Fail of the Week: New Hackerspace Burglarized Days Before Opening

Starting up a new hackerspace from the ground up is a daunting task. Before you even think about the fun stuff like tools and a space, you’ve got a ton of social engineering to do. Finding like-minded people with the drive and passion for seeing the project through is a major stumbling block where many projects falter. If you get past that, then figuring out a corporate structure and getting funds together to start building something can be difficult, as can local permits and the endless red tape that always seems to accompany anything seen as new or innovative.

But finally the magic day comes for your group to open the doors on the new hackerspace, perhaps with an open house or some event to bring the community in and maybe rustle up some paying members. It should be a happy occasion, but for a new hackerspace near Houston, the grand opening celebration was thwarted when thieves broke into the space and cleaned out all their tools days before it opened.

Humble Beginnings

This has to be absolutely heartbreaking to The Humble Makers of Humble, Texas. One of the founders, [Jeremy Southard], shared his tale of woe with Hackaday on the tip line. After months of planning and preparations, the Humble Makers’ new space in an old antiques shop was ready to open. Tools had been purchased or donated, including a 40 W laser cutter and a bunch of cordless power tools. On Wednesday, [Jeremy] came to the space to find that the door had been forced and almost everything had been taken. Curiously, the thieves left behind the 3D printers, but everything else was gone.

The group amounts the losses at more than $5000, a steep price to pay for a space that’s just getting started. Despite that, they vow to open next week with what they have, which we admire. They’ve started a GoFundMe campaign, and we’d encourage anyone to pitch in and help these guys out. But what I’d like to go over is how this counts as a Fail of the Week, and what hackerspace members and private shop owners can learn about protecting their own stuff from walking off.

What Went Wrong

It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback something like this and point out what they did wrong, but let’s start by looking at what they did right. From the look of the building they chose, there’s nothing immediately obvious to raise suspicion. It doesn’t seem to be located in a particular crime-ridden neighborhood. But looks can be deceiving, and thinking like a criminal is often the best way to avoid becoming a victim.

I learned long ago — the hard way — that criminals like to do their business unobserved as much as possible, and to leave their options open for getting away quickly. In that regard, this building is a perfect target — easy access from the road, but not easily observable. The road out front is a freeway, with drivers not likely to notice a quick crowbar job on the front door. Once inside, the thieves had all the time in the world to work, plus a huge garage door in back away from prying eyes. They could have pulled a van up, loaded everything under cover, and booked out of there in a hurry along any of the residential roads behind the building. If they had been found out somehow, the woods offered the chance to escape on foot. As great as the building looked, it really was the perfect place to burglarize.

But what about a security system? In his note to us, [Jeremy] explained that while a full security with remote monitoring was not yet installed in the space, they did take measures to protect their assets. The group had installed IP cameras to watch the parking lot and the interior, recording events to the cloud. Sadly, the thieves were able to find a blind spot in the parking lot camera’s coverage that allowed them to cut power to it. That gave them free rein to the front door, and once inside they killed the router to prevent the other camera from sending alerts or saving any images.

“Look Ma, no wires to cut!”

The lesson here is that security assets are only assets if they’re connected. Cheap, rugged IP cameras are a great addition to a security plan, but if they can be defeated with a pair of wire cutters, you haven’t improved your security posture much. It pays to look at your cameras and find ways to route wires to prevent tampering. And it doesn’t have to be a hardened enclosure — just routing wires inside a soffit like I did for the IP camera on my house (pictured right) might be enough. Of course, knocking the camera down with a baseball bat or simply unscrewing the WiFi antenna would defeat it. Maybe I need to look into that.

Is Your Space Secure?

If I had one criticism for The Humble Makers, it would be not looking for a commercial alarm system right off the bat. I know it’s hard to prioritize something like that ahead of getting tools and a space together — after all, that’s what will drive membership, not a panel with blinky lights on the wall near the door. But the alarm will protect the things that matter to the space, and in the end the expense of installing a system and having it monitored will seem like small change compared to the potential to lose everything.

Whether you have an alarm system or not, at a bare minimum you owe it to your members to do some kind of security audit. Walk around, wiggle door knobs, try to force windows open — look for weak points. A great idea is to get another set of eyes on your place, preferably someone who is not a member so there’s less chance of bias. It’d be even better if your local law enforcement agency could do a walk through — nothing beats having someone who has actually investigated property crimes giving you an honest assessment of what your weak spots are.

It’s a sad state of affairs when we have to spend time and resources to prevent people from being awful, but it’s a fact of life. The loss suffered by this group is tough to take, but maybe looking at what they did right and what went wrong will help other spaces protect themselves. Cold comfort to The Humble Makers, perhaps, but it’s better than nothing.

163 thoughts on “Fail of the Week: New Hackerspace Burglarized Days Before Opening

    1. an Inside job before it even opened? I don’t think so myself. I think word got round a new hacker space was opening, People knew the opening day and took a chance before it opened to see what they could get. It’s a shame I hope they raise their goal. best of it is I bet the robbers sold the stuff for pennies on the dollar.

      1. My thoughts also. probably not done by real professional criminals if you know what i mean. A load of used power tools maybe easy to sell but it will pay very little. Rule of thumb for stolen goods is at most 10% of the retail price. So there’s no real incentive here for professional burglars.

        1. Tools are some of the easiest things to resell, all the shady pawn shops sell lots of tools.

          Most thieves are drug addicts, and they really don’t care if it is 10% of retail, they care about if it gets them high for today.

          That said, sounds like an inside job to me.

          1. to me, what makes it sound like an inside job is the facte they knew they needed to kill the router to stop images being sent, most burglers would kill the cams and leave it at that, someone in the hackspace know – or know how they work would know that most have routers connected to imaging upload places… thats the fishy bit here…

    2. Nah, an empty shop gets a string of delivery trucks out front for a week? Probably through some ads up to attract people. Conspicuous cameras mean there’s something worth protecting, coupled with blind spots you can estimate from the street & a helping of bad luck. I’m surprised we don’t hear of more ‘space break ins.

    3. seriously. what run-of-the-mill thief cuts power to a router in order to disable a camera, after already “doing it the hard way” with the external camera?

      that said it could be anyone who took a peek around the space ( delivery people, door-to-door solicitors, etc ), didn’t have to be a member.

      1. Jarek, get this
        On the table were 5 device, router, hard drive, extender, but basically 5 boxes, with no extra labelling, all plug into the same powerstrip
        They could have unplugged the strip, or just turned it off —-BUT NO, they unplugged a single RJ45 cable to take out connectivity!

        The space used to be an antique dealer, so when we’ve had the garage doors open (get hot in there) people have asked if were the antique dealer and open back up, we say no and their gone.

