Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

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Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby vanessa33176 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:50 pm

Hi Everyone,
This is going to be my first year going to Burning Man. I'm excited yet feel how ever much I prepare I will never be ready. I have a question, has any one ever had a problem with someone stealing there stuff I just want to know if this has happend to anyone in the pass.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby MacGlenver » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:53 pm

I don't know how common it is, but stealing can be a problem out there. Last year was my first year and we didnt have anything stolen; however, there was a notice sent out after the burn that a large camera installation had been completely stolen (metal pole that it was mounted to and all). I cant offer much advice other than the typical "keep valuables out of sight"... I dont plan to live in fear, and I wont really have anything of serious value, so I am not too worried about it.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:59 pm

It definitely happens. Burn night is a particular problem. If someone can stay around camp to scare people off, it's a good idea.
There is also violence of various sorts at the event. On those, I believe that there is less than a city of our size with similier demographics, but I don't know what the theft rate is.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby MikeGyver » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:23 pm

Lock your stuff up, from my experience most things aren't "stolen" just accidentally grabbed instead of the bag or bike they thought was theirs. But there are cases of blatant stealing like the camera instillation. Just make it more effort than its worth for the would be thief and they will move on.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby Homiesinheaven » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:31 pm

never had anything stolen but a good idea is to lock all your valuables in your vehicle whenever you leave camp.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby Eric » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:39 pm

Most (but not all) theft out there are crimes of opportunity. Something shiny is sitting out, nobody else is around... shiny thing leaves your camp. If your camp is wide open people will wander in looking to get out of the sun and will just grab a beer (or three) and maybe a bottle of your booze because they think "gifting" means that they can take anything they want.

It's a city of 60,000 people, take reasonable precautions (and don't bring anything irreplaceable) and you should be fine. You absolutely must have a bike lock or your bike will walk away at some point.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby lemur » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:42 pm

if you dont plan on bringing a bike.. stealing is probably not a problem at burning man.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby lemur » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:44 pm

Homiesinheaven wrote:never had anything stolen but a good idea is to lock all your valuables in your vehicle whenever you leave camp.



IM NOT BRINGING A VEHICLE YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD!!
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby Homiesinheaven » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:50 pm

lemur wrote:IM NOT BRINGING A VEHICLE YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD!!


haha, then you will surely get JACKED. where are you camping this year by the way?
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby teardropper » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:21 pm

Couple years ago at Oregon Country Fair the sheepskin seat cover was stolen off my locked bike. Well, I thought, Eugene, bike theft capitol of the world, damn, what did I expect. I got another and someone stole from my camp at BM off my unlocked bike. Right next to my partners identical cover and bike. I now bring a rack and lock my bikes right next to my camper door. I have not replaced the cover, she still has hers. A couple bikes, not mine, both unlocked, have been stolen from from camp. There is a rule: don't bring anything you can't stand losing or ruining. Not that you will...
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby tisha2 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:43 pm

haven't had anything stolen in a few years, but several years ago had to chase a hippie chick out of camp on sunday cuz she was just fillin her backpack with all the booze in our bar that everyone had been bringin in for the after-temple camp party. said "my friend so-and-so told me to come pick this up..." right. got all our booze back and chased her out of camp after a stern tongue lashing from camp mama.
that same year, i had been terrible about taking care of my cooler. it was on the ground outside my tent and rarely re-iced, and by friday all the food left in it was nasty. went to pack up camp on monday and it was gone, along with all the rotten food. hope ya had fun with that ya thievin hippie!!

just don't bring anything real valuable, keep stuff out of sight and locked in car. and playa karma is a beeyotch.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby alex_ » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:17 am

Mrpatatomoto wrote:Lock your stuff up, from my experience most things aren't "stolen" just accidentally grabbed instead of the bag or bike they thought was theirs. But there are cases of blatant stealing like the camera instillation. Just make it more effort than its worth for the would be thief and they will move on.


Had my bike stolen my first year -.-

I have heard of people having things stolen from their tents however. LOCK YO SHIT UP!!!
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby Drawingablank » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:45 pm

Overall much less crime and theft than a similar sized city elsewhere, but it does happen.

Bikes - If you get off it - lock it every time. In camp we put a 15 foot cable around the bumper of our vehicle and lock our bikes to that. Our neighbors lost 2 of their 3 bikes while they were sleeping on the first night and had to do without all week. Note that typical cheap cruisers or other "beater bikes" are subject mostly to casual theft or mistaken identity. There are also thieves that actually target expensive bikes so don't bring one with any real value.

Opportunity thefts - Don't leave anything of value laying around such as electronics, tools, wallets, etc... they will dissappear.

Weird thefts - Some thefts are just hard to understand. Last year we had a case of small water bottles that we were refilling and keeping in the cooler for convenience when in camp. The cooler was in a tent by itself and loaded with beer and booze as well. Nearly every one of those water bottles dissappeared by Wednesday. The sad thing is whoever did it merely had to ask if we could spare water because we had at least 20 gallons more than we needed. Thankfully they doidn't take any beer or booze at least.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby gyre » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:48 am

There is no problem.
They mostly get away with it.

There are people there going through tents and rvs in dark, isolated camps.

