Reptile theft - Let's help each other...

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by AnthonyL, Nov 26, 2018.

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  1. AnthonyL

    AnthonyL Not so new Member

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    Hi all, as a more recent reptile collector/hobbiest, over the past year I have been meeting various people in the hobby, at pet stores, via trading post, gumtree, chatting with others on FB or here, breeders, supplies companies, hobby meet ups, expos (smaller kind, children's reptile shows etc)

    I am alarmed at the amount of times I have heard or read about break ins and keepers having their collections stolen. I bought a bluey from someone two weeks ago and his story saddened me. He has now left the hobby on the broader scale and only breeds for Australian Zoos, not just reptiles but various marsupials also.

    He had 80% of his reptile collection stolen. (This is not recent, was around 2 years ago) Was quite well known in his area as a breeder of various reptiles at the time, until one day he was cleaned out. It happened while he was way at Christmas time.

    I thought a thread with a collective list of tips or things to do, more to the point, the things NOT TO DO to help newer keepers and members of this community protect themselves. If you have any tips, please add them here.

    I know an obvious one is not to parade out and about with your reptiles. Personally all my neighbours know I have reptiles, I live in a small court with middle aged Aussies. We are a tight knit community who look out for each others pets and bring each others bins in. I let them know about my reptiles in the event of a future escapee where they may help redirect it to my home, instead of calling the local reptile catcher. (Knock on wood it doesn't happen and it shouldn't bc they are under lock and key)

    But what are your tips to protect yourself. I mean your address is on ones licence. Is the etiquette to show your actual licence or just quote the number and then they call DWELP to confirm.

    So again, are there things to do or not do to protect yourself against pet theft..
    TIA, your valuable input is appreciated
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  2. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    Don’t give out your address when buying reptiles is a big one.

    There’s ALOT of douchebags who sell expensive reptiles to your address and then steal it within a month

    Same goes for selling animals, it’s safer to meet in a parking lot; not just to hide your address (people come over check the animal, see the collection, go home, comeback when house is empty, steal collection, but quarantine aswell)

    Another big one is not to use the generic slider door locks, one key fits all
     
  3. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Donator Donator

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    First up never give your address,meet at Petbarn or Mcdonalds etc
    Take a pic of your license but cover the address first, I usually don't show my license but if they want to see it just show the pic.
    When I sell at the expo my license has a sticker over the address.
    CCTV in and around the home is always a good idea, it probably wont stop them but at least you can ID them
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Nov 27, 2018, Original Post Date: Nov 27, 2018 ---
    What sort of locks do you use then? We have several different brands so each brand has a different key but yeah several locks are identical.
     
  4. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    I don’t use locks, I don’t have anything worth stealing.

    But I’ve seen people use the 4#code padlocks
     
  5. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Suspended Banned

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    One reason why I don't have any outdoor enclosures / pits …. too many thieving mongrels around.

    You can't trust anyone these days.

    Locks and cameras are only deterrents to honest people.

    I don't make it known that I've got nice things or pet lizards .

    I always meet the breeder at a place of their choice when I buy , works best for both of us.

    I will be hiding my address in future (all the seller needs is my name and keeper's permit number). But this raises a question , will the licencing body provide full details to people on request ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  6. cris

    cris Almost Legendary

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    Shotties and rotties. Stored legally etc.
     
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  7. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    if someones not willing to share a license number , 9/10times they are unlicensed
     
  8. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Donator Donator

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    All depends on how seriosly someone wants what you have.
    Occasionally even a 'run of the mill' collection can be of risk if the prospective thief thinks they can make a few dollars out of it.
    Friend of mine once had his (expensive) collection stolen at gunpoint during the day time and regardless of the camera's he had installed. Most are not that brazen so while we have camera's inside and out we also have dogs. Rotties are a great deterant to most potential thieves.
     
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  9. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Donator Donator

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    German Shepherds and JRT's have worked for me perfectly. No one is gonna run that gauntlet.
     