        Jarek, if you’re a hackaday reader, you know what kind of guys we must be to want to create a makerspace, don’t you want to feel good like us? You know, a quick visit to our Go Fund Me, and a donation, and I bet you’ll really feel good. The you can pass on our “would you believe this happened to they guys” story to your friends, or even post a link with a story on your social media, asking people to help these kind hearted nerds out, and you be smiling for a few days!

        Looking forward to your smile, Thanks in advance
        Tiger Moses
        Co-founder The Humble Makers

        1. Get this: you sound like a creepy dollar-store preacher, replying to all these comments with passive-aggressive, “cute” begging.

          Knock it off, dude. Because the way you’re acting makes me seriously sketched out – as in, making me think that this is a con.

        2. Dude/dudette; Knowing yo shop would piss sway the money at HF makes me less likely o donate. Yes I undrstand that the fmilar name brand powers are built to a low retail sales point, but in my espeince they don’t fsil at same rat that HF doe. Hopefully your group is earmarking a portion of donation to purchased before you group stat moving into the space, insurance. In the I miss that the contents where insured, I apologize; but if you weren’t insured It’s hard to sympathize. I was brough up if one csny afford to properly take car of an item, you can’t afford the item, so why purhase it?

          1. Doug,
            I usually don’t criticize grammar or punctuation, and I hate the grammar-police that always post just to nitpick at someone else’s comments. But in your case, Holy Cow! Please at least make an effort, dude! You average four or five errors in every sentence. Not only that but you are being a douche with the general tone and content of your comment. If you don’t want to donate, then don’t donate. But it is kind of hard to take your ‘high-horse’, know-it-all attitude seriously when you look like you are practically illiterate.

    4. for it to be an inside job, would have to have been one of the three of us founders

      They did a good job, I know I couldn’t have stole as much as they did. It took us multiple trips to get it all there, and they got it all out in a few hours or less.

      They even took our fans and mini fridge. Do you live in a place that gets hot or humid? Feel like helping us out a little? Look online at Target or Walmart or Home Depot, find a fan you like, and then visit our GO FUND ME (linked in article) and send us that amount. You will make three sweaty guys extremely happy, and you’ll sleep better, and got 1 more point on your credits to get to heaven – sounds like a Win-Win

      What are you waiting for?

    5. Agreed. Your cut n dry thief isn’t going to cut the power or (DING DING DING) smash the router. They had to have been watching or part of the groups extended contacts. I would let the cops do their work but wouldn’t at all be surprised if someone’s cousin or brother with a substance problem is behind this. That is either someone who did a LOT of homework for 5k worth of stuff they still have to pawn/fence.

      I am SUPER SORRY to hear this happened :( Sounds like a nice group. If I am able will be happy to toss some coins into the bucket :) Best of luck to them for the opening.

      ALSO:this sounds like a good sleuthing project for HaD users to patrol the local sales outlets and interwebs. We are known to spend an hour on DX to get a uC 35 cents cheaper haha. Hope they catch the culprit.

    6. somebody who knew what exactly was there and what was set up, definitely. The 3D printers weren’t taken because they won’t pawn as well as cordless tools will.

      Someone knew what was there either thru observation of stuff moving in, or in the loop as it was set up.

    7. Agreed. I wouldn’t expect a garden variety thief to “… find a blind spot in the parking lot camera’s coverage that allowed them to cut power to it. That gave them free rein to the front door, and once inside they killed the router to prevent the other camera from sending alerts or saving any images.”

      Damn shame, whoever took the stuff.

    1. What I would do is the setup that he has above, but actually hardwired. Have the antenna obvious, and when unscrewed turn off a light or something. That way people *think* that it’s disconnected, but it’s still running.

      1. Nope. That sounds nice but what you want is the opposite. You want them to think they are being observed whether they actually are or not.

        Sure… if you have been burgled it’s nice to have a picture or better yet a video to show the police. It’s much better to just not get stolen from in the first place!

        Here’s what I would do… make it hard. Run the wires through conduit or otherwise make them inaccessible. Make the cameras hard to access.. high up maybe? Make them visible. The most important part of a security camera… not the optics… not the ccd… the blinking LED! It would be great to have an internal battery backup in each camera. If not though… just put a battery on the LED. Worst case… mount a little box next to the camera with a blinking LED, a battery and a charging circuitry. Feed the charger off the camera’s power line. Even if they cut the wire they see the light is still blinking… they think the camera is on.. they give up and leave!

        1. More fun: build a light pipe into the camera and use a laser to light up the LED from somewhere else (like a wall or something). Or just put the camera inside, behind a window or something?

        2. I agree with most of what you said, except for the LED part. Have you looked at any security cameras lately? Most of the ones that have visible/blinking lights are the fake ones. And most thieves know this. Furthermore, a light on any real camera is basically confirmation of the camera being on or not, which is not something you want to advertise to a thief. As now they have something to confirm when they have cut the correct cord to shut it off.

    2. Problem solved:
      A shielded coaxial cable from source to router with a custom coupler box where the metal casing is GND and has both shields mounted to the metal casing as an RF shield then two antennas mounted 4mm at base and 16mm at top to account for multiple frequencies or the left side wire feed under the outgoing wire on the right separated by about 4mm?

      Experimentation will be needed. Though that then completely overthrows the point of Wireless, either way it is either security or convenience.

      ALT:
      Have had someone (preferably three people MIN) as guard, Cheap Piezo home-depo buzzer alarms would warn the guards whom would be waiting and ready with chains, wrenches, tools and my favorite: That awesome plastic handled hammer with a deadly controllable metal lump on the end I use to shatter the 6mm thick castings of the failed 3.5″ HDDs with.

    3. Funny you should bring up DEAUTH. A couple of friends of mine were just starting to play with that. You must be a “kindred spirit”, and maybe feel a little of our pain.

      You can get rid of that pain, with a quick visit to our Go Fund Me page. How much would it cost you to build a DEAUTH rig, then maybe send that amount to us, build the rig next month!

      Appreciate your kindness, thank you
      Tiger Moses
      Co-Founder The Humble Makers

    1. Watch yer attitude, or I’ll come smackederize you in the face, assailantize your body generally, and possibly murdererize you to death. That’ll learnedize you to thoughtize before you speakerize.

      1. Speakerize dem a gassin wen dem a put a soundboi unna DJ, Murderize dem soundboi, blazerise dem a blunt fer JAH when dem a herbalize inna place.

        Proper use of: Speakerize and Murderize.

        Y’all hear that speak a lot in genres of music like Raggatek, jungle, Pure-rave/breakbeat-rave, Raggae-dub, Roots-dubstep styles, etc….

