# Do people steal glass avionics

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#### way_up_noth

##### Well-Known Member
Hi guys as I bend and rivet my project questions bubble to the surface

I’m a new pilot in training ...learning the ropes

If you put $3000 in radio / avionics panel Is it safe at the airport ... is it really not an issue to worry about...I’ve not read any posts about it.... Just wondering Thanks Michael #### jedi ##### Well-Known Member Talk about dumb questions, can you name anything that someone will not steal? Sorry if that is insensitive or not politically correct! Answer: It depends. Some airplanes and airports are more secure than others. That is one reason why hangers are popular. KAWO has had issues for the last several years. The authorities caught a local gang that had been hitting the airport and other businesses and found they had the code for the airport security fence. Last week I got an email saying that several hangers have had the locks cut but apparently nothing was taken. The local police have increased their patrols. There is a federal law saying that any theft or tampering with aircraft is federal offense with$10,000 fine and 5 years or similar but the folks doing the damage probably don't read about that.

There is a story about a Lear Jet that took off before the pilots realized that someone had cleaned out the electronics bay and got away with about a million dollars worth of equipment. It sounded like a drug running story to me.

Having said that 99% of the aviation population are really nice people and the equipment is relatively safe even when it is an easy target. But then there was also the drifter that came up from California and liked to borrow gas from the neighbors hangers and airplanes. The indians ended up with his equipment when he was kicked out of the hanger for not paying the rent and he chose to store his stuff on the reservation.

BTW The barefoot bandit was one county away. I hear he is out now and is taking flying lessons. Kind of a nice guy with some bad brakes.

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#### Hephaestus

##### Well-Known Member
GTA might be a different story... But rural Alberta I haven't heard of anyone suffering a loss like that.

But every once in a blue moon, someone makes mention of parts magically walking away from an old decrepit aircraft that's been tied outside for years and hasn't seen use/attention in decades. More often than not turns into a kerfuffle trying to figure out who actually owns it and where they've gone.

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
The only avionics I have heard being stolen was probably stolen by the guy who just sold it. Most airports are not problems for theft. $3000 is a littl chunk but the guy parked next to you may have$65,000 in radios and stuff.

#### N804RV

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter

But then, there's also this one:

#### Pilot-34

##### Well-Known Member
I went to a school where you couldn’t leave your headset in your briefcase on your desk if you stepped across to the hall to the toilet

As said above your mileage may vary

#### bmcj

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
It can and has happened. Airports tend to be ignored by criminals; maybe because they are more secure, or they don’t know the value of the components and where to fence them, or because it is a Federal crime to tamper with an aircraft. However, today’s criminals are getting bolder and more desperate. Even on airports, if it is easy to pick up and not nailed down, they will take it even if they have no idea what it is, but if it is bolted in, they USUALLY will not spend the extra effort to extricate it. On the other hand, there is also the occasional dishonest pilot that knows how airports work, knows the value of the components, and knows how to remove it (like the engine theft posted earlier).

Airports, even the small independent ones, are still generally very secure and not often bothered compared to other targets like homes, businesses, and cars.

#### Daleandee

##### Well-Known Member
I would think most of the newer items that use internet for updating software or information downloads could be found easily enough if they are broadcasting anything akin to an IP address. That won't keep it from being stolen but there may be a slim shot at getting it back ... if it's worth having after being forcibly removed from the panel in a hurry. I have real dislike for anyone that will steal.

But to answer the question ... people will steal anything. When I was a child my dad had a way of breaking that habit real early in your life. Many folks alive today haven't ever had some real comeuppance put on them. I learned from my dad that once a parent properly makes the child understand, after that all it takes is "the look" to make the child reconsider what they are about to do .

#### Vigilant1

##### Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
I think crimes like this are still fairly rare, and a lot depends on where you are. It's impossible to make anything theft-proof, but usually it's not hard to become a less attractive target than someone else, and that's usually enough.
When respect for private property breaks down, it is time to find a new place to be.
There are places where theft of outdoor air conditioning units is a big problem. The folks who steal them do thousands of dollars in damage, risk jail time, and then get about $50 in scrap value for the copper/AL. When things get to that point . . . #### Pops ##### Well-Known Member Log Member I was a student pilot and based my airplane at a large airport and one night people slipped into the airport stealing fuel. They threw my fuel caps away and also stole the position light lenses. Chopped a hole in the bottom of a nearby wings of a C-210 with what looked like an axe to drain the fuel. Know of a person where someone took his prop off his airplane one night. Old friend of mine was building a grass field airport in 1970. Had a dozer and backhoe and a dump truck and hauling dirt to fill a small hollow. One night a couple young boys driving the father's new Ford convertible was stealing fuel. While they were busy at the other end of the runway, he fired the dozer up and shoved the new Ford in the hollow and covered it up with dirt. It's still in the bottom of the hollow under about 20' of dirt. #### mcrae0104 ##### Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Log Member I went to a school where you couldn’t leave your headset in your briefcase... Your briefcase? When was this, the 1980s? #### BBerson ##### Light Plane Philosopher HBA Supporter I would pull the screen and take it home and keep it dry with the headset. Never had a left at a tiedown. #### 12notes ##### Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter Log Member I remember in the 80's they sold a cover for your car's cassette deck that made it look like it was a factory AM radio so thieves wouldn't steal it. Maybe we need the same thing here, a cover for the avionics screen that makes it look like a bunch of old steam gauges. Found a picture from an ad: #### Doran Jaffas ##### Well-Known Member Hi guys as I bend and rivet my project questions bubble to the surface I’m a new pilot in training ...learning the ropes If you put$3000 in radio / avionics panel

Is it safe at the airport ... is it really not an issue to worry about...I’ve not read any posts about it....

Just wondering

Thanks
Michael
Airports are the safest places with the highest integrity of personnel in my 40+ years experience. I've never worried about my hangar and airplane being unlocked.
That being said... anything can be stolen. I just wouldn't get all nervous about it. Enjoy the build. Enjoy the airplane and remember why you became interested in Aviation in the first place. There are enough potentials in life without allowing them into Aviation, to worry about.
Keep the passion.

#### Pilot-34

##### Well-Known Member
I remember in the 80's they sold a cover for your car's cassette deck that made it look like it was a factory AM radio so thieves wouldn't steal it. Maybe we need the same thing here, a cover for the avionics screen that makes it look like a bunch of old steam gauges.

Found a picture from an ad:
Lol
The radio in my truck that I bought brand spanking new in 1981 did not have the FM side of the Dial just the a.m.!

On the other hand I still own the truck and to this day the keys have never been out of it

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#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
My 1981 Chevy 3/4 ton truck radio does not have FM. Owned for 30 years and been stored each winter except one since I have owned it. The old truck is a part of me. Love driving it. Just like an old airplane, it has character.

#### Pilot-34

##### Well-Known Member
Lol sounds like the same truck right down to the radio
Except mines a Ford ,picked it up on the dealers lot in Illinois and drove it straight home to Homer Alaska at down to 40 below
Never spent a night indoors
I put 90,000 miles on it the first year bouncing between Il and Ak
Lol it never got stored much

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#### speedracer

##### Active Member
Wow, they disconnected the motor mounts and removed them that way, pretty smart. Had to be a 2 or 3 man job. I'll bet at least one of them was an A/P.

#### C Michael Hoover

##### Active Member
"But to answer the question ... people will steal anything. "
Some years ago the garbage men in New York city went on strike. An enterprising fellow would box his garbage up, wrap it in gift paper, add a bow and leave it on the passenger seat of his unlocked car. He didn't have to worry about his garbage piling up!