Propane theft - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 11-12-2018, 04:49 PM   #1
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Propane theft

Well, in our new creative group of camping thieves I have had my propane stolen in storage twice in 60 days. I store in a locked yard and my two full tanks are being swapped for their two empty tanks, so it is a fellow RV that is in the storage lot. Obviously, they have found a way to get full propane tanks for their trip for free.
The first time I caught it on my routine check for propane prior to leaving on a trip. I noticed my tanks were a different make and empty. Interesting enough, this time I got my original empty tanks back and they took their full ones. They didnt even reconnect the hoses this time so I knew right away.
Solution:
I bought a 1 1/2Ē shackle Master lock for $7 at the depot. Took my cordless drill and in about 5 minutes effort my tanks now lock.
Even if you havenít had propane tanks stolen yet, this mod is so inexpensive and simple to do I highly recommend it. It would ruin a trip if your tanks disappear.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:04 PM   #2
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You could also take a can of spray paint to your tanks. Also make sure the bottom of your ready rod has a been welded to the nut or they will just turn it out of the bottom nut and take the tanks.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:28 PM   #3
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I use two keyed-alike padlocks, and padlock my propane tanks to my safety tow chains. You can see one of the two locks in the photo below. Has worked so far, and also keeps someone from thinking about using the safety tow chains to make off with the whole camper - I hope....
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:31 PM   #4
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Take your good tanks off. Find two junk tanks that a propane seller will not fill. Give them a fresh paint job. Remove the valve apparatus and put 20 lbs of fine sand in each tank, and a note for the thief. Screw the valves back on but leave slightly loose, and hook up. Note will refer to recommendation as to where to pound the sand. Ask owner of storage yard if he has video surveillance.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:49 PM   #5
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Take your good tanks off. Find two junk tanks that a propane seller will not fill. Give them a fresh paint job. Remove the valve apparatus and put 20 lbs of fine sand in each tank,
Iowa Dave
Heck, I'd leave it right there. Let the creep take them and install them. Hopefully he'll be in a situation where discovering the real situation with them is a major inconvenience. Or maybe in addition to the sand I'd pressurize them with some compressed air. Then when he opens the valve he might get some sand in his regulator. Honest, I'm usually pretty easy to get along with but I hate thieves.

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Old 11-12-2018, 06:10 PM   #6
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I’ve always been fascinated with booby traps and generally any spring loaded stuff.
Unfortunately the really effective remedies are often illegal. The proliferation of cameras with time stamps and the ability to read license plates is a good thing when it comes to illegal activities. We fought illegal dumping in remote areas for years. Cameras and cooperation from law enforcement people cut this down to a trickle. DNRs with amped up fines and multistate cooperative programs are using cameras effectively too. 4 deer, killed in southern Iowa, illegally by 5 out of state guys resulted in $23,000 in fines last month.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:21 PM   #7
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Locking safety chains, looped through propane tanks is also I solution, except, I've only actually done it once.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:23 PM   #8
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Iíve always been fascinated with booby traps and generally any spring loaded stuff.
Unfortunately the really effective remedies are often illegal.
Iowa Dave
The first thing that would come to mind if it happened to me would be to re-purpose my electric cattle fence module. Then I'd probably end up getting sued by the thief.

Getting ripped off once would really annoy me. Having them come back a second time would definitely make me want to make sure there wasn't a third time. But Greg has taken the sensible mature route with the lock. Hope there isn't a third time.

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Old 11-12-2018, 06:57 PM   #9
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Iowa Dave, do you remember the incident back in the late 50’s or early 60,s where a farmer set a trap gun in a vacant farm house. He had some things stored in this vacant farm house and it was being broken into all the time. So he set a trap gun low to the floor and the thief suffered severe damage to his leg. The thief sued and got the farmers 80 acres of land. In my opinion, he didn’t set the gun high enough. You know, just above the shoulders. I think this was somewhere in southern Iowa. The neighbors bought the land back for the farmer and years later the thief committed suicide. So much for booby traps that can injure. Loren
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:06 PM   #10
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I think that was in the mid 60s and was in southern Iowa. Those trap gun setups were common back then. I stopped to ask if I could hunt a place once. It appeared to be completely lived in but nobody came to the door. I turned and walked back to the truck. A fellow drove in the gate at that time. He had watched me from across the road where he lived. He thanked me for not “poking around” as he put it. Then gave me permission. Said his mom was in the hospital for an extended stay. Can’t blame people for wanting to protect their property.
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