      1. I usually call it a false pedanticism. It is truly a scourge upon society, for English is flexible and yet there are numerous valid pedantic corrections waiting to be made in the world. But they usually center on internal consistency rather than spelling or grammar.

    2. Whatever the word is for it there, and then its not (I thought it was abracadabra)

      Its till not there, but if you made a donation to make it appear (I thought it was abracadabra too) then the word will be ThankYou

      Tiger
      cofound The Humble Makers

  1. That IP camera might nog have a wire to cut, but take a pair of bolt cutters to the antenna and it is most likely just as dead just as quickly. A hammer to the front probably does a fine job too. In a pinch a post-it to the front will do. Restricting physical access is the only way to secure weak camera (not in a high end security enclosure) like that.

    I don’t know what the costs in the States are but I suspect for a relatively modest 5k in tools insurance for the place wouldn’t have cost an arm and a leg either (though any insurer most likely will demand that burglar alarm to be installed and proper “certified” security camera’s be mounted.)

    I can understand why thieves wouldn’t take the 3d printers, I highly doubt they are easy to resell.

    1. You’d be suprised. There have been heists where large numbers of 3d printers have been stolen from dutch manufacturers. Ebay has made fencing your ill gotten gains a lot easier.

    2. If you have a solution watching the cameras for motion event changes, and one disappears, be it hammer induced or dropping off the network because someone jammed the wifi/cut the cable etc, this should be a notification event in itself, and left to the operator notified to decide if it merits further investigation or not.

    3. Or spray paint. The point is that you need multiple cameras, ensuring complete coverage, ideally in difficult to reach places. However that is easily defeated by a mask until such time that a paintball hits the camera.

      Cameras are really only good to trigger the alarm. After that, don’t count on being able to use them for anything.

      A lost camera feed should also immediately trigger an alarm, along with the most recent video stream that was obtained.

  2. Or buy insurance like 99% of commercial lease agreements require… even if you are a nonprofit.

    We have video of crack heads scaling a 10′ barbwire fence covered in blackberry brambles to steal aluminum from the stock yard.
    Another time, they cut through a fence into a steel shipping container´ś wall to steal tools over a long weekend.

    It´s annoying, but you have to accept that it is a product of living in a large town.

    Good luck guys

      1. Probably not. Here in the Netherlands we’ve had several fatal accidents when criminals tried to steal “live” copper wire from power stations. Most criminals aren’t very clever.

    1. We had somebody break our door open and watch youtube videos of beanbags. He then tried to print it out, couldn’t, so he took a video of it on a tablet we had, then stole two screwdrivers.

    2. Property owners don’t generally require the occupant to insure the occupants property from theft. Property owner want to see themselves protect from liability, and their property protect from loss.

    1. We had both at the space, and the thieves stole them, and craftsman and other. Our guys weren’t brand snobs!
      All tools were from our personal collections, and even our non-power tools (screw drivers, wrenches, sockets, pliers…) were stolen, they only left one tool – A HARBOR FREIGHT HAMMER.

      Our address is one our website, please feel free to send us a Harbor Freight gift card, we have one less than a mile away! If that is not convenient, you could go to our Go Fund Me, and in your note ask us to spend your contribution at Harbor Freight, we’ll supply our own 20% off coupon, to increase the buying power of your generous donation!

      Thanks in advance for your support,
      Tiger Moses
      Co-founder The Humble Makers

    2. No. With (power) tools you certainly gets what you pays for. A 30$ No Brand scroll saw is fine if you do one or two jobs a year. But it probably has a duty cycle of 10% and will burn up rather quickly in a more demanding environment. The trick is to determine which tools you will use the most and then buy the best you can afford.

      1. Harbor Freight == Parkside over here (Lidl seasonal brand, Maybe elsewhere as well)

        Have a drill from there (Lidl, $28-ish USD), High discharge Li-ION 4.3v cells X4 == 16V for a good amount of power delivery,
        however the thing literally ripped itself apart. The bearings (Ceramic) ground down its casting (Aluminium) until one jammed whilst the sheer power into a large drill bit yanked on the axial and ripped it out. Still works, sorta. Just not for drilling as the chuck detaches from the gearbox.

        I may have to reinvent the firedrill: A flaming hot drill to drill a flaming hole in things. (Makes a good youtube video for all the wrong reasons as per: [link]????)

        1. My rule of thumb for HF tools is get them only if you will use them once or twice a year and NEVER buy power tools anything safety related. Almost everything they sell is JUNK. Crow bars, jacks, jack stands, power tools, soldering guns- forget it. They will break and hurt you or they will fall apart. If I walked into a makerspace and they had a lot of HF tools, I would walk right back out.
          Have you ever returned a crap tool to HF after it broke – they don’t even act surprised. I asked the manager one day and he admitted that they sold a lot of junk and stuff got returned everyday.
          Ryobi on the other hand are bullet-proof. I bought a Ryobi 18V cordless drill/driver over 17 years ago and it has built two decks, three chicken coops, two pigeon coops, and countless other stuff around the house and still going strong. I am going to gold plate that sucker and put it on my mantle when it finally dies.
          I bought a soldering gun from HF and it MELTED the first time I used it.

  3. Article mentions monitoring, this wouldn’t help in some cases I’m afraid.
    When I lived in the UK we had a ADT fitted, monitored and approved alarm solution put into our property and it had so many false alarms the police refused to attend to alarm events when notified of them by the monitoring centre. Including the one when someone broke into our garage and removed a number of tools, and the insurance refused to honor it as the police hadn’t been called. End result, us out of pocket completely.
    Now i have a home rolled solution with a lot of camera coverage and zoneminder with alerts to my own devices. I get to see a picture before calling other people to raise the balloon, and given the amount of photo’s of curious spiders near camera’s I have saved on my server, that false positive filtration was needed. Cameras that cover other cameras are useful too.
    Yes you can lower the chances of the spider etc false alarms, seperate IR floods from the cameras, mothballs etc, but this is part of post install tuning.

    1. Good idea for that, might be to have a cam feed, ideally with motorised cameras, available with a password over the Internet. Then let the police know, through whatever existing system they have for responding to alarm auto-calls. So they can log into a camera and have a quick look before they send anyone round. Particularly, the camera that set the alarm off, or whatever set the alarm off, should be brought to the police’s attention. If it’s a camera, then send them the image in question. If it’s a sensor, send them a link to the camera feed that’s overlooking that sensor.

      For privacy, configure your firewall to devnull requests to the cameras during the day. Of course you might want to log into your own cameras through the day… A solution to that, I suppose, a script to switch all the cameras’ passwords, to a night-time one when you leave, which the police have, then back to a daytime one which only you have.

