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Old 6th Dec 2022, 10:39 pm   #41
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Burglary and our hobby

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Originally Posted by joebog1 View Post
"ello ello ello wots apnin here then ?.
DOES not happen in Australia anymore, IF it ever did. Today theres one in front of you and the other behind. Glock 9mm pointed at you and a terse "Hands up, then they take your wallet. "

All because I was walking alone along a dark street. And no, I am not a thief.

Joe
Around 35 years ago we were walking towards a trail near Canberra. The last and isolated shack-like house had a large notice on the gate "Trespassers will be shot"

I don't know to this day whether it was serious or not. I wasn't about to try and find out. I guess if he followed through with the threat, it would have been a quick burial out in the bush.

Craig
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 11:17 pm   #42
radio69
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Default Re: Burglary and our hobby

In winter 1981, we moved house. The house had been empty for a while, and the (very old) boiler had packed up. Cast-iron heat-exchanger cracked, BER.

As we were moving in, the plumbers were removing the old boiler, and fitting a new one. The boiler was located in the garage, which was huge. The old boiler was also enormous, dating (so I was told) from the 1960s, and had originally run on solid-fuel. The piping connected to the boiler was similarly huge, the size of your arm, not copper; they referred to it as 'barrel'

The plumbers had finished and were clearing-up, and asked if I could help them move the old boiler out of the garage and into the garden, as they were struggling. With much swearing, the four of us (four strong, fit young men) just about managed to move it, and got it into the front garden.

It was late and dark, and we decided to leave it there until the next morning.

Next day, I went out at about 7am to bring the milk in......the boiler had gone!!!!
I couldn't believe it!!! I laughed out loud.
The plumbers were delighted, as there was talk of needing a HIAB to move it.

How persons unknown managed to take away such a massive chunk of cast-iron without making so much as a sound I will never know....

Sometimes theft can be a blessing!

Last edited by radio69; 6th Dec 2022 at 11:29 pm. Reason: Correcting...
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 7:43 am   #43
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Default Re: Burglary and our hobby

Many years ago, a friend of mine had his hifi stolen. The friend had various dubious acquaintances and a few days later one of them asked him if he was interested in buying a hifi. Obviously he was looking for a replacement and said yes. Turned out the one on offer was his own stolen one. Dubious acquaintance suffered a sudden reduction in his number of teeth and friend got his hifi back.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 8:01 am   #44
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Default Re: Burglary and our hobby

You can learn things from a theft.

There was a PCB process where blank but drilled double-sided PCBs in panel form got coated in resist, exposed, developed and electroless copper plated to make the holes conductive. Then came thick electroplating to bring the copper up to thickness. Nickel electroplate came next, then finally, gold. Yup, real Gold.

The gold acted as etch resist once the photo resist was stripped. These boards looked glorious!. Solder resist was screened over the top.

They were stuffed and then went through the flow solder machine with pre-flux and post-wash.

New ingots of solder went in the machine, and slag was skimmed off the top. Slag was collected and put in a skip for disposal. After time, the recirculating solder in the wave section would be determined to have degraded a bit too far and getting close to making some dry joints. So the machine got emptied, cleaned and restarted with new solder ingots. The new solder was expensive, and we had to pay a fair bit for ethical disposal of the lead-bearing waste.

Someone drove a van into the yard one weekend. They went past cases of brand new solder bars to take the quite fullsolder slag waste bin.

What?

The initial reaction was happy that there was one bin we wouldn't have to pay to have removed, followed by annoyance that an empty bin hadn't been left. Only later did it seem to be realised as a criminal act.

Then came curiosity.

The reason for the solder going bad over time was that the wave was dissolving a little bit of the gold from each board, and after many boards, it was approaching a saturated solution. This spoiled its wetting properties.

That solder scrap was worth a lot more than the same weight in new solder bars.

So, who did it?

Inside job?

Did someone in the plant find out about the gold content and not point it out? Someone in the scrap contractor might well have known, but one word would have killed the golden goose for that firm. The bin was nicked when it was pretty full, which wasn't seen as a coincidence.

I don't know the solution to this mystery (sorry, bad pun, unintentional). I've never heard that it was pinned on anyone.

