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Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here

Mr Red 04 May 11 - 06:56 AM
Manitas_at_home 04 May 11 - 08:13 AM
Acorn4 04 May 11 - 08:18 AM
Manitas_at_home 04 May 11 - 10:46 AM
Pulseroom 04 May 11 - 11:41 AM
katlaughing 04 May 11 - 11:45 AM
My guru always said 04 May 11 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,LDT 04 May 11 - 02:10 PM
Seayaker 04 May 11 - 07:14 PM
Tyke 04 May 11 - 10:43 PM
Hamish 05 May 11 - 03:13 AM
SomersetLee 05 May 11 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,AEOLA 05 May 11 - 09:31 AM
Seayaker 05 May 11 - 12:11 PM
Desert Dancer 05 May 11 - 12:29 PM
Seayaker 05 May 11 - 01:01 PM
Mr Red 10 May 11 - 10:56 AM
alex s 10 May 11 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,MC Fat (in Madrid) 10 May 11 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Baz parkes 10 May 11 - 04:56 PM
Mr Red 10 May 11 - 06:07 PM
Acorn4 14 Jun 11 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,FloraG 15 Jun 11 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,muppitz 15 Jun 11 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Neovo 15 Jun 11 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,selby 15 Jun 11 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 15 Jun 11 - 10:18 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Jun 11 - 12:00 PM
kendall 15 Jun 11 - 07:34 PM
kendall 15 Jun 11 - 07:36 PM
GUEST 15 Jun 11 - 11:57 PM
Tom - Swords & Songs 16 Jun 11 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,Sandra 16 Jun 11 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Curious Oddity 25 Jun 11 - 09:42 PM
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Subject: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Mr Red
Date: 04 May 11 - 06:56 AM

It is a sad truth of the economic times. Thieves target festivals. Have been for a few years.

Usually the first night when people get back to their tents and drift into alcohol assisted oblivion.

The pattern is roughly: trousers and bags are taken, cash and valuables removed and the dross discarded. Credit cards seem to be unused.

The message is: put all cash and valuables in your sleeping bags.

And caravans are not immune - lock them.

According one of the better festival organisers (ie informative IMNSHO) Dick Dixon told me they buy tickets and camp to deflect suspicion. You can't really point fingers unless you carry a switched-on camera and can operate it in your sleep at the right time. But many folkies have camera phones - be prepared if you are suspicious.

Morris bells on the zip are a pretty good wheeze until the late inebriated stragglers stumble around looking for their tent. Miscreants would not hit guy ropes but I would not put it past them to have night vision goggles.

Anyone reported those missing?


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 04 May 11 - 08:13 AM

Do NOT keep valuables in your sleeping bag unless you are in it! At the 1st Leeds FF I and a lot of other people had sleeping bags stolen!


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Acorn4
Date: 04 May 11 - 08:18 AM

This happened at the "Folk Thing" in Ashby Folville recently - ruined the weekend for those who were the victims.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 04 May 11 - 10:46 AM

I might point out that the Leeds FF referred to above was 30 years ago and had proper security guards (not stewards) even then.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Pulseroom
Date: 04 May 11 - 11:41 AM

I take all my cash and personal belongings with me? Who would leave cash anywhere in a tent?


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 May 11 - 11:45 AM

I have visions of folkies sleeping with their instruments in their sleeping bags...not nearly as soft and comfy as a partner!:-)

Seriously, though, it is good advice, but sad it comes to that. Having said that, I'd be paranoid about leaving much of anything around if it couldn't be locked up, i.e. in a caravan.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: My guru always said
Date: 04 May 11 - 01:32 PM

It's also advisable to keep your caravan or camper locked while you are sleeping in it. I know of a couple of instances at Festivals recently where van doors have been opened and items taken while the occupants were sleeping inside.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 04 May 11 - 02:10 PM

This is one of the reasons I won't camp (in a tent) at festivals. I just can't afford to have anything stolen or to pay for insurance to cover anything stolen.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Seayaker
Date: 04 May 11 - 07:14 PM

If you have to leave instruments or other valuables in a car it's worth looking at the items from Pacsafe (a google search will find them)
The Exomesh Cover is a steel mesh bag secured with a wire cable which can be locked to a secure anchor such as a car seat frame.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Tyke
Date: 04 May 11 - 10:43 PM

At Whitby Folk Week somebody left a Banjo on the Back seat of thier car. When they came back after only half an hour someone had smashed the cars windscreen and on the front seats were two more banjo's.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Hamish
Date: 05 May 11 - 03:13 AM

Pacsafe

My advice however is to take all valuables in a bumbag and lock instruments in the boot of the car. Be careful about that hot sun, however. Don't let extreme heat destroy your instruments: not much consolation to know it wasn't stolen if it has reverted to its component parts in a puddle of melted glue.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: SomersetLee
Date: 05 May 11 - 07:36 AM

