Thieving burners?

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Thieving burners?

Postby missziggy » Wed May 05, 2010 2:08 am

I was just wondering how many people have had things stolen from them during the event. And I'm not talking bikes cause I've heard that discussed before. I'm refering to things being stolen from your camp / tent / rv or whatever living space you use.

It wasn't really something I even thought about until my bf brought it up to me. This is going to be our first year so I have no idea how many people, if any, get items stolen off of them.

Is it a big problem or even a problem at all? Will I have to take security measures as we'll be tenting?

I don't want to be naive enough to think 'Oh it's Burning Man! That can't happen!'. But I know that with 50,000 people there there's bound to be someone that isn't there in the true BM spirit and would love nothing more than to mess with people's shit.
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Postby rangerLEO » Wed May 05, 2010 3:58 am

at the gate, don't take your eyes off the person inspecting your rig. my last burn, i lost some top shelf booze this way.

if you're unfortunate enough to have the DPW parade pass by your camp, hide your coolers and booze. they will steal right in front of you, muttering some BS about building the city.

bike stolen at porta potties

generator borrowed without asking for 3 days

gas cans stolen

girlfriend nearly stolen
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Postby Kiro » Wed May 05, 2010 4:36 am

rangerLEO wrote:at the gate, don't take your eyes off the person inspecting your rig. my last burn, i lost some top shelf booze this way.

if you're unfortunate enough to have the DPW parade pass by your camp, hide your coolers and booze. they will steal right in front of you, muttering some BS about building the city.


Can someone else verify experiencing either of these things? Much like the story of the moron blowing dust into cars at the gate, I'd fly into an absolute rage if someone tried anything like this.

I'm by far not the only person that would "protect their property", it just seems beyond ridiculous there wouldn't be some rather violent confrontations if those things were anything more than a one-off.. surely.. surely?

[edit] A friend says this is likely trolling and I got trolled and tum tee too, lol, etc. Except I saw pics of dust guy. hmm.

[double edit] I know some people who have been DPW volunteers in the past, who would never do anything like that and I have the utmost respect for the folk building the city, ok, am going to bed now. xx
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Postby rangerLEO » Wed May 05, 2010 5:07 am

while it may be trolling, it doesn't make it any less true.

to quote DPW's summer burkes' blog:

"The prevailing attitude during the parade had gotten nasty in the past few years. You’re not supposed to rampage people’s camps for beers who don’t want to be rampaged, and you’re not supposed to yell “FUCK YOUâ€
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Postby ygmir » Wed May 05, 2010 6:26 am

IMHO:
Burning Man is no different than anything, and, people are the same, in this sense.
Take the same precautions you'd take in a default campground.

One piece of advice, I've seen here a lot:

Don't bring anything, and, certainly don't leave anything unattended, you don't mind losing...........
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Postby C.f.M. » Wed May 05, 2010 6:33 am

/sigh

I love DPW...

I witnessed some of them cutting stuffed animals off an art car last year, on Sunday night.

I've never had anything stolen at any burn.

Heard someone had some bolt cutters last year, and was cutting locks on bikes (not stealing them).
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Postby zorro sings » Wed May 05, 2010 7:34 am

Watch your sledgehammers.In 11 years of setting up a camp we have seen 5 go elsewhere.If "Ein Hammer" was an annual show we would get suspicious.
We also have a fairly light Honda EU which we make sure to lock and chain down.If you have a Harbor Freight type machine don't worry about it.
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Postby rangerLEO » Wed May 05, 2010 7:41 am

Kiro -

i didn't mean to unsettle you about DPW. i don't want to hijack the thread to make it about DPW. maybe they've totally cleaned up their act since my last burn in 07. i'm just relating my BM experiences regarding theft.

in a historical context (which absolutely may no longer apply for 2010) - DPW as a BM subculture was (is? please don't answer on this thread) accurate to this lengthy tribe discussion from 04: http://tinyurl.com/2w4ands (just sayin)
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Postby Fire_Moose » Wed May 05, 2010 8:17 am

The burn nights (and a bit of the latter part of the week) are the main times to make sure nothing walks away.

towards the end of the week the weekend warriors show up and other "unsavories". and on the nights of the burns everyone is away from their camps and the city is like a ghost town so more people may be inclined to snoop around
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Postby ConnieH » Wed May 05, 2010 8:35 am

I've never had any problems, our chairs disappeared one night, but they came back the next afternoon (likely just someone in our camp borrowed them without asking, no biggie, and they now have our names on them). Common sense is necessary, lock your valuables in your car, out of sight - i.e. don't leave your iPod, cash, etc. in plain view with doors unlocked, duh...I can't see any burners taking the time to rifle through your shit to see what's valuable with the implicit intent to steal, but "grab and go" items might appeal to those with sticky fingers.

