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Workshop Break in

Workshop Break in

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Kevin Bennett29/12/2013 20:59:30
193 forum posts
56 photos

Hi all the Police have just left after doing a 2 hour statement as some thieving F****** ?? Ba***** ?? has nicked my Clarke compressor from my workshop over night . I have very good security I think I had 2 good locks but apparently not

they lifted it over a 5 foot gate all I can say is I hope it chokes them.

all the things I want to do the police say I cannot do as I will have to do time in the nick even carpet gripper on the fence

the strange thing is it was the only thing that was taken all my other left tools off to the DIY store for more security bits and bobs

any suggestions

_Paul_29/12/2013 21:27:37
543 forum posts
31 photos

Bummer, strange only one specific item, pinched to order?

Wickes have 120w Security lights for £7

Cheap cordless alarm or fake alarm box and or cameras real of fake.


Bazyle29/12/2013 21:28:32
6324 forum posts
222 photos

Comiserations - that is a really miserable thing to have happen over the holiday period.
Here is a piece of text I prepared originally for another forum but never posted when the thread degenerated into a load of gun talk.

Section 1

Starting outside in the road the absence of a car in your drive might show you are out, removes the physical block to opening the garage door once that puny lock is broken, and allows a big van to park there hiding the act of breaking the lock and shovelling your stuff straight into the back.
A neighbour might agree to park in your drive when you are on holiday.

Moving to the side gate into the back yard is it easy to climb? Horizontal bars, boards or frames make handy footholds that close vertical boards prevent. Even the hasp and padlock on the outside at waist height are a convenient step. An open top, even at 6ft is no barrier – 8 to 10ft is more like it. A flimsy structure up above the gate may be better than a rigid one that acts as a climbing frame. Having established that glass shards and barbed wire is not legal in some countries get a thorny rose to climb over the frame.

Now walking down the path one of crunchy gravel is off-putting to an intruder trying to keep quiet. However some paving stones are valuable if made to rock by ¼ inch, biased one way. Fit a contact switch (magnetic = waterproof) under the stone and something like a flower pot or kids toy “randomly” on the down end to encourage the intruder to step over onto the tipping end.

Magnetic switches can be placed under pots, toys, and tools that might be kicked aside, or attached to ‘twigs’ sticking out of a bush, all to detect the presence of an intruder before damage is done.

Closer to the shed roses, thorns, pyrocantha and similar shrubs provide barriers to funnel visitors to a protected route.

The shed itself needs to be a bit more than flimsy weatherboard. Outside 4 in mesh ‘hog wire’ stapled every 6 inches holds the boards together making removal more difficult while looking like it was just put there for that thorny rose to climb over. Inside the layers of insulation and lining also add to the difficulty of hacking through the wall. Don’t forget the roof which is often a weak point and if possible go for corrugated iron with some bolts right through inside to big washers.

The window, if you must have one, needs some 2 in weldmesh but then arrange a simple external hinged shutter too. Now we start on the decoys. Make the shutter latch just a toggle, no lock. When opened, a magnetic switch can set the alarm off without any damage having been done. If it had been locked it would have just been another thing to repair without having actually prevented entry.

Now we have got to the door. Not the pathetic panel on so many garden sheds. Build a strong frame and a solid door. If the door opens inwards put a screen door on the outside even if you don’t need it.(that’s a fine mesh door to stop flies that has become less common now we all have aircon). This screen door is another trap having no lock it has to be opened before trying to break the real door – and it sets off the alarm.

If your door opens outwards the screen doesn’t fit so put a simple hinged bar across the door with a padlock hasp. It looks like you fitted it as extra security but forgot to put the padlock on today – move it and off goes that alarm.

Bazyle29/12/2013 21:40:22
6324 forum posts
222 photos

Secton 2
We are finally at the door itself. It has a nice tempting lever handle – push that down and what happens is anything other than open the door. Pull it and it comes right off in your hand also releasing alarm contacts. You had a rubbish 4 lever lock on the door? Leave it on, locked, but saw off the actual bolt and leave the key ‘hidden’ under a flower pot. If picked or unlocked the back end of the bolt can bear against a switch.