      A lot of smart cams use web page interfaces, so maybe some Javascript would be up to the job.

      I wonder if security firms do this already? Maybe I’ll start a security business and make millions. If I can be arsed.

  4. Perhaps they could have two security systems for their Hackerspace?

    First there’s the obvious system with the signs and visible cameras, then there’s the not-so-obvious security system that can cover the first ones “blind spots” to watch for people casing the building. Maybe make it so the second system sends out an alert if the first system or its router is taken down.

    Granted it would take a lot more effort to build such a system though I think most of that effort would involve weather proofing for the cameras and hiding them and their cables…..

    1. This sounds like the type of thing that some smart and savvy collective of people could hack together. They’d need a space to do that though. Too bad such hacker spaces don’t exist.

  5. Ah, that’s shitty. Good luck with rebuilding folks. If it’s any consolation NESIT Makerspace’s been tossed three times. The latter two of them with increasingly professional security systems in place.

    It took a while to find an outfit for the monitored security system that was worth the price. Shop around on both price and services.. they’re not necessarily coupled. Having other outfits in the same building that monitor their area of the building helps as well.

  6. I don’t see any mention of small business insurance? Or did they only get liability coverage? Or did coverage not start yet? Either way, the other way to make a burglary a non-event is to have insurance coverage on any assets you can’t afford to replace at a moment’s notice.

      1. Mike,
        Tiger from the actual space, and I just read that Insurance article, its so on point. I wish people would read it before telling us what we should have done.

        Thanks for the ‘spiritual and intellectual’ support

  7. One covets that which they see. Be it a delivery man, a contractor, or a member, it WAS someone that saw what they wanted. Likely also saw there were no cams. It’s someone that had a good look. Check anyone that drops membership early. Wander the local pawn shops a bit… lots of lowlife get caught through that avenue and just a few members browsing could crack it.

    No serial numbers either? How about at least pics of them? This IS the age of smartphones with cam. Some of those things will make a nice addition to a garage… others sold… but no serial numbers recorded.

    1. If you have a list of serial numbers “offsite” for all you items at home (cause you don’t want them coming in and stealing your computer with serial number spreadsheet), you are awesome!

      These were all items from the three of us founders, on loan, and when the space made some money and could buy their own, we’d take our home. They only time in my life where I have gotten stolen property back is when I found it on ebay, and yes I had serial number because I had original box.

      We never had a delivery man, we hauled it all from our garages.
      Didn’t get first member until 2 days later.
      Contractor had never been inside, just cable guys looking at poles outside.

      We have day jobs, so we go after work for 4-6 hours, then go home. So from 10pm to 4pm next day – no one there, as we are only tenant at this time.

      It was just a series of unfortunate events at an unfortunate time for us.

      There were cams, they broke power wire to outside cam, and then disable our internet, so inside couldn’t communicate.
      We have side view of black van that was probably involved, but no plates.

      We just had some piss poor luck, but you could go to our Go Fund Me, make a donation and even suggest what we should spend it on!

      1. Seems obvious that someone was watching you haul all that stuff in, and they observed where you installed the outside camera.

        Did your inside camera cache photos to the hard drive before uploading? Had to be people knowledgeable about internet security systems, and confident that cutting the phone or cable line plus disconnecting the network cable inside would stop any pictures getting uploaded. If I was going to clean a place out, I’d make sure to grab all the electronics.

        This illustrates a problem with relying on someone else’s computer to store your data. A system that stores the video locally, with the storage in a very secure cabinet* that’s bolted to floor and wall, preferably with bolts only accessible *after* opening the door, and with cameras in protective housings plus all hard wired inside conduit – that would be the best. Back that up by uploading a copy of the video to elsewhere when an alarm condition is triggered.

        *At least 1/16″ thick steel with a welded on, full length piano hinge on the door plus keyed locks no more than 12″ apart. Don’t want a thief to be able to pry open a gap large enough to get an arm in to pull cables or turn things off.

  8. All that security stuff is nice, but the traditional way to handle this is to have insurance. The main problem I’ve seen with these sorts of things is that the people starting them tend towards idealism and have little business experience. I’m sure that is generally improving as this idea has matured.

  9. So it’s a industrial building and nobody living there?

    If door opened without key -> indoor smoke bomb. Inexpensive and fast. You can not steal what you cannot see.

    Also: Alarm should send “all ok” and absence of this should trigger action.

    1. Such smoke systems are commercially avaible, but i think the local fire brigade will appreciate if you inform them about. Not only they may be called for a “fire” that isn’t one (and maybe you will have to pay for a false alarm) but they might meet some not so friendly (read: possibly dangerous) people while trying to find where all this smoke come from…

      1. Actually rather than a paint bomb, you can get some nano-stuff in a bomb, that sticks to thieves and is impossible to remove all trace of. It’s used to prove people were at the crime scene, once you’ve caught them.

  10. Alarm systems are a rather complex topic, you have to consider a lot of things:
    -your budget
    -do you want to protect against some little local criminal or organized gangs or the NSA?
    -does your insurance request some specific material to be installed (and/or that a certified guy does the installation maybe (for $$$))
    -can you (and do you want…) put cables trough your house
    -…..

    I think wired is always better than wireless (except of course fails like running sensitive cable OUTSIDE the house and no tamper-protection) and for a hackerspace some visible cables shouldn’t be a problem, but maybe you can’t drill holes in the walls (because you are only a renter). Also you should have a really good look to see if there a any security problems known with the system (alarm or cameras) you want to install (or in a hackerspace buy some stuff and try out yourself!), the results can be quite scary. Have a look here for example http://cybergibbons.com/security-2/csl-dualcom-cs2300-signalling-unit-vulnerabilities/ or search for talks from the usual conferences (Defcon and so on).

    Also cameras are not a replacement for physical security. Even if you have a HD-video of the bad guys you stuff will be gone. Motion detection and live alerts are a nice thing but somebody has to be there REALLY quick (at least for homes where burglaries can be really quick) and also needs the courage to be in front of people with bad intentions. Yes, in the US you may have a gun but the burglars also may have one!

    I don’t know how the situation is in the US and a hackerspace is not a house, but here in Europe the police say that most (not all!) criminels will quit really quick if there can’t get in, so at least for these people a solid door and windows can be enough. Also, as said in the article, some police stations offer that somebody come in your house to advise you on stuff like this.

    For a simple alarm system you can (expect maybe because of legal stuff with insurance) do it yourself and in this case remember the kis-principle: keep it simple!! Some switches and some relays and a loud alarm and strong light can be enough. An IoT-thing with 10 arduinos and 3 RaPi is nice but worthless if it doesn’t work the day it’s needed because something is down in the cloud… Also for private homes where (hopefully) only trustworthy people can enter some(!) security trough obscurity can work, because the burglar won’t be able to get access to the system to analyze it before his burglar (in contrast to commercial hardware you can buy and analyze easely and with a lot of time at your home). In a hackerspace where a lot of people can enter it’s another story though.