At a regional event last year, some really drunk/drugged up dude crawled into our tent and swore it was his, he was quite surprised to see US sleeping in "his" bed, LOL...had we not been there to correct him, I could have seen him taking something with him thinking it was his. This is the scenario I worry most about - people out of their minds who just don't realize they are taking something they shouldn't. So, like the other poster said, don't bring anything you don't want to lose. And keep your purse/wallet/etc. locked in your trunk or at least buried deeply in your gear ;)
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Postby missziggy » Wed May 05, 2010 8:49 am

Sweet. Thanks for the info guys.

I was just hoping I wouldn't have to go buy a lock for my tent or something. But I'll tag my name on (somoe of) my belongings and lock up important stuff in my car.

Ya'll are so helpfull :lol: [/list]
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Postby C.f.M. » Wed May 05, 2010 8:57 am

That's just common sense.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed May 05, 2010 9:06 am

Eplaya Bar Camp had items stolen in 2006.
Someone stole my water bottle and sleeve on Friday night last year, and they were hanging from the back of my chair.
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Postby whaleboy » Wed May 05, 2010 9:07 am

A friend of mine is a Reno political figure who's come every year since the burn came to black rock. We were talking about this topic last year. He says he spends some time in conversation with various LEA folks about it. There are a small number of people who come for Burn night to steal. Not a lot, but it doesn't take many. The city is totally vulnerable during the burn. So lock up your Walkmen and Etch-a-Sketches on burn night. In your car I guess? I dunno.

And of course there are the wasted people who take your shit by semi-honest mistake throughout the event.

Lock up your bike at Center Camp especially!! And if you're not going to lock it up, you should at least pimp it out with decor so that no one will take it by mistake.
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Postby flatlander13 » Wed May 05, 2010 9:19 am

Last year a guy came into our camp while I was “sleepingâ€
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Postby rangerLEO » Wed May 05, 2010 1:40 pm

sorry, but this is classic DPW. a DPW vehicle pulls up to camp saying, 'we're DPW - my passenger needs a sip of wine... come on, we built this city, just a sip of wine, please..."

then a well meaning "DPW is awesome" campmate hands them a bottle, and then they drive off with the wine.

i've seen this twice. the second time two of us climbed aboard the vehicle as it was driving away and threatened to disable it if they didn't hand over the wine. we got the wine back. ahh, good times.

don't hand the bottle to anyone in DPW. if you must, cups work fine.
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Postby EspressoDude » Wed May 05, 2010 5:08 pm

if you don't want to loose it, lock it up. bicycles, generators, etc. if your car is your 'safe', hide things like purse or wallet under the dirty underwear or the spare tire.

Get to know your neighbors. Figure out who belongs in or next to your camp. If someone else is wandering in your camp, ask what the are doing. Just like a strange car or person cruising your house in real life
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Postby akmojo » Thu May 06, 2010 11:22 am

don't leave anything laying around your camp, in your tents, etc that you can't live without.. lock wallets, purses, cameras, laptops and other valuables in your vehicle...
from say Thurs on, a different group of people show up on the Playa and Burn night finds most camps deserted for hours and easy targets..
we always have folks stay at camp during the Burn to keep a watch on ours and our neighbors camps....
unfortunate and sad... but safe !
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu May 06, 2010 12:58 pm

Near the end, Burn Night, Temple Burn, keep ye a tight watch. That's often when things start walking away.
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Postby unjonharley » Thu May 06, 2010 2:24 pm

Secure your wallet, watch and sh. it like that before entering BRC.. Chain up spare gas, gennys and tool boxes.. And don't come fucking around my camp..That old man that appears to be asleep, is not..
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Postby Thecatman » Fri May 21, 2010 3:19 pm

C.f.M. wrote:Heard someone had some bolt cutters last year, and was cutting locks on bikes (not stealing them).

I saw someone with bolt cutters cutting bike locks and/or chains at center camp, last year or year before.
Once you get past the bike racks there are signs posted "NO BIKES" and these were the ones getting cut and moved. I also saw this person yell at someone for walking with their bike past the sign, not being very cordial or tactful... he was a pretty big fellow, about 6'4" or so, so it sounds like some headstrong individual who thinks he's an LEO wannabe
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Postby bm_cricket » Fri May 21, 2010 3:38 pm

I didn't have anything stolen when I went with a tiny camp in the boonies and made good friends with all the neighbors. When I went with an 80 person camp lots of little things got stolen. Not big things but annoying things. Mostly tools that somebody probably "borrowed" and forgot to give back. In 2008 we had people taking armfuls of our body pillows (we started with ~50, by the end there were ~30?) Some of those things may have just become lost in the wrong camp member's crap. Last year the bar was opened by somebody who felt it appropriate to open our boxes and start serving our liquor to anyone who could crawl to the bar. We were pretty peeved when we found out about that.

