My Faithful Railfanning Companion Taken...

Doug A. Aug 26, 2012

  1. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Returned to the GF's house last night after a birthday dinner and dancing with friends to find my Tahoe rear hatch open and a burglar rummaging through the contents. He already had my DSLR around his neck and a few other misc items. He got away only because I wasn't carrying at the time and I tore my calf muscle during the chase. Had either of those things gone differently (or if I had been driving the car) he would be discussing the matter with a higher power right now.

    I keep the camera in my truck because it's a tradeoff between having it on hand and constantly wishing I had grabbed it. (I do keep in concealed, typically and it was in this case, and the doors were locked, etc.) Early on I was more cautious but the camera was almost 8 years old so...at some point there has to be the expectation that most people won't steal from you. (law of averages) I realize that it has cost me in this situation but...I'll probably continue to do it. It took a lot of things going right for the guy to allow him to get away with it.
     
  2. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sorry, to hear the bad news. We can always hope he get's caught, doing it again.

    Just a thought. There are good citizens who given the opportunity and was allowed to pack, would put a stop to this kind of nonsense.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2012
  3. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Rick,

    Thanks.

    I feel like I let down my fellow Texans/countrymen by not being prepared in this situation. Traditionally there was far less theft in my personal experience growing up here. I think we are getting too soft and the risk for such activities is being viewed as minimal because of foolish people "not wanting guns in the house". Well it's either guns or robber/killers....pick one. My ex-wife had this foolish attitude and caused me to get complacent. But that is about to be fixed.
    :uhoh:
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's long past time to take out the trash....... 'Nuff said. :angry:
     
  5. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    Doug, sorry to hear of your loss. I'm with your thinking on this one.
    :angry:
     
  6. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Doug, sorry about your lose and injury in the process. Illinois is about the most anti-gun state I have ever lived in, yet we also have some of the highest gun crime. When you live in the rural areas, the Police are little to no help. We need to go back to depending on ourselves and take out the trash as Ken said.

    Will your insurance cover this or was your truck not locked?
     
  7. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    It was locked, and insurance theoretically will cover it. But, I'm not sure if it's replacement value or actual....suspect it's the latter, and with deductible it won't be worth filing. (and driving up my insurance premiums) The insurance companies always do a good job of being worthless in these types of situations.

    I'm really less worried about the cost of the camera even though it's gonna sting to have to replace it, which won't be any time soon. I'm hoping to save up enough by the BN convention next year to get another DSLR...maybe it will happen sooner but something will have to go right which hasn't been the case lately for me.

    But, the real loss was the photos on that camera. My GF had taken it to photograph her kids camp ceremony a few weeks ago, and I had taken pics of my son's visit and our trip back to Illinois (including some awesome train pics, too!)....all gone.
     
  8. termite

    termite TrainBoard Member

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    Doug, I hope you filed a police report, so they can notify any pawnshops in the area. I'd be willing to bet, he pawned it off this morning. I know, in my area the police & pawnshop owners have a good relationship and they are more than willing to turn over information on suspected thieves.

    Alan
     
  9. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    You can't be serious. Would you really kill a guy over a camera? I'd reserve such force for defending my life or those of my family members and friends.

    File the police report. Even if you don't get your camera back a series of reports may lead the police to eventually find this clown through analyzing the pattern.
     
    GSEC likes this.
  10. paperkite

    paperkite TrainBoard Member

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    Understandable Doug, but deadly force cannot be used anywhere in the US legally to defend property.Now if the perpatrater had taken a swing at you with the camera ..... dead bang. Talk to Mr. Colt ... they have insurance in all shapes and sizes and price ranges ...
     
    GSEC likes this.
  11. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    In Texas it usually goes to the grand jury where it is no billed. Many cases where people get blown away breaking into cars and there are no charges.
     
  12. paperkite

    paperkite TrainBoard Member

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    And to think , they used to hang people for stealing cows and horses there in TX...
     
  13. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes, it's one of those "spirit of the law versus letter of the law" kinds of deals. And in fact the cops I spoke to the other night told me we should have run him over with the car since we didn't have a firearm.

    You're damn right I would kill someone that I caught in the act of stealing from me.

