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Are your guns safe in a safe?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Smoke, Jun 24, 2003.

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  1. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Was talking with a friend I hunt with. He owns a ranch which is absolutely covered with birds during dove season. HE lives in a metropolitan are about an hour away. He has a second home on the ranch and keeps a significant portion of his gun collection there at all times.

    Recently, someone broke into his ranch house and took the safe, which was bolted to the slab. Guns, safe, and other misc., items all gone.

    Insurance (his wife was the agent, and there may be divorce proceedings pending) said coverage capped at $30,000.00

    He estimated his loss, guns only, was over $50,000.00.

    36 long guns and 14 hand guns.

    Someone must have had a forklift to move that safe.
     
  2. 0007

    0007 Member

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    A safe will only keep an honest man honest. That was pretty obviously a professional job.. The first thing he should be doing is figuring out exactly who knew he had a safe and who knew what was in it. Pro don't hit by accident. Maybe the insurance list got out or maybe he bragged too much . Who knows? Best insurance is having someone nearby most of the time. :mad: for your friend. The other thing is to periodically review the contents in your safe and upgrade your insurance to reflect changing values - up or down. His wife for sure should have been on this.
     
  3. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    :scrutiny: That smells like an inside job...
    What happened to the concrete slab, were the bolts ripped out, or did they cut a chunk of the slab out?

    Kharn
     
  4. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Actually my first thought also. Many people knew the safe was there, probably more assumed there would be. He hosts a Opening Weekend Bird Hunt every year, lots of people, different ones every year, you would assume most are respectable though. There are 3 brothers in this family 2 are very high profile competitive shooters. The third brother would be my first suspect, sadly.

    As for the concrete, I don't know yet. I will visit with him further and obtain more details.
     
  5. BenW

    BenW Member

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    I really hate thieves. This kind of thing always bums me out. I have tried to keep my safes more secure by bolting them to the floor and walls and putting them in areas where it's hard to get to them. But when it comes down to it, the only thieves that stops are the amateurs. And I'm betting that the locked safe itself will stop most of the amateurs. How do you stop the pros? I hate to think the only answer is that a professional thief will get your goods no matter what you do.:(
     
  6. vulcan

    vulcan Member

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    If possible, I always advise forming up & pouring a rebarred casement around the safe . The rebars should extend into the slab tieing it together. The door should be the only thing exposed. A sturdy section of angle iron below the door will discourage prying attempts. 4" minimum on the casement is sufficient. Its not a difficult project & it adds security/fire resistance to the safe.
     
  7. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    With enough time and money, anyone can break into anything. It really stinks but its the truth. Sorry for your friend though.
     
  8. Duncan Idaho

    Duncan Idaho member

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    I would really like to know how someone could break a safe loose from a concrete slab without having to wrench the safe (with a cable/chain tied to a truck/winch, or a forklift, etc.) to break the bolts.

    And if they did wrench it loose, what then would be the point of the theft? All of the guns in the safe would quite likely sustain serious damage. Collectible guns would instantaneously become useless pieces of scrap.

    Sounds like the ultimate "inside" job to me, and I don't mean the brother.

    :scrutiny: :uhoh:
     
  9. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Yep - a safe will DELAY thieves, but not STOP them. Its only purpose is to buy you time (also in a fire... even the best fire-resistant safes will only resist heat for so long). IMHO, this man should have had an alarm system tied in to the police, so that in his absence, if someone broke in, a silent alarm would have been sent to LE's in time to catch them in the act. If they were out in the boondocks, and were able to work undisturbed, it's no wonder they had the time and patience to take the whole safe with them.
     
  10. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    Sad for your friend to suffer a loss such as that.

    My safe is epoxied & bolted to floor and 2 walls of the basement, with a good bead of epoxy at the safe/wall/floor junctions to reduce the ability to get a prybar beside or behind the safe. Some one [or several someones] COULD get it away from the wall, but then they still gotta open it or lug it upstairs.

    Even though I don't reload, I have an extra 150Lbs of shot still in the bags in the base of the safe..
     
  11. Carlos Cabeza

    Carlos Cabeza Member

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    I have always been of the mindset that a safe is supposed to be hidden if possible and NO ONE knows you have it, for obvious reasons.

    And yes I do have a med. sized one that is concealed behind a false wallboard panel.
     
  12. Kenneth Lew

    Kenneth Lew Member

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    Safes only stop the honest, non determined people from stealing.

    Many years ago, my father evicted someone that rented a bar from him. With the aid of the constables, he drove his forklift inside the building and moved everything OUT, INCLUDING THE 6000 LB. SAFE AND FLIPPED IT ON ITS SIDE, DOOR FACING DOWN. :evil:
     
  13. Sisco

    Sisco Member

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    I guess my Homak cabinet bolted to the wall wouldn't even slow 'em down huh? :scrutiny:
     
  14. dinosaur

    dinosaur Member

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    My copper`s instinct tells me the Sheriff should be taking a hard look at the wife.