So with handle and lock as decoys how is the door held? Well you’re an engineer aren’t you? Make a 4 or 6 point linked bolt mechanism holding all 4 sides. So where is the handle to operate that mechanism? Not on the door of course. Universal joints or bowden cables connect somewhere less obvious where there isn’t even a handle. The handle is removable and is normally stored as the handle on a broken umbrella in the hall cupboard. That handle if fitted and rotated normally does nothing as the way the lock works is to connect the handle to the bolt mechanism. Fit a 5 or 6 lever lock somewhere with a non obvious keyhole hidden behind a bird feeder or light fitting. The key isn’t just as provided. Weld it to a 6 in extension and set the lock well out of range of normal lock picking kit. If you happen across an old cylinder lock mechanism put it in the door too but no need to actually connect it to anything. Just something for the would be intruder to waste time on.
If you go away for a few days pile some old bits of timber, logs etc and the old wheelbarrow agains the door to make it look like it isn't used anyway. Or perhaps a garden table piled with pots.

Inside there is the obvious PIR sensor.

So far all these alarms have to be turned off to gain legitimate entry and might accidently be left off. Inside you can have another couple of permanent circuits. One on a cupboard you rarely need to open. If that cupboard door is glass or mesh to show that inside is something tempting then so much the better. Arrange that the circuit can be temporarily bypassed by a hidden sprung switch that allows you to open the door but can’t be left off. Another circuit can be permanently on if you can train yourself not to touch a certain object in prominent view. What looks tempting? Perhaps a shiny brass bar, or a 50$ bill with a brass bar on it as a paperweight?

Well that’s a few ideas to be gong on with. You might not fit them all but even a couple will give you peace of mind.

John Stevenson29/12/2013 21:52:50
5068 forum posts
3 photos


Check your PM, i have had one to you waiting for a couple of days unread.

DMB29/12/2013 21:55:17
1312 forum posts
1 photos
Well done! Never thought of traps like apparently unlocked security measures that trigger alarm as soon as they are touched.
I have a back entrance gate of mainly vertical steel rods. Its surmounted by "natures barbed wire" - Pyracantha, aka "Firethorn." Wicked 1" long hard wood thorny spikes! Not illegal like anything man made. Back wall 6' high covered in Ivy laced with the Firethorn!
Not had intruders since that lot grown. I used to have a neighbour constantly entering back garden whilst I was at work. That suddenly stopped after I fitted a trip wire at ankle height across the path, apparently to hold 2 garden plant posts. Said neighbour later seen with arm in plaster!
DMB29/12/2013 22:17:38
1312 forum posts
1 photos
My shed is double skinned for insulation purposes including the door. Although door has usual shed hinges some screws replaced by round headed bolts with large washers preventing them being wrenched through the wood and 2 nuts lightly screwed up but very tightly locked together so they will turn round for ever but not unscrew. Alarm + security light. No "beware the dog" but just rather more subtle signs of a dog. Also have further securiy measures not being discussed. Security is about not revealing all precautions!
websnail29/12/2013 22:49:15
60 forum posts
Posted by DMB on 29/12/2013 22:17:38:
Also have further securiy measures not being discussed. Security is about not revealing all precautions!

Stealth is always best.

Security works better before it's needed too.

Everybody should take a look at their own security, both home and workshop periodically.

jason udall29/12/2013 22:53:00
2031 forum posts
41 photos
Hmm..another use for that pickle bath
RJW29/12/2013 23:15:05
343 forum posts
36 photos

Perhaps the tank will suddenly develop a serious stress related fracture and catastophically disintegrate a nano second before the pressure switch shuts off the motor, with a bit of luck the thieving trash will be bending over it at the time ......... we can dream eh!

A chap I knew had a very simple anti-theft device on his shed to protect his Fireblade, he rigged up a hidden trip wire just inside the door, which when caught activated a device to fire a blank shotgun cartridge at head height, personally I'd be too tempted to fill it with shot!


ronan walsh29/12/2013 23:55:03
546 forum posts
32 photos

I was having trouble with local young scrotes climbing over our back wall (6ft) and messing with things, they never took anything but it was only a matter of time before they decided to help themselves. As a firearm licence holder the police have to inspect my security, and when they did i took the opportunity to ask what i can do , legally to make the place more secure.

Spikes or broken glass set in cement on the wall tops are a big no-no. Not only will the lowlife take the chance to sue you if they hurt themselves while robbing you, it can put your property at risk firemen will not climb over broken glass to put out your fire.

The solution was a trip to a local lorry yard and obtaining from them a nice big tub of filthy used axle grease. Smeared liberally all over the wall, it works at keeping opportunist lowlife out and makes the more hardened criminal think twice too. The police did tell me thieves deliberately search for weak targets and slack security.

