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 Post subject: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8864
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
It appears Cass Scenic doesn't have a monopoly on this kind of thing.... Lifted from Baraboo News-Republic via Trains.com Newswire:

http://www.wiscnews.com/baraboonewsrepu ... 963f4.html

Quote:
NORTH FREEDOM — To the thieves, perhaps the metal hauled away from the Mid-Continent Railway Museum was junk that could be sold to scrap yards to make a quick buck.

In reality, some of the items were priceless antiques that are nearly impossible to replace.

“This wasn’t scrap,” said Mid-Continent lifetime member Dick Goddard. “These were locomotive restoration parts that are impossible to replace. It’s making restoration at Mid-Continent impossible.”

The thefts occurred in 2008 after floods ravaged the museum. Mid-Continent staff hired additional staff to assist with the cleanup. Little did they know, the “help” they received ultimately would hinder the museum’s progress.

A museum employee noticed parts missing from a locked car, and reported it to museum directors.

Not long afterward, Goddard found himself with other museum members at a scrap yard in Mauston looking for clues. They found a barrel full of parts, and that’s when they notified the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department, he said.

Working with a team of museum members and a Sheriff’s Department detective, Goddard visited scrap yards as far away as Illinois, and took photographs of everything taken from the museum.

The parts they were able to locate were worth somewhere between $100,000 and $125,000, Goddard said. But the grand total might be much more. Some of the missing items have stalled restoration efforts on two steam engines, and others were replacement parts for working trains.

To date, there have been three convictions related to the missing parts, including 28-year-old Joe T. Atkinson, who was convicted of felony burglary of a railroad car, 30-year old Aaron G. Boldon of Wisconsin Dells, who was found guilty of entry into a locked vehicle, unauthorized entry into a building, and theft of less than $2,500, and Scott K. Hinze, 29, of Baraboo, who has been convicted of felony theft.

Recently, 25-year-old Allen M. Dixon was charged with felony theft in relation to the missing parts.


More at the link/"Flimsies".


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:42 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:41 pm
Posts: 828
Location: Bowling Green, KY
In this particular situation it is simply a matter of "you get what you pay for". Much to the disapproval of long time volunteers, recently released convicts were hired through a local program because they would work for cheap. I somehow doubt a retrospective cost benefit analysis lends any evidence that such frugal acts should be repeated by other institutions.


Cheers, Jason


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:43 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2378
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
If you are involved with a museum or tourist railroad that has anything metal that is not locked away you should be finding a way to secure it. It is only a matter of time before someone will steal it. Think it's too heavy... your wrong. Think it's not enough to be worthwhile... your wrong... think it's out of the way enough.. your wrong. Don't be surprised when someone comes along and torches a section of boiler or side rod right off the locomotive in your dead line. Say good-bye to that sand dome or smokebox front that is off in the weeds. Secure it or it's gone, it's just a matter of how soon.

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Tom Gears
Wilmington, DE

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2528
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
tomgears wrote:
If you are involved with a museum or tourist railroad that has anything metal that is not locked away you should be finding a way to secure it. It is only a matter of time before someone will steal it. Think it's too heavy... your wrong. Think it's not enough to be worthwhile... your wrong... think it's out of the way enough.. your wrong. Don't be surprised when someone comes along and torches a section of boiler or side rod right off the locomotive in your dead line. Say good-bye to that sand dome or smokebox front that is off in the weeds. Secure it or it's gone, it's just a matter of how soon.


Mr. Gears is correct. I live in a city where "brick theft" is a big crime problem. Yes, bricks, mostly from 19th century buildings with solid masonry walls.

If thieves can take the time to dismantle a brick wall, to sell the bricks to a used brick dealer, then they have time to figure out how to move that turntable center bearing, wheel sets, freight car trucks, etc you have on your 'back 40."

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"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2378
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
And locking the stuff up is only step one. Step two is get yourself an alarm system. A local plumbing supplier just experienced a theft where thieves chiseled out blocks out of the back wall to enter the building and steal all of the copper they could carry. I work at a technical school and we've been hit over and over. They even stole steel ramps to wheel stuff in and out of our back doors at night while the custodians were cleaning the building. Once the thieves figure out there is stuff locked away they will work at how to get it. Again, it's a matter of when not if.