    It`s sort of like having a swimming pool. You can take all sorts of precautions, but people still drown. If stuff didn`t get stolen, we wouldn`t need insurance.
     
  15. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Security should be multi-layered and the safe is the last defense. It should be in a locked room. The house should have secured windows and doors (laminated glass & deadbolt doors). Alarm contacts should be on doors and windows (glass breaker) that are supplemented by motion sensors. This should be attached to an audible alarm that is monitored with the monitoring company having instructions to contact the sheriff if something is amiss.

    Nice to have a dog on the outside, but you gotta have someone there to feed it. Exterior fence with no-trespassing signs (adds a "trespassing" charge against perpetrators).
     
  16. RustyHammer

    RustyHammer Member

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    Those doves can be evil little critters when riled! :neener:

    Seriously, though, sorry for your friend ... that stinks!
     
  17. rperry03

    rperry03 Member

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    I would never lock them all in a safe. Way to easy to steal them all at once. Like it has already been said....only the honest stay out.
     
  18. John Ross

    John Ross Member

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    Quote: "Insurance (his wife was the agent, and there may be divorce proceedings pending) said coverage capped at $30,000.00"

    In the future, he (and everyone here with a gun collection) should follow the insarance advice listed at

    http://www.john-ross.net/insurance.htm

    JR
     
  19. Carlos Cabeza

    Carlos Cabeza Member

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    Thank you John, Another good precautionary measure to protect yourself in the event of a natural disaster or theft.
     
  20. dav

    dav Member

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    A sad story for sure. :(

    At this point, my safe is worth more than the collection I keep in it, so if it were to be stolen, they would probably leave the guns and take the safe, instead.
     
  21. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    I wouldn't jump to the wife so quickly, yes, she knew about it but then so might his other family members -- siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. Maybe some of his "friends" -- clearly someone that knew him well enough to know what he had and where. Just because his marriage is ending doesn't mean she did it. I'd be careful about accusing people outright without proof. I can't imagine the proof will be hard to find given what they had to do to remove it. Someone had to have seen this -- hard to do it without attracting attention...:scrutiny:
     
  22. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Are guns safe in a safe? As noted, safes are only delay devices and do not offer any sort of actual long term protection. Sometime back on TFL, I believe, an officer worked a case of a large safe installed in a basement had been taken. The basement was poured, the safe lowered in, bolted down, and the house then built over it. The safe could not leave the house without changes to the structure of the building. The family went on a 2 week vacation and returned to find their home heavily torn up. Burglars had apparently used chains and trucks and ripped the safe from the foundation, up and out the walls of the house. The safe was then carted away for opening at their convenience.

    Probably the best way for something to be safe from thieves is to have that something be unknown to start with and then kept in a place where it is not likely to be found. During the Depression, due to a lack of trust of banks, some people turned to "post hole safes" which were things like Mason jars full of money that were deposited under specific post holes. Sometimes these were buried elsewhere, but the name comes from using the fence as a guide. Say you have 2000 fence posts and even if somebody knew you buried money under one of them, it would be a lot of work to dig up all the posts unnoticed.

    What most safe dealers won't tell you is that if you have a burglary and the folks find your safe, whether or not they get it open on that trip or steal it on that trip, the knowledge will then be public to them and their buddies. Not only that, but as a burglar who finds a safe, where do you think all the valuables are going to be? Duh! All the valuables are in the safe, right? The safe then becomes a central focus of interest because it will represent a concentrated amount of wealth.

    John, neat post on insurance. That seems to be safe advice. Unfortunately the sad part of such events is that while there may be a monetary settlement, the monetary aspect may be secondary to the owner who had a lot of emotions tied up with the guns as well. There is little chance money can replace your Sears and Roebuck .22 bolt rifle you got when you were 7 and used to get your first rabbit. Such items are priceless.
     
  23. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    His marriage is not ending, his joke, I borrowed it. He made the statement that he was a little mad at his wife/insurance agent when he found out he wasn't covered to the full value of his collection.

    More details as I learn them.
     
  24. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    I feel badly for him -- those guns will be hard to replace. He needs to take a hard look at his "friends" or recent family that's been up. People talk....
     
  25. Jeeper

    Jeeper Member

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    Safes are really only worth something against people who know nothing about safes. To the average idiot burglar they are of great use. Against someone who knows what they are doing they are pretty useless. NO gun safes are time rated. This means that a pro could be in them within basically 5 minutes. The best way is of course to steal them. If you talk to an experienced safe mover they will tell you that they can easily move a 2K pound safe using ballbearings. The issue on how it came out of the concrete is different. It still wouldnt be that difficult if you plan it out. Concrete anchors are meant for shear stress more than linear stress. If you could get the safe rocking they would probably come out. Plus over the years they start to come loose with the movement of opening and closing the door. Plus the weather can expand and contract the concrete. If a lot of people know you have a safe then you are kind of screwing yourself. I think the best idea for safes is bolting two together so that it wont fit out a door unless seperated.
     
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