  10. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Donator Donator

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    Name, Number and SUBURB is required, not full address (in NSW anyway)
    I do have (well, building now) an outdoor enclosure for my lacies, buggers are too big for inside but agree with all your other points
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Nov 27, 2018, Original Post Date: Nov 27, 2018 ---
    yeah but how do you put a padlock on glass?
     
  11. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Very Well-Known Member

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    Nothing will stop serious professionals and armed home invasions but you can make it hard for them and time consuming with layers of security while the cavalry arrives.
    I have serious perimeter fences inc some electric, German shepherds that are defence trained, noisy parrots that are alert to strangers, security locked garage and shed with additional inner walls and secure doors that only partially open before a 2nd lock then locked cages. There are also a lot of security cameras covering the buildings, garden, street outside and perimeter of property with recorded and live video to our phones. The security cameras are battery and the supporting wifi and internet is on a 2 hour ups so turning the power off does not work. All this is not cheap and it complicates your life but I am dammed if I am going to loose decades of breeding to thieving scum and last resort includes some "special defences" including guaranteed measures to make sure the bad guys get their hoodie off for the cameras and if we are home the gun cabinet.
    I always meet buyers at least 10k away in a public place with cameras and in sight of my car video, if suspicious I have a friend in another car in place prior to the appointment. I also check out intending buyers to be sure they are who they say. Unfortunately you cannot be sure that your address does not get out from official records, it happens with firearm licence lists. I have almost no social media activity as well and most bills and deliveries are addressed to another property.

    Isn't it terrible that you have to "terrorist proof" your home just because you have a reptile collection.
     
  12. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Donator Donator

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    The last failed attempt on my premises was 4:05am December 29th, 2017. My whole family was home and sound asleep...(thankfully I was actually on holidays at the time) the 4 offenders had almost entirely removed the security screen from the kitchen window after scaling the fence and setting themselves up on my wheelie bins to gain access to the window. They were smart to pick that point to attempt to gain entry as it's furthest from the bedrooms and where they knew the outside dogs were hunkered down... but they weren't banking on the inside dogs alerting me that something sinister was going down. I walked down the hallway and turned the kitchen lights on and they legged it. All 4 were caught by police less than 2km away within the hour. They were reportedly successful in gaining entry to 3 other houses in the area before coming undone at mine.
     
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  13. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Donator Donator

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    Yeah it's a real shame that you can't feel safe in your own home but sounds like you have done as much as you can. I have thought about battery backup for camera footage so they can't just turn off the power ( I will be sorting this out when the lacies move outside). I live in the burbs so I can't use barbed wire on the fences :( and I have free range chooks so dogs aren't really a go.
    My main defense is the front of my house looks pretty low budget so people with criminal intent wont look twice and nobody in my area knows I have reptiles.
     
  14. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Suspended Banned

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    I had about $5000 worth of rods & reels and fishing gear and power tools stolen from my LOCKED garage , next doors pack of dogs never made a sound ( these dogs bark at everything ) that moves, I'll let you come your own conclusions about who the thieves are .

    The cops agreed with me about my suspicions but without CONCRETE evidence were unable to take it further.

    Pretty bad when you can't even trust your neighbours.
     
  15. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Donator Donator

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    And the moral to that story is don't rely on your neighbour's dogs to protect your property... because unlike snakes... dogs won't bite the hands that feed them.
     
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  16. RoryBreaker

    RoryBreaker Well-Known Member

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    Some other points for consideration.

    Only keep stuff that you enjoy. Don't breed stuff to make a quid. Then you will have less need to offload animals to strangers.

    Also think about stalkbook. Do you really require it? It is the one stop shop for anyone nefarious to gather info on you. What you keep, whos in your family, often where you are at that exact time and what you are doing. Sure nice and easy to flick pics to your friends list , but who else is looking at them. Some people are their own worst enemies.