Maybe there wasn't that much pressure to solve the theft? The theft itself saved the firm what the disposal would have cost, and from then on the waste was kept securely and sold for serious money.

There was just that feeling that there might be someone around who shouldn't be trusted.

Unsolved gold robbery which actually benefitted the victim!

David
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 8:32 am   #45
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Burglary and our hobby

This isn't a story about theft, but could have been.

Back in the day my Dad worked for Burgess Microswitches in the NE. Burgess made use of precious metals in the contacts in their microswitches.

For years the big transparent plastic doors to the shop floor were occasionally held open with a big and hefty reel of metal, assumed steel.

My Dad, who was in charge of Quality Control, eventually took a sample of this mucky looking reel - and found that it was platinum. There must have been 20kg of the stuff or even more.

It went into the secure store PDQ.

Before my Dad found out what it was, anyone could have walked out with it. At 20kg at today's price that would be 4m.

Craig
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 10:51 am   #46
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I read a somewhat scary posting at a pro-audio group (in the USA) about a studio that had its safe opened, and the ludicrously expensive Telefunken VF14M valves stolen! Unquestionably done by someone in the know. But each valve has a serial number... And the mics that use the valve, were they ever to come onto the market, receive an inordinate amount of attention from various experts as they typically cost similar to that of a luxury car. Which makes one think the valves were pinched for someone who already owned one or two of the mics and wanted spares...

A friend of mine got broken into over 10 years back. He owns one of the largest collections of synthesisers anywhere. You could buy a house if you were to sell just the ones he keeps at home, let alone in his lock up. The thief walked past wall-to-wall synths and did away with his Macbook Pro. The coppers caught the thief and got the laptop back!
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 11:11 am   #47
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Conjures images of a bloke wearing a striped shirt and a Zorro mask, legging it up the road with a bulky heavy thirties set under each arm. Not really saleable in the local pub, or anywhere else for that matter!
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 9:03 pm   #48
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Default Re: Burglary and our hobby

It pays to expect the unexpected. I was woken up by a would-be petrol siphoner a couple of years ago. I didn't get to stop him, he was defeated by incompetence.

As far as portable goods go it's mainly about jewellery cash or power tools now- anything that doesn't require effort to shift. A jeweller local to me posted 2k GBP of gold destined for the melt- by special delivery. It vanished, and the tracking facility said it never left our locality. They got their money back, but personally i would have taken a couple of days off and delivered it by car rather than post it. In another incident a different local jewellers (which closed shortly afterwards) sustained a robbery shortly before it closed. Arrests took place within a day. Hmm.

My heart beats faster when i see Aussie Gold Hunters pursuing poachers that are nighthawking on their lease.

As regards vintage eqpt. the few things that get stolen and prove to be of low value or hard to shift, are likely to end up being deliberately damaged before getting dumped. It's all part of the petulant mentality.

Dave
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 9:29 pm   #49
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Default Re: Burglary and our hobby

Nobody has yet mentioned guitar amplifiers or guitars !!!. HUGE market for them.
Mind you, running away with a Fender twin reverb needs Arnie to carry the weight.

Joe
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 7:35 am   #50
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Nobody has yet mentioned guitar amplifiers or guitars !!!. HUGE market for them.
Mind you, running away with a Fender twin reverb needs Arnie to carry the weight.

Joe
Yep, my Fender Twin Reverb with JBLs weighed in at around 88lbs. You'd go to lift it and think that it was bolted to the floor! Fortunately it had castors (not so good on old fashioned bare earth car parks), but as regards then lifting it into a vehicle, it had just one handle on the top!
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Old 8th Dec 2022, 11:10 am   #51
David Simpson
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Default Re: Burglary and our hobby

I've never experienced any burglary attempt, touch wood. Nor to my knowledge any of my VR/ARS chums. However, and its a very touchy "however" - several VR/ARS chums have related instances of "paid for stuff"(left under a table) being snaffled by unscrupulous folk at BVWS Swapmeets &/or AR/VMARS sales, in the past.
I used to regularly have a table at a local ARS surplus sale, and when I first started - one of the regulars warned me to keep an eye on a certain individual. Right enough, he was a shifty looking character, and eventually the organisers banned him.

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