in Cheap Thoughts, Musings, X-Geek

Cheap thoughts: discouraging nighttime thefts from cars

Saturday night as I lay sleeping in the bedroom just above, a thief quietly slipped up my neighbor’s driveway to his car, tried the door handle, and slipped away. He and his buddy found my other neighbor’s door unlocked and ransacked the car.

This happens from time to time when you live in the big city. You either keep your car locked (always a good plan) or suffer potential thefts. There aren’t many tools to it from happening.

Being a law-and- order-minded geek, I have been considering ways to catch some of these crooks. One way involves altering the battery pack on a laptop to conceal a GPS-enabled smartphone, which would lead cops directly to the thief. Why the battery? It does no permanent damage to the laptop and the remaining cells in the battery could power the laptop long enough for a crook to be convinced it works.

Tracking him is fun, but wouldn’t it be better to teach the punk a little lesson first? I thought of electrifying objects in the car as a good (but harmless) shock might get some attention, but that also might cause injury to someone especially susceptible to it and then here comes a wrongful-death lawsuit from the crook’s relatives. I don’t want to kill anybody and don’t want no lawsuit, either.

Another idea I’m toying with is to blind the ever-loving daylights out of the punk as he leans into the car with a strobe-light device. A motion sensor would start a countdown as the car door is opened. When one second elapses, the box emits a blinding strobe light and sounds a deafening alarm right in the crook’s face. This should disorient the crook for a while and it will certainly attract attention, making it unlikely he will come back around. The device would be placed between the seats and could be made skinny enough to barely peek over the seats so as not to attract attention.

I think I could make a device like this for under $30. Been checking the Internet for similar devices but oddly there isn’t anything like this currently available. Maybe I’ll be the first.