Bike theft happens even before the gates open.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby Token » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:56 am

I have never had any problems with stealing out there. Pretty much anything you need you can find in a leisurely walk around the block. :twisted: :shock:

Just lock it up and use common sense, as rare as that may be on the Playa.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby HotBurner » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:31 am

I've never ran into any problems. The best thing to do is stand around the portapotties and just check people out when they roll up. A lot of people have stuff in their bike baskets - booze and all kinds of good stuff. Once they go in, just pretend like the bike is yours and sift through the stuff and you won't have any problems. Needless to say, bikes are the easiest thing to steal, but you don't want to take them all home, just trade up throughout the week.

Another good thing is pretending you're DPW and demand people give you stuff. There's nothing like someone thanking you for building the city while you're taking their beer and fondling their daughters! Or go out to the gate and pretend to be part of the gate crew. Lots of stuff to be had there.

The only problem with stealing at burning man is your cargo capacity to bring all the stuff home, so be selective.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby HotBurner » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:51 am

Another fun thing is to hang around at some nailed together pile of wood and wait for an art car to stop and everyone gets out to take pictures. Best done with those converted golf carts because they frequently leave the key in and walk away. Just jump in and you're off to pick up chicks!
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby Jackass » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:55 am

HotBurner wrote:I've never ran into any problems. The best thing to do is stand around the portapotties and just check people out when they roll up. A lot of people have stuff in their bike baskets - booze and all kinds of good stuff. Once they go in, just pretend like the bike is yours and sift through the stuff and you won't have any problems. Needless to say, bikes are the easiest thing to steal, but you don't want to take them all home, just trade up throughout the week.

Another good thing is pretending you're DPW and demand people give you stuff. There's nothing like someone thanking you for building the city while you're taking their beer and fondling their daughters! Or go out to the gate and pretend to be part of the gate crew. Lots of stuff to be had there.

The only problem with stealing at burning man is your cargo capacity to bring all the stuff home, so be selective.


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Let me catch you rifling through my basket while I'm in the can, after that you should be able to describe to your friends exactly what that blue shitter water tastes like.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby HotBurner » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:25 am

Jackass wrote:Let me catch you rifling through my basket while I'm in the can, after that you should be able to describe to your friends exactly what that blue shitter water tastes like.


Well! And here I thought all burners were jolly.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:27 am

HotBurner wrote:
Jackass wrote:Let me catch you rifling through my basket while I'm in the can, after that you should be able to describe to your friends exactly what that blue shitter water tastes like.


Well! And here I thought all burners were jolly.

No, only the Naughty Santas.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby MacGlenver » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:31 am

HotBurner wrote:
Jackass wrote:Let me catch you rifling through my basket while I'm in the can, after that you should be able to describe to your friends exactly what that blue shitter water tastes like.


Well! And here I thought all burners were jolly.


I got it -- It was a funny post :)
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:31 am

*sigh*

Me and my total lack of humor...
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby MacGlenver » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:49 am

theCryptofishist wrote:*sigh*
Me and my total lack of humor...


I was more talking about Jack. We all know how funny you are :P
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby teardropper » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:35 pm

Yeah. Ha ha ha ha.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby ZaphodBurner » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:44 pm

In 2004 somebody went through the 7:30 area with a U-Haul on Tuesday or Wednesday night, and apparently just loaded it up with bikes and gennies, and went home. Probably not as a great of a place for professionals as it used to be.

In 2005 a camp mate's cell phone was stolen when he left it on the bar during the burn. I have no idea why somebody would even HAVE a cell phone on a bar at Burning Man, but, it happened. That weekend, another camper--a female-- discovered that somebody had rifled through her tent when she found a carton of cigarettes that he had dropped.

A small amount of fuckwads can steal a lot of stuff, but, I still don't think it's very common. Absolutely need a lock for your bike or generator.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby BBadger » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:14 am

Some shyster tried to steal shit out my friend's belt pack during a hug. We only put two-to-two after that same goon tried to steal one of our bikes by pretending he was part of the camp. So be on your guard, but don't let it ruin your burn with paranoia.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby HotBurner » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:10 am

ZaphodBurner wrote: That weekend, another camper--a female-- discovered that somebody had rifled through her tent when she found a carton of cigarettes that he had dropped.

two things:

1) when a crime happens to a female, that doesn't make it worse than if it happened to a male. that would be sexist if it did.

2) how did she know it was a man who rifled through her tent? women smoke equal to men.

please check your female privilege.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby Schtev » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:18 am

vanessa33176 wrote:Hi Everyone,
This is going to be my first year going to Burning Man. I'm excited yet feel how ever much I prepare I will never be ready. I have a question, has any one ever had a problem with someone stealing there stuff I just want to know if this has happend to anyone in the pass.


When I started reading this post, I thought you were asking if its okay for you to steal stuff. I was like....what? Is she fucking serious? =p
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby Milayna » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:52 pm

Lock your bike!!! Even if you just go into the potty for a minute! Mine got stolen ("borrowed", whatever) literally in less than a minute while I was in the potty. I locked it all other times, but silly me thought that a 45 second trip to the potty would surely be too quick to get my bike stolen.

The crazy thing was that I passed right by my bike the next day in a camp's bike rack, waaaaay far away from where it was stolen. So I happily "stole" it back. But seriously, there are like 30,000 or more bikes out there, I think the odds are pretty low that you'll find a stolen bike. Get a lock that's easy to use and use it religiously.
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Re: Is there a problem with stealing at BM?

Postby Mojojita » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:21 pm

Sadly, two thefts I know about this year happened pre-opening. A friend had a button making machine stolen from the middle of their camp, and another friend had the ignition jacked right out of her golf cart while she was in the commissary for lunch!
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