    Good luck to the guys from the Hackerspace and “möge die Einbrecher beim Scheissen der Blitz treffen!” as some people say in german(y) (difficult to translate, something like: may the lightning strike the burglars while they are pooping!)

    sorry for bad english…

  11. whoa, they actually calculated a blind spot in the cameras, cut the power to the router + security system and then went in?!

    this seems ridiculously planned out for a burglary – is this kind of effort common to thieves in america??

    1. Yeah, because three people is a large number of friends, cousins, friends of friends, and friends of cousins. They ask a few innocent or “concerned” sounding questions, and nobody notices.

  12. this is the very reason that hard drugs like meth and heroin needs to be legalized and decriminalized and even made for sale by state or federal controlled stores then no need to steal for money to pay.

      1. i am looking at the prohibition side when the 1930s came and alcohol was banned then a similar thing happened

        the most expensive property then was cars so cars was being stolen to buy moonshine.

        now that alcohol is legal the worse crime is making moonshine and that is to avoid the tax.

        1. and people still steal to get money for booze because they drank themselves out of a job. Legalization and decriminalization stop many ills, but it doesn’t stop the crime from the addicts as prices don’t really drop that much. Here where weed is legal, it’s not much cheaper than before. Especially if you were involved with any growers co-op.

          the only crime you make a difference in is the suppliers side. But that’s not anywhere near the lions’ share of “drug related crime” committed.

          Broken people will commit crimes to feed whatever need they have. Addiction and destructive behavior doesn’t change or care what’s legal or what isn’t sadly.

  13. Why would I donate money to people too cheap, or stupid, or both to insure their business? Any security system can be defeated. That is what insurance is for.

    1. Hi Mike.

      Insurance companies are used to normal. The Makerspace, isn’t a home, and its not really a business, as it has no employees. The paperwork that identifies the space as a non-profit, therefore making that an entity, was enroute, then that would be easier to establish accounts and such. The alarm system was already ordered, but though we decide “we’re ready today” installer will tell you ‘we’ll be there about 10 days later between the hours of 10 to 4’. I’m one of the 3 guys starting the makerspace, with our own tools and money, and business property has a rate it likes to go for, didn’t matter we are for a good cause, so cheaper property is not always in the best ‘places’.

      There are gun stores down here that have people crash their trucks into to break the iron bars and such, and 8-10 people run in, leave with as much as they can carry. And there are people who steal from the box where you put your money for candles in a church.

      We also got a lot of kick back from insurance companies because we plan to have 24 hour access for members, who could come in unsupervised, so we got turned down or got quoted some crazy high numbers.

      So we weren’t to cheap, but we have a limit to our funding. We aren’t stupid, we’re all educated, and stupid people don’t make makerspaces, you should know that. We already had our “incase someone cuts off their thumb or falls down the stairs insurance” in place, so we know about insurance, we just hadn’t completed the process.

      This was like you buy a new car, driving home the dealer, and someone without insurance rear ends you at the stop sign, and drives away very fast. No matter what policy you have it totally sucks, and it not your fault, and the car will never feel like a new car after that.

      And if we got insurance on a Monday and robbed on a Wednesday, do they even cover that? Can you make a claim that quick?

      *****
      Some Hackaday readers have already shown support through our Go Fund Me – thank you so very much. Every little bit counts, because none of the articles detail the level of theft. They took every single regular tool besides one hammer. They took our containers of screws, fans, mini fridge, jigs, accessories, drone, arduinos and Pi’s, screw drivers, wrench, pliers..we just happy they didn’t also vandalize, that would have broken our spirit too much to keep the idea going. But we already have our first member, and we are representing “the maker community” this weekend at a school makerfaire. We’re keeping the dream alive, and again, it because of the kindness of like mind individuals!

      PS: Who said it up there, they stole our Harbor Freight stuff too!

      Tiger Moses
      Co-Founder The Humble Makers

        1. You would think so, but look at all the churches that need funds for a new roof! Why does god let the rain in? And lightening conductors, why, have these people no faith?

    1. The stuff, was INSIDE, they took it OUTSIDE, then put it INSIDE their van.

      Now look INSIDE your wallet, take your credit card OUTSIDE of it, go to our GO FUND ME, linked INSIDE the article, and send us $10 and we’ll get a tool to put INSIDE the makerspace!

      Thanks in advance for your kindness and generosity!
      Tiger

  14. First… this was an inside job.

    A local crook didn’t hear that a new hackerspace or makerspace or whatever they called themselves was opening up and know what that is and that such a place has tools. People who aren’t in to that don’t know about it! When I tell people I’m going to a hackerspace or makerspace they always ask me “what is that?”! Yes, even today!

    As for the means of disabling the cameras… sounds perfectly reasonable to one of us. This is not the kind of technical expertise normally found in the burglar community. Smash it with a baseball bat if you can reach, throw a rock if you can’t. Kill the router? WTF is a router?

    Second…

    Bad advice found here.

    Everyone seems to want to help them to beef up their burglar photographing studio. So… is this a hackerspace or a bated trap for thieves? Do they want to not get burgled again or do they want lots of pictures do go with their loss next time? Do you think they are going to get clear, quality pictures that their friendly neighborhood policeman automatically recognizes as the local repeat troublemakers? Do they expect all their stuff to be found safe and sound in said troublemakers’ garages and quickly returned to them?

    Cameras that take good quality pictures… even at night… even of people sneaking around, not posing for the camera… EXPENSIVE! Enough of them to cover all angles… TOO EXPENSIVE! Would it do any good? Maybe… if someone recognizes them… and they aren’t wearing ski masks or something… Then what If you do identify the crooks? How much damage was done while removing your stuff? How much has already been pawned, resold and is irretrievable? How long will it all be locked up as evidence? Do the police even care?

    So.. you managed to catch one billionth of a percent of the criminal population and get them locked up for a year or two. Meanwhile your hackerspace has no stuff and goes out of business. What an accomplishment!

    Ok.. so here’s some better advice.

    Lots of cameras! But.. affordable ones. Horror Freight for the win! Make sure to run the wires such that they are not easily accessible. You don’t want a burglar cutting them.. not because you care about the picture.. it sucks too much to be useful anyway. You don’t want it cut because you don’t want the thief to THINK they succeeded in blinding you. Putting a cage around the camera might be a good idea too. You don’t want anyone thinking they just crippled your security by throwing a brick.

