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Trailhead crime

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Has your car ever been broken into while parked at a TH?

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Postby Skibum » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:30 pm

I think National Park trailheads might be a little more secure than USFS trailheads. Yosemite might be an exception, George? USFS trailheads are not always routinley patrolled by County Sheriffs Depts and the USFS LEOs are stretched pretty thin.

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Trailhead crime`

Postby gdurkee » Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:42 pm

I think Skibum is right about lower crime at National Park trailheads, though you still want to take the camera off the dashboard when hiking... . In the 70s & 80s, that wasn't the case. There were groups of fairly organized Low Lifes who made a circuit of trailheads and resort places from Washington to Southern California. They specialized in car break ins (aka car clouts) in campgrounds and trailheads. I haven't heard of that happening as often in some years -- probably fewer valuable in cars.

The same is true of the backcountry. Although never a huge crime wave, stuff was being ripped off too often from tents and camps in the 70s and early 80s. My partner and I once took off from Little Yosemite Valley and ran 4 miles towards the Valley to catch a guy who'd taken some climbing gear, then had to chase him around the woods for awhile when we found him. I was younger and much faster and we caught him (a drawn gun kind of got his attention...).

Nowadays (in Sequoia Kings anyway) we only get a rip off every few years in the backcountry.

And for sure you don't want to leave anything valuable at the walk-in camps in Yosemite -- likely not the drive in ones either.

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Postby Snow Nymph » Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:47 pm

Not yet. Been lucky so far.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison

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Postby StumbleBum » Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:03 pm

Never had a problem. Mostly use east side (wilderness area) trailheads (rather than NP). We make it a point to never leave anything of value in the car (especially out where it can be seen).

Hope my luck continues!
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Postby JM21760 » Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:41 pm

Found our car door wide open this AM. Nothing gone, but lost a stereo last fall. Neighbor lost a laptop last night. It seems like trailheads are safer than your own driveway, these days. Arrrghh! Called the Sheriff, got the "Victimless Crime" spiel, Blah blah.
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Postby dave54 » Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:57 pm

Skibum wrote:I think National Park trailheads might be a little more secure than USFS trailheads. Yosemite might be an exception, George? USFS trailheads are not always routinley patrolled by County Sheriffs Depts and the USFS LEOs are stretched pretty thin.

The FS gives money (Coop LE funds) to local county sheriffs just for campground and trailhead patrols. The extra funding is for the patrol deputy to detour off the main roads and cruise through these spots as part of normal patrol. Of course, there are a lot of backcountry acres well spread out, and few deputies, but it is better than being ignored.

If a particular trailhead has a recurring problem, the FS has been known to stakeout the spot with an undercover bait car in plain sight. A few theft rings have been ended this way. And it can be prosecuted as either a Federal or state offense, whichever will result in the longest sentence.
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Postby sierranomad » Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:55 am

I haven't had anything stolen from car or tent. I'm more concerned when not in a national park, and usually get back to my car half-expecting a break-in....but not so far.

As far as my tent is concerned: my bp equipment is not "top of the line" and has seen quite a bit of use. This may make my belongings less of a tempation to thieves.

"When one tugs on a single thing in nature, he finds it's attached to the rest of the world". - John Muir
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Postby yosemitechris » Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:00 am

The only time I had a trailhead incident was in a remote spot in NM. Someone knifed the convertible top of my Champagne Superbeetle. Had to replace the top. Arrrgggghhhh. Never a problem in CA (knock on wood).
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