The theft of CB radios has reached crisis proportions. If you haven’t already had your CB stolen, then it is only a matter of time before you return to your four-wheeler to find a few ripped wires where the one proud instrument rode.
That is, unless you take some very basic precautions. Most people don’t. So for the thief who wants, or needs, to make a quick buck ripping off your CB is easy.
Here are 10 simple steps that will greatly reduce the chances of your CB being taken.
1. Use common sense.
2. Always park in a well-lighted area.
3. Never leave car without locking it.
4. Remove lock bolt covers on car doors.
5. Have CB mounted so it can be removed when away from car.
6. Take it with you or put it in trunk.
7. Get a metal engraving pen from local hardware store and etch Social Security number on the CB chassis.
8. Record serial number of CB and keep it in a safe place.
9. Purchase auto burglar alarm.
10. Encourage local police department to initiate a program to marl all CBs with metal engraving pens.
With the use of these precautions most CB thieves can be thwarted. But recently in Cincinnati the police caught up with an accomplished CB thief.
In an interview, the thief – who was only identified as “John” – explained how he made more than $20,000 in two months stealing CBs and other things.
“By the time I walked up to a car and put my hand on the door handle, I would have had a coat hanger in the window and the door unlocked,” he said.
“Anybody who saw me open a car that fast thought I had a key,” he explained.
He could even enter cars that were equipped with burglar alarms.
He said stealing CBs enabled him to build up a sizable bank account, pay the rent, take friends out to dinner “and blow about $300 a night” at a local race track. John found hotels profitable because large numbers of salesmen who stay there leave their CBs and other wares in their cars, parking lots at theatres were lucrative, too, because he could time the owner’s return to their cars with the ending of each showing of the movie.
Interestingly enough, he frequently used his CB to sell the CBs he had just stolen. He would go out on an interstate and cruise, ratchet-jawing with other CBers. When he found a likely prospect, he would arrange to meet them at the nearest restaurant or truck stop. He usually sold CB units for $30 to $40 below retail price.
A favorite story John tells is the time he ripped off another thief.
“I was just sitting in my car, watching a parking lot, when I saw this guy taking a CB unit out of a car. I waited until he had gotten out, and then I went over and told him it was my car. He just looked at me and handed me the radio and took off,” John said.
Luckily most thieves are not like John. They have not perfected the art.
If the simple rules listed above are carefully followed, the CB thief will take an easier target, leaving tours alone. Then you won’t find some dangling wires when your return from the movies.