This also happened at Upton about 10 tents got raided on the first night. All belongings got dumped in the bushes.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,AEOLA
Date: 05 May 11 - 09:31 AM

Yes, sad though it may be,not everyone goes to a FF toenjoy themselves.If you can lock valuables in the car out of site do so. Otherwise carry them with you and keep small items under your pillow when sleeping. I like the idea of bells on the entrance!! It was good to know that credit cards were all found.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Seayaker
Date: 05 May 11 - 12:11 PM

Good suggestion Hamish but I have an estate car i.e. no boot.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 May 11 - 12:29 PM

re: valuables in sleeping bags -- it sounds as though Mr. Red was saying that people's tents were robbed while they were sleeping in them, so having your wallet in your bag with you was better than having it in your cast off trousers. (Thus also the thought about morris bells on the tent zip.)


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Seayaker
Date: 05 May 11 - 01:01 PM

Thats just what did happen at Bromyard F.F. last year


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 May 11 - 10:56 AM

It happened at Warwick two years ago - any inebriated revelers are a soft target. They are there to relax. The miscreants know that - I doubt they would be drunk themselves (first night anyway).

Yes caravans and tents were raided while the occupants were asleep.

Instruments are easier to personalise and harder to hide than cash.

Certainly at Bromyard there were stories of silhouettes at the open flap saying "sorry wrong tent" - and open flaps that were closed the night before - as well as the losses. Some folkies reckoned the trousers had been replaced! Sans dosh.

Upton has night-time security but that only frightens off the local idiots.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: alex s
Date: 10 May 11 - 01:47 PM

This happened recently to a friend of mine at Hardraw - the perps went down a line of tents robbing while the occupants were asleep, having first nicked the keys to his car - when challenged they simply hopped in the car and vanished.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,MC Fat (in Madrid)
Date: 10 May 11 - 03:08 PM

Theives were at work (if that´s the word) at Warwick, Bromyard and Shrewsbury last year. my friend was sure things had been moved in his tent when we came back from town. Later on found out things had been nicked from tents.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,Baz parkes
Date: 10 May 11 - 04:56 PM

a timely reminder to take loads of pictures of your instruments, keep details, and if you lose them you'll have enough evidence to post on Facebook's Stolen Instrument Gallery...someone more techy than I will probably do a blicky...


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 May 11 - 06:07 PM

Yea and if you suspect anyone - take pictures of them. I may just resurrect my writswatch camera wheeze. I think a flash facility was just too much to ask for from Casio. But a torch................

Miscreants take note.

Oh and my car keys won't start the car BTW. Well not the ones you can find anyway.

Imagine them trying to hightail it by turning the ignition and waking everyone up with the multiple attempts. Almost worth it for the amusement value.

Redditch had a similar problem from local yoof. They found plenty of beer. One year I was on the door of the indoor sleeping and the yoof came round chatting away (ie distraction) so I chattily suggested we take photos of them as friends. The girl slowly edged out of the picture. She sussed me - but the three lads didn't. The lads were opportunists, the girl may have been more professional - or just savvy. Challenging them was not going to work, being their mates did. But I still had to remind them they weren't passing through - many times.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Acorn4
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 03:28 PM

Happened again at Gate to Southwell on first night. Usual pattern again.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 04:01 AM

Anyone had a good experience with an insurance company over stolen instruments?   If so, which company?


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,muppitz
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 06:53 AM

I think with the rise of these thefts it's time for festival organisers to make efforts to make patrons, artists and traders aware that it is happening, at the moment no one seems to want to acknowledge it officially and sadly this means that not enough people are aware of it so this leads to more items of value being available for the thieves to steal in the first place!
Surely this subject warrants an entry in the program, on the website, in the form of a leaflet passed to people at the same time as their complimentary bin bag....... etc?

As I understand it at the Gate to Southwell festival each night, even on the Thursday, not only were people's tents targeted, but various traders too, so no one is above being robbed.

Sadly we're now going to have to treat our camping homes like we do our real ones. The folk world has collided with the real world and the days of being able to say, "Oh it's ok, I'm at a folk festival" are well and truly over.

muppitz
x


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,Neovo
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 08:40 AM

Shepley acknowledged this - their camping information included a clear warning and advice on keeping stuff safe.

