my van got burgled

Nothing of great value taken… doors/locks were not damaged (I thought it was locked but perhaps the passenger front door wasn’t I found it unlocked). I also have no idea when this happened since I hadn’t driven it for a while… The ass left a cigarette butt on the dashboard too and broke off the faceplate of the stereo…

I haven’t tried to see if I can put the faceplate back on yet. that can wait for a better day.

So my question is: Are there any decent alarm systems out there (and is it worth it?) how difficult would it be to make some sort of security system for the van? Something that maybe alarms when the car is touched, or better, calls my phone when the vehicle is disturbed?.. The van is a 2000 astro panel van, no power locks, no power windows… pretty basic critter.

I’d dearly love a taser wired to the door handles or a dye/pepper spray. but I know that’s probably a legal nono…

Apparently this sort of theft is more common in my area than I knew…

What suggestions do y’all have?


Getting a car broken into is a pain.

There’s a ton of websites that would love to sell you car security setups…the cheapest ones just sound an alarm when a door is opened if you don’t disarm them first. It should be pretty easy to recreate this with an arduino or whatever. Sending you a cell message sounds possible but beyond my knowledge!

Dangerous or lethal booby-traps are illegal. “Dangerous” is kinda subjective, but I think you’d actually be OK with pepper spray or paint-bomb. Taser probably not. Maybe the law enforcement members of the hive would have a clearer answer :slight_smile:

Or…do you still have the cigarrette butt? You could 3D print the perp’s face from the DNA, and hang it on your dashboard in case they come back.


As a former car audio installer, you really can’t keep people from breaking into a car… Alarm or not, the best way to keep people out is to keep your car spotless… SPOTLESS, showroom style, nothing in the car, no empty drinks, nothing… If they don’t see anything in the front seats it usually gets passed by. As for a non-booby trap method…
store bought prices are always a bit, but I have used this one and it works pretty good if properly installed.

monthly fee, but it will call your phone, some other brands actually put a camera by the mirror, and it takes a picture of the person and sends it to you… but again, not cheap

The officer who responded took the cigarett butt in an evidence bag… He mentioned DNA but let’s be serious - I really don’t think they’d bother with DNA unless there’s a worse crime that someone is suspected of and they want to link it to other crimes in the area… He wasn’t going to take fingerprints… even when I mentioned that the stereo faceplate has smudges that are likely from the thief.

I’m hoping to make it down to the Hive tonight.

I will propose my solution, given the fact I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this sort of thing (I own a Jeep that has the doors removed nearly the entire summer). I will say that Rick is right, keep things out of sight. Another thing to think about is, Even if you do get their picture, then what? you’re assuming the police will follow-up. Just a thought before you spend any money protecting it.

That being said, this could possibly provide you will all the features you need with minimal cost.

  1. Raspberry Pi (Model A) - $25
  2. Raspberry Pi Camera - $25 ← Full 1080P video/ photos
  3. FreedomPOP - 4G USB Cellular Modem - $50 deposit (Monthly service is free as long as you stay under 500MB/mo and you are in their 4G coverage area

You could use the Raspberry Pi with Motion. Motion will record snapshots at intervals if you wish and will detect motion in a video feed. you can then get it to run a script on motion detection (This could be emailing a picture to a MMS number and/or activating an output to the raspberry pi)

You could make your own interface board to take door switches as inputs or even a disable switch (Nobody will likely pay attention to an inconspicuous switch) and drive outputs (Think horn honking). To make interfacing easier you could get a PiFace expansion board with some relay outputs and input terminals for less than $35.

Good Luck!