    Finally.. the secret sauce for those Horror Freight cameras…

    Add a blinky LED!!

    There it is! Your mighty hackerspace defending weapon… the LED! From every angle one may approach your space.. a blinking light. Make that thing look like a firefly love shack! And wherever the eye is invariably drawn to the blink.. it sees a camera staring back. Non-inside jobs… a thing of the past for sure!

    Of course inside jobs… all you can do is chose your acquaintances carefully and hope for the best. Maybe later, when you aren’t so drowned in startup costs and actually have some members you can afford to hide a few actual quality cameras and get your heart broken when your best friend steals your shit.

    1. and even clear, precise photos of perp’s faces doesn’t mean squat. If they’re not “local” or not known to local LEOs all you can try to do is post photos and hope Big Internet helps you out. But then pointing fingers and demanding arrests based on internet photos won’t do well in court. Especially if the police aren’t the ones posting the photos and sharing them hoping some leads will come in.

      the best winning move, is not to allow thieves to play. Failing that, Cover Your @ss with insurance.

      auto repair places get robbed for their tools every day. Independent contractors get their vans, trailers and storage units violated regularly. A sad sign of the times, Id not expect a makerspace to be treated any different. Prepare for the worst.

      1. The best winning move is to have your camera/sensor solution notify you in real time of any salient events, loss of power, loss of cam, loss of broadband (switch to 4g alerting) etc and then you can assess and sort it. Yes you need some physical security, but its there to slow people down enough to give you time to react, not resist a whole weekend.

        Heavy doors, locks and physical security slow people down, but they don’t stop a determined theif. I had a friend who owned a small motorcycle shop, and after the insurance refused to cover him as he kept having his tools taken we constructed masses of extra security, stout steel doors with 1/4″ plate steel lock boxes on the INSIDE only accessible from the interior, locking bolts made from fork stanchions in steel bolt sliders, fitted a alarm with shrieker etc. The scum came back one weekend and broke in by cutting a hole through the roof, then from upstairs through the celing of the showroom at 11pm, the neighbors ignored the alarm for 30 minutes while they did this and smashed off the panel and exterior siren, then for the next 7 hours ignored the grinding and hammering through the night while the theives ground out and crowbarred off our work on the rear doors, prised a floor safe out a reinforced concrete well in the floor containing petty cash, peeling the 1/4 plate lock boxes apart weld by weld, cut heavy chain securing bikes down to floor anchors then finally made away with his stock/customers bikes and tools.
        If that alarm had sent him a message, scary helpful people would have stopped that.
        Best thing I did for security personally, move away from that entire area.

        1. After all that effort I think the thieves deserve the money. Sorry! You did your heavy engineering, and they did theirs!

          Just complete speculation, but there’s still criminal gangs ride round on motorbikes, right? And they’re handy with a set of tools, from working on bikes. Cos the average window-brick thrower wouldn’t have been able to do that impressive (sorry again!) job of breaking in.

          At the point where insurance won’t cover you, and security devolves into Scrapheap Challenge, I think the only sensible thing to do is give up and go somewhere far away.

          Talking of which, that’d make a hell of a gameshow, one team has to secure a site, the other has to break in. With heavy power tools and concrete. Possibly using stuff from a scrapyard, I haven’t decided that yet.

          1. Actually it wasn’t bike gang related, it was the local druggies/pretend hardmen “with a reputation to protect” amongst the local sticky fingered community who our hardening attempts had been seen as a challenge. I know this because some people hunted them down and caught them, obtained a confession and had them show them where the goods were stored then recovered said goods and handed the perps to the police who were desperately playing catch up all day before someone got killed, whereupon they got off with a community service order, 5 years to pay a trivial amount every week fine and tried to bring a private prosecution for kidnap and battery. After that case flopped they and their friends all decided it was safer to not return to the shop in future, and some of them left the court and packed a bag and left town immediately in sudden recognition of the error of their ways.

            I could break into my workshop/house trivially with the stuff around outside (by trivial, I mean hotwiring the backhoe and smashing a new access hole through the main wall, criminals don’t care what they wreck in the process only that they get stuff to sell for pennies on the dollar to spend), but the point is I’d have to do it while being encouraged not to by someone after one of the zones reports movement to them in realtime so I’d have a small window to get that done and get away with the spoils, and thats assuming there isn’t any hidden mantraps that might slow me down.

  15. On the topic of a security system, isn’t the point deterrence?

    Cameras, deter by the prospect of identification, defeated with a face mask/hammer etc.
    Monitored Alarms, deter because someone might catch you before you leave if the response time is acceptable.
    Lights, deter because you might be seen doing something.
    A Fence with barbed wire etc. (I recall some companies planting roses and thorn bushes around their perimeter to discourage people in those spots, far more elegant than a metal fence etc.)

    However I remember seeing someone on youtube and for the life of me I can’t find the video but after having thieves break into the business for the 3rd or 5th time. (in one case they used a saw to cut the door below some sort of bar blocking the door and ignored the initial alarms etc. The owner took a more pragmatic route after that.

    They put in something like a 160db+ siren, simple motion and mag sensors on the doors and windows etc, hardwired and not monitored, installed the sounding unit in a hard to access place and attached it to a battery backup of like 2+ deep cycle batteries that would run it for hours. The idea being that the sheer noise would announce the attempted theft and be so loud that if you tired to stay inside you would need to leave due to the pain involved.

    From what I can recall it worked.

    1. If you add a smoke bomb and a flashing stroboscope no burglar would be able to do anything. In fact they would find it hard to find their way back out. This is actually used to secure jewellers and such from “smash and grab” attempts.

  16. One solution, 24/7 operation. Great for night owls!
    The other, residential combined with retail and light industrial. If someone was camping out at the space…
    Some zoning laws contribute to crime and decay.

    1. lasers.

      sufficiently powerful lasers should solve every Maker’s problem, right? :) Failing that, sufficiently high voltage.

      But sadly in today’s world, thieves encountering such hazards would sue and WIN regardless of how much of an attempt you put in to “protect” thieves from such consequences.

      1. just a thought about lasers, high voltage, automatic shooting guns and stuff like this against burglars: imagine there is a fire (or a broken water pipe or something like this) and a firemen enters the building… what will happen? (or even an authorised member of the hackerspace that forget to disarm the system or the system has a malfunction)

    2. “If someone was camping out at the space…”

      I was once involved in an attempt to start up a hackerspace. We never really got off the ground but I remember reading that people who ran existing hackerspaces all recommended against letting anyone spend the night. 24×7, yes but no sleeping. Once someone starts sleeping over problems crop up.