Who knows what will happen..

Just keep the things you can't stand to loose in your locked car and your burning man crap in your tent. I haven't heard of anybody smashing windows but I'm sure it's happened and someone will prove me wrong.

All around just don't bring things that you aren't willing to part and make friends with your neighbors.
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Postby AntiM » Fri May 21, 2010 3:48 pm

Ah, borrowing. Stuff wanders off. If you lend it out, be specific that you want it back and when. Our gorilla bar was supposed to pull a few stakes in Gigsville and come back across the street We had to track it down. It was still pulling stakes hours later, but in the hands of some very nice people who had no idea who it belonged to! We don't lend much out anymore, even the nicest burner can forget to return stuff. Or decide a loan was a gift, which can be an annoying misunderstanding.
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Postby d6 » Mon May 24, 2010 1:13 pm

bikes ripped every other year - all but one was locked
chased away 3 diff. "people" during 3 diff. years trying to break into our camps vehicles
the seemingly arbitrary half stumblebum looking for any kind of handouts &
the "i only made it this far" types who go hammock and cooler grabbing before passing out
i did find a giant scotsman in my van the 1st year i went - (lesson learned).

being redundant:
common sense. meet your neighbors.lock up the super valuables.
your witty rejoinder just flew over my head.....

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Postby dj_john69 » Wed May 26, 2010 1:47 pm

In 2005 or 2006 (i cant remember now) someone entered my rv and stole about $5000 worth of my stuff. I HATE fucking thieves !!

If you see someone stealing aka oh, i thought that was mine, fuck them up and ask questions later.
Fuck you, fuck you...you're cool, fuck you !!
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Postby bm_cricket » Wed May 26, 2010 1:59 pm

dj_john69 wrote:If you see someone stealing aka oh, i thought that was mine, fuck them up and ask questions later.


Yeah.... I haven't had personal items stolen but it is a significant loss to the big camp I stay with (Considering a bunch of working stiffs pay for other people to party!) To solve it we basically just make friends with our neighbors. Us non-thieving burners need to look out for each other.. And be prepared to jump on anybody who screws up, naturally. That applies to MOOPers too!! The most egregious violators should have their shit shoved where the sun-don't-shine! Fucking thieves! Fucking MOOPers!!!
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Postby mdmf007 » Wed May 26, 2010 6:10 pm

I have seen people try to walk into our busy camp and grab a few bottles from our bar. they socialize and chat and try to blend in and then try to leave with our booze. I simply meet them at the exit and say thanks for bringing me my bottle.

At 30 or more bucks a bottle it adds up quick. I pods disappear all the time as well. Dont make it easy for peeps to wander in and walk off. Make a ring with your vehicles and think security. 30 minutes of pre-planning goes a long ways.
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Postby whaleboy » Thu May 27, 2010 4:36 am

Make a ring with your vehicles and think security.


That kind of makes it sound like they're coming in heavy in large numbers. Like defending against a zombie barbarian horde.

But seriously, you like to make a perimeter wall with your vehicles parked tightly together? keeps people from coming in from any direction other than the main entrances so you can see them coming, is that the idea?


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Postby mdmf007 » Thu May 27, 2010 7:52 am

whaleboy wrote:
Make a ring with your vehicles and think security.


That kind of makes it sound like they're coming in heavy in large numbers. Like defending against a zombie barbarian horde.

But seriously, you like to make a perimeter wall with your vehicles parked tightly together? keeps people from coming in from any direction other than the main entrances so you can see them coming, is that the idea?


You got it, just limit access to your private area of your camp, the place where you chill and hang out during the day, and eat at night. I am all for open source, but its nice to have a private area to worry less about. Thieves are mostly opportunists. Make it hard and reduce opportunity.

The difference between a soft and hard target.
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Postby gyre » Thu May 27, 2010 10:20 am

There is definitely organized thieving out there.
They often roam through the dark areas, especially in the outskirts.

Most disturbing, I've seen bikes and coats stolen before the gates open.


If you use chain, get a security chain and locks resistant to cutters.
Abus is the best I've seen for the money, 6mm to 14mm.
Looked for some in reno before the burn, none to be had beyond short overpriced chinese chain, quality unknown.
And lock even a crap generator.

I have a thread somewhere about some approaches.
I locked mine to an I-beam adding 200 pounds.
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