    First of all, forget the law he is stealing from me and my family. I feel I have the right to defend my family from harm. If you want to allow someone to arbitrarily steal thousands of dollars from you that's your business. I can assure you noone thinks like that in Texas.

    Second, I assume (and I feel this is kind of the basis for the grand jury decisions in Texas) that someone that is committing a crime is armed and dangerous. He could have as easily pulled a gun and shot us for surprising him instead of running away. I'm not onboard with assuming people that are stealing from me are unarmed.
     
  14. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Trust me, I have no problem with seeing this sorry sack of you-know-what being introduced to Messrs. Smith & Wesson.
    Perhaps burglary is tolerated in some states, but in places like Texas it's an opportunity to clean up the gene pool. God bless Texas!

    Sucks you got ripped off, Doug. Hope you can get the camera back.
     
  15. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think the important thing here is you would of had the upper hand with Smith & Wesson or Mr. Colt helping you out.

    My granddad, a Arizona resident at the time and back when packing was legal. A fella walked into a saloon, pulled out his six shooter and told the cashier to give up the money. Three or four clicks later the would be thief looked over his shoulder to see four guns pointed at him. A voice clearly said, "Not today". He tucked his tail in and left.

    Can you see that happening today?
     
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  16. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you, Bob. I appreciate your comments.

    I have researched this issue (and not just Google, I have spoken to two authorities very knowledgeable in such matters) to find out exactly what my rights were in that situation. You should NOT use any of this as legal advice, but in the State of Texas (and many others) I would have been completely within my rights in that situation to use deadly force. (just as the police officer had advised.)
     
  17. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, now a completely bizarre twist to the story...

    Apparently, during the chase the thief actually tossed my camera over a wooden privacy fence and into the yard two houses down. I actually thought he might have tossed it somewhere, and I searched fairly thoroughly--but stopping short of going through anyone's backyard. I did consider asking permission to do so, but did not follow through. Had he tossed it the other direction (DART Light Rail ROW) it would have been easy for him to return and recover it later. He would have been trespassing but something tells me he wouldn't be concerned about adding that to his rap sheet. So that's where I focused my search the next morning (looking through the chain link fence protecting the ROW) which I guess was the wrong logic. As my dad said, having a 6'4" 275lb former college athlete about to run you down might incline one to "lighten the load" some.

    So anyway, after two weeks of sitting in shrubbery the lawn guys found it and gave it to the homeowner. She, not really knowing what to do with it, gave it to her father to see if he could figure out why it was in her yard. He took the CF card out and looked at the contents to see if there were any clues. Based on a photo of my gf's son that had him holding a camp award with his name on it, they were able to track her down to see if the camera was hers. It appears to still be in good working order albeit fairly dirty and dusty. Among the many fortunate things about this story, we had little or no rain in the area over the past two weeks. Blistering heat though, and it endured a 7-8ft fall so I'm not 100% I'm out of the woods yet. (no pun intended) But I'm hopeful that I can continue to use the camera until it dies a more natural death or at least until finances permit an upgrade. But the real win is recovering the CF card and its contents.

    So, I'm happy to report that the rumors about the death of human decency have been greatly exaggerated. :) We've seen the dark side but now we have an example of someone that "did the right thing" and not only that but made the effort to try and find me instead of just sending it through "the system" whereby someone else might have dropped the ball. After a pretty harrowing few weeks it is nice to be able to have good news to report.

    :cool:
     
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  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Knowing all too well the crappy news we are bombarded with hourly, daily, constantly, finally reading about a good outcome sure is a relief! Hope it still works OK.
     
  19. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    Doug, that is great news. There is hope for our humanity. I know I am in fear of losing mine as a volunteer for the Grand Opening of the new "Doyle McCormack Engine House" in Portland in two weeks. I will be volunteering and the guidelines for volunteers are to cool it with your cameras. I don't intend to follow that one and have to come up with a way to hide mine without losing it. It is a DSLR so is about the same size as a 35mm SLR. One thing for sure, I'm putting a new SD card in it before I leave home, just in case.
     
  20. screen48

    screen48 TrainBoard Member

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    Keep the good camera safe for when you are present and keep a P&S in the glove box for when you find something unexpected.
     

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