      “One solution, 24/7 operation. ”

      Actually having active members there doing their things 24×7 is probably going to take either a lot of members or particularly active members with no outside lives. In other words… that just may be what protects many established hackerspaces but not so easy to accomplish at startup.

  17. Hmmm… Maybe take some time to hack a toolroom into existence. I’m thinking about pouring a concrete form for walls and using the door+frame off an old large gunsafe as the entrance bolted to the concrete. It could be done. Expensive in time but not necessarily money. I’d like to see a bunch of thieves try to break into that.

    1. Concrete walls wouldn’t be hard at all to break through with a sledge. And… with this room being internal to the space nobody would even see the pounding!

      Short of a bank vault I can’t imagine what kind of room could keep people out once they have the privacy of being inside the main building.

  18. Sorry to hear about the burglary. This often happens with work sites. I friend lost all his tools just when he finished building his house. Commercial worksites have taken to using sophisticated portable surveillance systems. The key is to make it less likely to happen again. I would start with lots of cheap cameras including several dummy ones. That makes it look like a lot of work to disable them. Secondly I would fit a couple of simple but very loud alarms, preferably with independent cellular notification to yourself but that is only a nice to have. The alarms could be triggered by movement around the tools or when a door physically opens. Nothing complicated, just a switch, battery and loud alarm. That limits the time available for theft. Then I would secure the tools when not in use. Maybe you could obtain a large old safe? Burglars would not want to take the time to break in. Finally a good hacker project would be to modify the tools to require authorization to work, maybe an rfid system. You would need to put up large signs to make it clear that the tools had been modded. Burglars simply wouldn’t want to take the time to remove the mod, so long as they know about it. They just want to quickly sell the tools. I actually have a patent applied for that builds ownership details into devices in an unalterable way using blockchain but that is a larger systemic solution that requires tool manufacturers to use the technology.

  19. Really? they stole a laser cutter?

    I’m sorry, but a thief isn’t taking odd-ball stuff like that. They need to flip things quickly… power tools, TVs, tablets/laptops/phones, cash. etc.

    Definitely an inside job IMO.

    (My background: my previous home HAS been burglarized once… it’s an extremely awful feeling… invading. and yes, cameras and beefier locks/deadbolts were set up afterwards)

    1. They stole the classic eBay Chinese laser cutter ~$400

      To them it probably looked like a NASA $10000 machine they could make a few hundred on. What’s sad is that device, we have the USB dongle, so it work for anyone, is going to thrown in a dumpster.

      My laptop they stole, has a bad screen, but we had it hooked to monitor, and they left power supply. It’s not going to turn on, boom in dumpster. The are going to trash things that were very useful, maybe not big dollar, but going to trash.

      If it had a power cord the took it, didn’t need to know what it was when they took it, they figure that out at home

      1. “What’s sad is that device, we have the USB dongle, so it work for anyone, is going to thrown in a dumpster.”

        No, the $400 laser cutter won’t work for anyone until the controller is replaced with something like a smoothie…

  20. When I read the article at first, I only felt very bad for the people trying to start a hackerspace only to have it ruined by someone trying to make a quick buck.
    However, reading it and all the comments a second time (as well as the comments that are new), a new theory formed in my head. It is most likely a very unpopular theory, but it seems plausible. This theory might be very far off, but it might also be spot on. Or, as is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in between. Decide for yourselves… I really hope that I am far off with this, but fear that I might not be…

    So here’s the theory: It was an inside job by one or all of the founders. All the “facts” make them seem like they couldn’t be the perpetrator, as the tools are/were theirs to begin with. If we consider other motives, however, this changes. What, if this was a PR-stunt to have an easier pitch for their gofundme campaign? Crowd funding campaigns are getting more common and that makes it harder to distinguish your campaign from others. A good sob story is always easier to sell, this means that blogs are more likely to publish your story. Also, you are instantly celebrated as the heroes having overcome great challenges. From this point of view, the inside job doesn’t sound as far fetched anymore. Obviously, this would explain details like the burglars knowing blind spots and which cable to remove – assuming at least one founder is in the dark.

    Again, I would like to make absolutely clear that this is 100% conjecture. It is meant as food for thought, nothing more and nothing less.

    1. You can ally your fears by simply asking for the police report number and department it was filed with. They’re usually public after 10 days. Criminals do not file such reports.

    2. We are open, we are taken members. Why rent a big space, and then go public, “hey we’re a new makerspace, with no tools?”

      There are pit bulls on GFM that asked for $10K and got $17k, if we were scammers, be a lot easier to beat up a dog then your “theory”.

      I’ve read the article at least twice, author never ask anyone to solve crime or design a security system for us, don’t know why everyone wants do that.

      What is nice is people who understand what a makerspace is, and appreciates three big nerds trying to make it happen, and they have an opportunity now to help us in small way or large way. And we thank everyone of them

      Tiger

  21. Thanks for the write-up Dan. And a huge THANK YOU to all of you that have since donated after seeing the article.

    I cannot properly describe the feeling of seeing the door ripped open and knowing whatever happens and is seen next is going to be horribly gut-wrenching. The past month of setup has felt like a year. For me, from Thursday night after work through Sunday evening – I was either at the space, or home to sleep for a few hours. Unloading tools, electronics, tables, chairs; building work benches, shelves, a website; writing up policy drafts, bylaws, deciding on membership levels and add-ons. To see the commitment of our personal time, money, and other resources stolen from us was, and still is, devastating.

    Several of you are quick to decide “it was an inside job!” And, if I’m being completely honest, the thought did cross my mind. But all the time, money, blood, and sweat I had put into our ‘space was even less than the other two co-founders have done. We had searched for months. Looking for the right location to lease space took time. We had countless phone calls, meetings, planning sessions…all preparing to create something to fill a gap in our community. Through all this time and our friendships, I can say I truly believe it was not an inside job. If you believe me, or not, is up to you. But we have seen the pain of what was lost, surprise of specific items taken, and how the space was accessed in each other’s eyes. Oddly enough, I’m more hurt by the loss of several Raspberry Pi projects I was working on than I am over the loss of my laser cutter. Yes…MY laser cutter, paid for out of my pocket back in November, months before we even had a space. Without an insurance payout, why would we – the 3 co-founders starting something for, in, and with the community – take the exact same thing away? I could have just taken my laser cutter home. This goes for literally every piece of equipment that was stolen.

    We immediately contacted the police. There is an ongoing investigation, they have the serial numbers we had (which, honestly, wasn’t many), and we are checking CraigsList and Facebook Marketplace multiple times a day.