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Tom Gears
Wilmington, DE

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 680
The members involved in retrieving some of the stolen goodies from MC are to be commended. It was they, not the management that went underground and found the stolen materials. They did the leg work and kept the police on task. If the members hadn't taken the initiative and done the leg work, the investigation wouldn't of gone farther than a police report. Sometimes "free" isn't worth it, sometimes it is. Bringing these folks in was not a very well thought out idea.

A few years back I noticed a box car door opened along a service road. Inside the car were all the parts off of one of the disassembled locomotives. Within easy eyesight of the open door I saw injectors, bell and hanger, the lubercator and many valves along with just plain locomotive parts. I just focused on the bronze stuff. I mentioned this to one of the members and his response was "who would want this stuff, what would they do with it". He doesn't think that way anymore as some of his own valuables got stolen in the above mentioned newspaper article. By all means hide or secure your valuables. I have noticed some parts missing off display engines at MC too. Not all thieves remove things to the scrap yards either. Cheers, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:22 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2525
Location: S.F. Bay Area
And wood side boxcars are not secure safes either. Yes, please be very selective about who you let on your property. And who your contractor brings along with them. You may not hire convicted felons but your contractor might.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:35 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:32 pm
Posts: 175
At my local museum, there was an rather isolated stretch where the storage box cars were not only locked but the latches welded shut. It's a rather trivial matter to run down there in a speeder car with some tools, but it's inaccessible by truck and a steep or long hike. I doubt any metal thief would carry an large angle grinder that far. Might be worth a try to consider welding shut and alarming your storage.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:16 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 489
What we did with some box cars that were stored in a urban environment, was to weld some 1 inch hex nuts across the door and door frame about 3/4 of the way up the door.

Not only did you need power tools, you also needed a ladder.

Oh and we put padlocks in the latches, lost a few of those.

-Hudson


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1478
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
If you've got a shop, make sure that the cutting torches are well locked up. Burglars often 'borrow" them to burn their way into more secure parts of your Museum. They also carry small gasoline or battery powered saws with metal cutting blades, for those boxcars out in the woods. The weldment applied high up the doorway is interesting, the thieves may not always also carry a ladder.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:33 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2316
Location: Northern Illinois
Tavor wrote:
At my local museum, there was an rather isolated stretch where the storage box cars were not only locked but the latches welded shut. It's a rather trivial matter to run down there in a speeder car with some tools, but it's inaccessible by truck and a steep or long hike. I doubt any metal thief would carry an large angle grinder that far. Might be worth a try to consider welding shut and alarming your storage.


Really? During our winter shutdown years ago I used to get jacks, etc. from the tool shed along our mainline by simply driving my station wagon onto the road crossing, then driving down the rails. Admittedly, today's crackerbox cars might not be the proper gauge, but I bet full size pickups are.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 680
Some of the most inappropriate fun I ever had was taking a 1958 Chev on the rails. Dennis, your post had me in tears remembering the escapdes. Nothing to do with theft I know. But Jim Roster of somewhere in WI is still my hero for teaching me this little known trick. Just like almost anything under the sun good things can be used for bad deeds, in our case we were just having fun after hours. Honest no work was involved!

Cheers, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 738
Location: MA
My Honda Civic can do this. No coment on how I know this.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:38 am
Posts: 53
Location: Parkton, MD
Old-style trolley couplers mount perfectly into the tow jaw of Land Rover Series IIa's...

And Range Rovers have adequate axle-tube clearance for 100-lb rail.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap Thefts at Mid-Continent, as well......
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1478
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
RCD wrote:
My Honda Civic can do this. No coment on how I know this.
Drivers in Philadelphia, Penna. can comment how, because they do it to avoid the potholes when there are convenient tracks in the streets.
How can you tell the potholes from something else? They're the ones without fittings for manhole covers!


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