Having said this it is not the festival organisers' responsibility to keep your personal belongings safe. That's your responsibility.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,selby
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 09:01 AM

my sons tent was turned over during the day at shepley. We believe someone knew where is tent was and that he was away for the day dancing. Nothing was taken as nothing of value was inside. Unfortunately as the merecat says simples.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 10:18 AM

Would definitely agree with Baz above regarding pics....I have a CD of about 150 photos of my instruments (No, that's not 150 instruments, but close-ups/numbers/distinguishing marks etc) Took me a morning, and it made me polish them up too! Only problem was I couldn't work out how to take a picture of the camera that took the pictures!
As for leaving things on a campsite....Would never even contemplate it. Most festivals have some sort of facility for stashing things securely away. Wouldn't even trust a locked car nowadays.
At one particular festival I attend regularly, The B&B I stay in has a room that lots of artists store their instruments in for the duration....It resembles a high class music shop sometimes! (And No, I won't tell you where it is!)
On the very rare occasions I camp, Thieves would find very lean pickings. maybe a half finished bottle of Red, a can of Stella, and a couple of pairs of used underpants....And the tent isn't worth much anyway!


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 12:00 PM

Ralphie - mirror!


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 07:34 PM

At a certain Bluegrass festival some beer was stolen. It was replaced by a six pack in which the owner and his buddies had pissed. Then they carefully put the caps back on. That too disappeared, but that site had no more thieves all weekend long.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 07:36 PM

It's also a good idea to remove and lock up you trailer hitch if it the class 3 type. A friend of mine had his stolen and was unable to tow his camper. He was 250 miles from home.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 11:57 PM

You can buy a tent lock. I camp at the S.C.a. Pensic War. With 10,000 people, there are bound to be a few bad eggs. So, theft is a problem Simple fact, if people can't see something, they don't want it. If they don't want it, they won't steal it. Pack your gear in plastic tubs, and it stays dry. Put your jewelry, your ipod, smaller instruments in plastic tubs, and put something on top of them, so they won't be found immediately. The harder it is for someone to grab something, the less likely it is to be grabbed.
Put something over your guitar case, so it isn't obviously a guitar case.

More important, if you see someone acting suspiciously in camp ask, "'Scuse me, can I help you?" Which is a terribly nice way of saying, "What the hell do you think you're doing?"


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: Tom - Swords & Songs
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 08:00 AM

The other thing to clock is to turn off your bluetooth on your phone. There are simple aps that anyone can download which gives you precise locations of other bluetooth users in the area - specifically to link iPhone to iPhone.

It was no cooincidence at Shrewsbury last year that all the tents with iPhones in them were slashed open and had stuff nicked from the top field.

Bells on the zips don't tend to work anymore because it's quicker and quieter to slice open the side of a tent and get at stuff that way - and you don't want to wake up with someone with a knife cutting open your tent...

Tom


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 05:55 PM

Thieving is horrible wherever it takes place. We had one report of an iPhone stolen from a ten last year.


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Subject: RE: Festival Reminder - Thieves operate here
From: GUEST,Curious Oddity
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 09:42 PM

If it makes you feel any better, it's not just folk festivals this is happening at. I attend Bloodstock Open Air metal festival, which had around 10,000 people last year and around 7-8,000 the year before that.

I've heard several reports of tents being raided on the first and second nights. Police say it's a local gang who know what they're doing! If they wake you, they either make a hasty retreat muttering in a drunk-like fashion something along the lines of 'sorry wrong tent', although I remember reading on the forum that one girl was told to 'go back to sleep'.

If they don't wake you, and they don't find anything in your bag, they know where else to look and I've also heard of wallets being taken from underneath people's heads, the bottoms of sleeping bags slashed, even as far as people having their trousers removed from them. A difference would seem to be that valuables like phones and credit cards seem to be left alone in favour of petty cash.


My own advice is probably what you've heard before as I'd imagine plenty of you are seasoned festival goers, but I would be not to put a lock on your tent, because when you're away from your tent, it doesn't half make it look like you've got something valuable to hide, and when you're asleep at night it would rob you of a quick exit in the rare even that you might need it. The idea for putting some bells on your zip is a good one, provided it's not windy...

If you are awoken by someone, don't be afraid to make a huge noise about it, especially if they're shining a maglite in your eyes. Look out for your neighbours. It can work just as much in your favour as well as theirs if you stick around for a good while around your tent, socialising or just being present while people arrive and set up camp around you so you have a better chance of recognising people or being recognised. If you are awoken, make a point of watching them for a while. If they look like a wasp buzzing from honey pot to honey pot, that might be a good time to find some security if they're present.

Mallets are criminally underrated. Ok I'm not serious about that one.

Some festivals that don't allow you to park by your tent do offer a (often rip-off) cloakroom service which operates via a wristband system, so it might be a good idea to make use of them, although I'm not sure how many folk festivals use them.

Other than that, if you're not fond of setting up a complete home security system complete with alarm bells and night vision video cameras, you could perhaps try being creative with hiding your valuables.



I haven't gone overkill with this, have I? I'm still not very used to the whole folk festival environment, which is quite different to the camping experience of several thousand hyped up and drunken hairy metallers being loud and (while for the most part friendly and harmless) quite a bit different attitude-wise to folkies.


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