I would also suggest cctv, its easy to set up now and the cameras are available cheaply, even from aldi. Recorded cctv footage can be backed up on the internet, making tampering with it impossible. Apart from that, plenty of steel bars or grilles in windows , heavy bolts and good locks, and a noisy dog if you like, is the way to go, sadly its a sign of modern times.

Ady130/12/2013 01:07:20
5091 forum posts
736 photos

There's one thing scallys always stay away from


Scope out place A and place B

Place B has a dog...

....guess who gets done?

Now they know your layout and what's in there...  there's a high probability they'll be back too

Edited By Ady1 on 30/12/2013 01:09:33

I.M. OUTAHERE30/12/2013 06:11:47
1468 forum posts
3 photos

I can sympathise with your loss as I had the same sort of equipment flogged a few years back.

They cut through the hasp with a set of bolt cutters and bent it to release the lock , unplugged my air compressor hose from the impact gun and rolled up the hose and wheeled it out leaving the impact gun on a stool !
Then locked the shed up again by bending the hasp back and setting the lock up so it covered the cut .

Must have planned to come back but after I discovered the theft I made a heavy hasp and staple unit from 3/8 inch stainless and made it so it covered the whole lock with a housing so they can't cut the lock.
Everything with wheels was chained to something heavy or to a lug dynabolted to the ground and anything that could cut the chain was locked in a heavy tool box .
A cheap alarm was fitted also.

I would suspect that my compressor was converted into drugs and all I could hope for was for the mongrel to overdose and croak .

One other thing that a friend of mine is always on about and that is Don't advertise !
If you go inside for lunch etc close the door so no one can see inside and this is especially true if you can see into the workshop from the street or a lane .


FMES30/12/2013 06:39:07
608 forum posts
2 photos

Post deleted at request of member by JasonB




Edited By JasonB on 31/12/2013 16:17:27

Mike Teaman30/12/2013 08:31:47
58 forum posts

Beware the person who knocks on your door who claims to have broken down "up the road" and needs a couple of spanners and a screwdriver! How many of us, trying to be helpful, will take them straight to our toolshed?

SteveW30/12/2013 08:44:42
135 forum posts
11 photos

Also have a look at Google Streetview. My garage was shown with the door open revealing my drill and lathe! Good news is that they will remove image or grey it out on request. We are also hounded by scrap men just.about 24hrs service


Tony Pratt 130/12/2013 09:55:31
1964 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Lofty76 on 30/12/2013 06:39:07:

Post deleted at request of member by JasonB

Are you sure that is right, can you locate my home address from my email?





Edited By JasonB on 31/12/2013 16:18:20

Jo30/12/2013 10:48:28
198 forum posts

Yes make things very secure but a determined thief will always get in and once they know you are an opportunity they will come back for more .

Assuming that no one in the area knows you have a workshop or your hobbies (sadly this is where helping out neighbours is not such a good idea) then they are likely to be opportunist thieves, so they will round here they steal lawn tractors, in urban areas DIY tools seems to be the rage. If you don't want them turning everything upside down then a few easily replaceable items on show will save a lot of grief for those items that are irreplaceable.

If the thief knows what you have and are stealing to order then they will come prepared for any level of security. There was one case where they lifted the roof of someone's workshop and craned out his locos/machine tools. It was so obvious that no bypasses questioned if what they were doing was legitimate.


NJH30/12/2013 11:05:10
2314 forum posts
139 photos

| "There's one thing scallys always stay away from


How true!

I used to live on the outskirts of a town in a house with a longish garden. I had two pet Staffies and their routine last thing at night was to hurtle down the garden barking furiously in the futile hope of catching some unwise cat in the garden. One night there there was more barking than usual and they didn't come in so I went outside to check. Between my garden and the neighbours were 6ft high interwoven fence panels - in one of these there was a man sized hole!


JA30/12/2013 11:32:19
1359 forum posts
80 photos

Following on from Michael William's comment (sorry for not quoting) I had a friend, a forensic scientist, who gave the following advise for marking property (it this case motorcycles). Find an area of metal, ideally steel, remove the paint and stamp into the bear metal identification letters (post code will do). Then gently file the surface back so that the letters disappear and repaint. When it comes to reading the identification scrape the paint off, polish and etch the metal. The letters will be easy to read in a good light. This will work on unpainted aluminium.

The main reasons for doing this is that the courts will not accept identification by any old marks that could be the result of normal wear and tear and that the identification mark cannot be detected by the thief unless he already knows it is there.


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