    Its the forgotten benefit of forums where people can have the added layer of anonymity to vet would be purchasers before handing over animals and addresses.

    As for home security, jaycar sells motion detecting night vision trail cams of varying qualities for between $100-$200. Cheap enough to have a few scattered around your property in case the worst happens. (Also handy to see which cats require attention)

    Just my thoughts.
    Dave.
     
  17. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Very Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday morning our area had some major storm damage and power was off for over 24hrs severely testing my security systems but the setup worked well. The UPS lasts 2 hrs then I have a generator ready to go to power all the electronics and another bigger one for the house essentials, snake and rodent rooms. Worst part was not being able to get any info as to approx when the power was likely to come on, they said it could be hours or days. Like to go off grid completely but I can't generate enough power with solar due to all the trees. Maybe I can train the rats to spin a big wheel.
     
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  18. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Suspended Banned

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    Facebook is a great asset to thieves , I stopped using it years ago because I don't trust FaceBook as a company and I don't like strangers having access to information about me and my life and my stuff and hobbies and interests , and I don't need hundreds or thousands of total strangers wanting me to "Friend Them".

    A couple cats around here that I'd like to see "made to disappear".
    No point trapping them , the council simply returns them , and a cat who has been caught in a trap will never enter another trap .

    CSIRO should develop a very deadly cat haemorrhagic disease or a cat form of myxomatosis spread by insects and release it nation wide. That way cat owners might keep pus inside and our native animals might just have a chance of recovering.
    Maybe driving cats to extinction here in Australia is a very good idea.

    --- Automatic Post Merged, Nov 29, 2018, Original Post Date: Nov 29, 2018 ---
    Thieves are often someone you thought you should be able to trust and someone you thought you knew.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
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  19. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Donator Donator

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    I've got 22× 290 watt panels facing north, not shaded at all throughout the day... currently putting out 6× my daily household usage. Lol. I can't wait to get my solar battery installed and I'll be off the grid entirely.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Nov 29, 2018, Original Post Date: Nov 29, 2018 ---
    Plenty of point trapping them... it's no coincidence that an empty standard issue council wheelie bin filled with water fits a cat trap nicely inside it.
    P1000432-1.JPG

    Game over.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Nov 29, 2018 ---
    Of course... just look at the Australian Government...
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
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  20. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Suspended Banned

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    Been very wild (windy and wet) here for the last couple of days.
    Didn't loose power here this time , but a few branches came off my big gum tree and a couple of metal panels on the N boundary fence were banging in the wind (will need to be refixed - with screws this time).
    Been a very cold September, October and November, I wish the warm / hot weather would hurry up and return.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Nov 29, 2018, Original Post Date: Nov 29, 2018 ---

    Tempted to go solar but I want to see the price of battery storage and panels come down a lot.
    Rather than spending several billion dollars on building new power stations and in keeping old coal fired power stations going, I think distributed (home based) solar electricity generation is a better option, put 5kW of panels , an inverter and battery storage in every home instead.
    A large campaign like that would be sure to drive the price per panel and per battery down LOTS as would cutting the middle men out (removing their markup for individual home installations by owners).

    Call it 10,000,000 houses in Australia , $10,000 per house (current price for 5kW + inverter + battery say , will drop to maybe $5000 per house with scales of economy savings and bulk pricing - I think very easily less per house) , so call it $5 billion dollars to put solar on every rooftop and batteries at every home. That's less than one new Mega Coal Power Station.
    The Federal and / or State governments could easily buy millions of panels and hundreds of thousands of inverters and batteries (even demand they are made locally by local manufacturers , so some of the jobs lost in coal mining and mega power plants would go to the new industry). It's a win-win scheme and great way to grow the economy , money saved on powerbills will be spent elsewhere.

    Means test it so households on low incomes get their system for free and richer households pay for their's (as is fair).

    The coal mining and power generation and power distribution industries wouldn't be very happy though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
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