    Yes, we contacted the local news station, but this was not a publicity stunt. We were on the verge of quitting. The thought of having to break our lease and explain to friends and family why we had given up on our vision was another very emotional blow. But we decided, unanimously – mere hours after our sanctuary had been violated – to push on. We would open, as planned. Continue with planning the classes. Continue advertising about who we are, what we’re doing, and why…even if that meant starting at an even greater deficit than we had planned for. The very next day a stranger to us stopped by to help us clean-up. He had heard about the makerspace opening in the area, then further about the burglary. To further show his support and belief in our vision, he immediately pulled out his wallet and paid a first-month’s membership dues. This is when we realized that since we were for the community, if we could let more of the community know – there may be others out there willing to help.

    The GoFundMe was not our idea. You can find multiple posts on Facebook where people in our community asked us specifically for the fundraiser. It never even crossed our minds. I have seen too many things that look like scams on their platform, but people know it, trust it, and asked for it. Since then, we are at $1,163 of the $5,000, but even bigger than that has been the outpouring of help from our local community. Several people have donated tools. Friends, family, widows, neighbors – all who see our vision, understand our pain, and want to see something like this succeed. In fact, we did not create the GoFundMe campaign until the day after the segment ran on the news. Had we done so, we would have asked for that to be included in the segment.

    If anyone has further question, feel free to reply to this comment or contact us through FB or our website.

    And again, we truly thank those of you who understand the vision of the makerspace and have shown support – be it verbally or monetarily.

    Thank you,
    Jeremy Southard, Co-Founder
    The Humble Makers
    http://TheHumbleMakers.org
    https://www.facebook.com/TheHumbleMakers/

    1. An inside job doesn’t mean one of you three did it, but possibly someone who knew about the place from one of you. I know geeks like to talk about their projects. The thing with cutting Internet access and disabling cameras etc sounds like somebody with some technical knowledge.

      Probably in a while it’ll occur to you who the likely candidate is.

  22. Thanks for reminding me we don’t live in a perfect world; I just went out and locked my shed.

    I moved here about 9 months ago and have left my shed/workshop unlocked with all my tools, supplies and partially finished projects in it. It’s a nice neighborhood and they tell crime is low, but not completely unheard of. Often the worst part of having stuff stolen, even more so than losing the stuff, is the feeling of being violated.

  23. Whilst cameras are a reasonable deterrent, decent ones that take an identifiable picture aren’t cheap.

    My personal preference for protecting a space is a regular alarm system (you can get DSC kits for less than $200) with plenty of PIRs, and loads of internal sirens. Put a peizo’s screeching out 100+ dB right near items of value, making it loud enough to be an area denial weapon. You can also use a couple of different screamers too so that it warbles and pulses, it’s completely disorienting.

    Good thing is thieves generally wont use earplugs because it reduces their situational awareness.

  24. I’m sorry to hear they were robbed, but the level of self advertising for the GoFundMe in the comments by Tiger just puts me off.

    The skeptic in me feels this was a “robbery” used to boost the funds of the space due to the constant pimping of the crowd funding campaign in most of Tiger’s comments and replies.

    Yes, I know that is highly unlikely to be the case (but you never can tell), but as lots of commentators have mentioned this does sound like an inside job. Much like the time a previous employer was robbed, where the thieves knew the exact time that no one would be onsite, the shortest route to the DC and which exact racks all the shiny new Cisco gear was in.

    1. It’s Tiger again…

      Have you watch the news story, where I have a few lines? They had just asked me why we’re called the “Humble” (with an H you hear) because we are in the town of Humble (with a silent H). They stick a portion of my answer in.

      I’m just making the best of a worst situation. We are three guys who took all our personal stuff, put it in a ‘property’ that we had to pay for [standard first and last months rent], to get what benefit? I don’t watch cop dramas, so I’m not sure how an inside job makes any sense. If you look at our website, we built the work benches and such, we’d really work that hard to accomplish what? See, there isn’t a company, there was a building with our stuff in it. For all we know, we could have gotten robbed twice or three times. The original robbery, doors left open, sun comes up, someone drops by and sees no one home, no cars, all this stuff just sitting there, and they come back with a friend, and take some more.

      If you watch the news clip (remember those people don’t know tech) when they talk about the laser, they show our Shapeoko 3 CNC (the emtpy space on right is where computer was). They didn’t take the CNC because it looked like something under construction. Look at a CTC printer on line, it too looks like it was something under construction.

      If we were ‘faking it’ wouldn’t saying they stole our CNC and 3D printer too make a even more tragic story, and raise the loss number to over $6500?

      Go look in your house and garage, plan your own inside job, how much physical work would it take, where would you put it, what would you do with it, cause you couldn’t bring it back home a neighbor would spill the beans. How much do you think it would be worth, and then figure whatever the rest is so that you benefit somehow.

      Oh, while you are in your garage,see if you have two philips screw drivers? We have none, because somebody took ours, so maybe you could get our address of our website and send us your extra philips screw driver. You could even put a note inside that says “screw you” because you think it would be funny, we won’t care because someone just donated a old used screw driver.

    1. Depressingly I know of places that had their dogs stolen, because a properly trained guard dog has a resale value. They think they were darted because they were already trained not to take meat that might be laced with sedative.

      1. Bit ironic, a stolen guard dog. You’d think useless by definition. Where I lived once somebody stole the security camera from the hall, obviously wasn’t doing a good job.

  25. Most talk about an inside job but, here at least, it’s standard practice for criminals to take cams offline, kill or jam routers, bypass complete alarm zones even circumvent supervised DVACS lines or cell backup. They are not so dumb as many think, they also use technology as a tool.

  26. It sounds like you’re all in tune with the usual steps you need to take. Here’s a secondary solution to help recover your goods should they ever be stolen again. Put one of these:

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gps+tracker (i havent researched which are best but it looks like there are a lot of options to choose from)

    In something like a gutted x-box or ps4…or something big enough but easy enough to steal and something that could easily be sold at any pawn shop. Then for the SIM card that sends the updates over the cell tower:

    https://www.amazon.com/Prepaid-Card-Tracking-Devices-Locators/dp/B01HE3V7UW/ref=sr_1_14?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1493964417&sr=1-14&keywords=gps+tracker

    I’ve used those sim cards in my diy security system (to dial out should hard lines be cut) and they work great for $5 a month.

    what this will do is not only show you exactly where your stuff has ended up but provide you with a bread crumb trail.

    You could even get creative and rig a charger into the gutted electronic device you’re using so it’s being charged all the time when plugged in.

  27. Insurance is best described as, legalised fraud.
    Cameras are easily defeated by technology such as balaclavas, either 3 or 1 hole design.
    Live with your equipment and be prepared to kill to protect it, once that has (almost) happened, word travels and people leave you and yours alone.
    Oh and bury mobile phones deep in the bowels of your vehicles, should they get “lost” you can go and “find” them.

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