look really close to see the carpet line. That was easily covered up by shoes, boots, ect, ect. Worked great as when I was moving I had left my door unlocked and thieves had taken whatever was left that I had not moved yet but the guns were untouched. I had gotten lucky as the floor joists were running parallel with the closet

    Out of sight out of mind is my thinking.
  12. supergenius

    supergenius Active Member

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    x10.com is a great site too
  13. CleverName

    CleverName Active Member

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    How many lag bolts do you guys consider the minimum for a medium size long gun safe? I like a minimum of 4.
  14. RLW

    RLW Member

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    It always helps to have a safe. Remember that all a safe does is slow a burglar down. Even a cheap safe will do you well if it is bolted down properly and placed in a strategic location. There are generally a couple situations in which your stuff gets stolen. The most common would be the smash and grab where the burglar enters your house with no real plan. They just grab whatever they can in a couple minutes and they leave. The other common type of burglary is where you can get taken pretty bad. It is when you have someone doing some work at your place like installing something and what not. They catch wind of the fact that your headed out of town on vacation and when your gone they come by and take your stuff. In that situation you are gonna need a lot more than a cheap safe.
  15. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Kudos and Dittos to Jbett and RLW (and others) noting that a locked metal box is just a locked metal box. Prepared thieves will only be temporarily detained. I laugh when I'm at the gunshows and the gunsafe guy is giving his schpiel about how his "lugs are tempered blah blah, his drill plate is made of heat-treated green kryptonite, etc.,etc., etc.", ad nauseum.

    The prepared thief ain't messin' with no lugs or drill plate or combo latch mechanism. He's going through the wall with a disc saw or plasma cutter. Or takin' the whole enchilada.

    22many's theory is arguably better than any gunsafe.

    But I have gunsafes.
  16. Stomper

    Stomper 3%er Bronze Supporter

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    I can personally attest to the benefit of a gun safe, because a couple of years ago our house suffered a chicken-sheit smash 'n grab break-in even though the place was alarmed. They broke in minutes after we all packed up (the dogs too) and went off to the river in Mollala on a hot summer's day.

    By the time the alarm company called us to confirm we were not the ones who set it off, and by the time the cops showed up (we had made it back to the house while the cops were still "clearing" the house) they had snatched the wife's heirloom jewelry, kids' video games (and other kid crap), a couple of watches of mine.... but ALL the guns were good to go... locked in my "less than top end" gun safe that's bolted down in one end of my closet (surrounded by walls on three sides).

    Even though the alarm functioned perfectly, the monitoring company performed their responsibilities perfectly, and the police arrived ASAP, they still had time to run through, grab a bunch of small stuff (the total was expensive), and run out the back door with the loot and off to buy their next hit of meth!

    GET A GUN SAFE... even a budget model is better than nothing and can make ALL the difference. I still got my AR's, my AKs, my Galil, Beretta, S&W, Mossbergs, Winchester, passports, immigration documents (Australian wife and kids), blank checks, credit cards, etc. because of it!!

    The thought of all that hardware (and immigration documents) I have in there winding up loose on the streets in the wrong hands makes my stomach turn... THANK GAWD for that gun safe! :thumbup:
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  17. scout II

    scout II New Member

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    Wow stomper,that is lucky for you.I would still be afraid they would come back because now they know you have a gun safe.I was broken into about 20 years ago before I had a safe.I lost 4 guns.I took all the rest of my guns to a friends place and put them in his vault.One week later I was broken into again,they knew I had guns.But this time they didn't get any.Know of coarse,I have a couple of safes,but am always worried about it.
  18. Swedish K

    Swedish K Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporter

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    preferably 4 through the back and 4 into the floor so there are less places that they can attack it. If you only have 4 on the bottom they can pry the back away from the wall from the top. If you only have the back bolted in they may be able to pry the safe up - and if your bolts aren't into studs the little leverage they get from a pry bar under it may let them break the safe free and take it with them.
  19. pioneer461

    pioneer461 Active Member

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    Having served in law enforcement for 30+ years, I have never heard of a gun being stolen from a safe. That doesn't mean it didn't happen, I just never heard of it. Most residential burglars want to get in and out as quickly as possible. For the most part, they are looking for cash, drugs, jewelry, and electronics, all things they can quickly turn over for cash at a pawn shop, or a fencing operation.

    Most guns stolen from homes, in my experience, were "hidden" in closets, under beds, dresser drawers, etc. Any burglar who has been at it any length of time knows where most folks "hide" things.

    Guns stolen from cars are fairly common. A car / truck / SUV, etc. is a lousy place to keep a firearm. There is really no easy way to secure them, unless you can weld or perform body work. The pistol boxes with cables to "secure" them to your car seat, are only good until someone with a pair of bolt cutters breaks in. If the thief takes the whole car, they can take the cable box to a place of their choosing, where they can break it open at their leisure.

    Making your home more secure is a great idea, called "hardening the target." How you do that depends on your resources (money) and imagination. Your local police crime prevention unit may have some ideas for you.

    Having said all of that, if for some reason a criminal targets you or your house, car, office, etc, there is little that can be done to stop them. You can make your home a very secure place, but if they want to get in badly enough, they will get in.
  20. lonegunman

    lonegunman Active Member

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    Age's ago Bell Helmets had an ad that said, "If you have a twenty dollar head,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,buy a twenty dollar helmet." Securing your firearms is done the same way.

    If you are going to accumilate $10,000 worth of guns(and you can do this easily) why wouldn't you spend at least $1500 dollars on a decent safe and bolt it down securely? There are also several companies that offer firearms insurance with reasonable deductibles for decent rates. Would you put $10,000 in cash in a closet or under the bed in a pelican case?

    Any safe can be hauled away or opened with enough time effort and planning. Most thieves spend a very short amount of time in your house, I leave them a nice piggy bank by the door and some tools in the garage to steal. Once their hands are full, they are unlikely to pry open every door in the house looking for a gun safe.