Theft- How do you protect your shop from theft?

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Forum topic by DavidTTU posted 02-25-2016 10:18 PM 2520 views 0 times favorited 84 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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115 posts in 1059 days

02-25-2016 10:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: security shop security

This past Monday I came home to my house to find my rear door kicked in and my house ransacked. Petty burglary is not unheard of in my neighborhood and I was the most recent victim. Lucky for me they went right past my garage shop and all of my tools were left alone.

I am grateful for this, but I would also like to be more prepared. I am interested in how you guys secure your shop, or if you do? Having spent a little while on youtube, I know see how easy it is to kick in even a reinforced door and door frame, as well as how easy it is to punch a garage lock. Anyone have any tips or advice?


PS. It was satisfying being able to fix the door myself and save on not having to use my home insurance (which is a whole different robbery but that isnt what this site is for)

84 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3384 days

#1 posted 02-25-2016 10:53 PM

Alarm system, steel exterior doors, and weapons.


View StumpyNubs's profile


6830 posts in 2224 days

#2 posted 02-25-2016 11:00 PM

Twelve gauge. String from the door knob to the trigger. I killed two raccoons and a feral hog last year.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View AandCstyle's profile


2541 posts in 1681 days

#3 posted 02-25-2016 11:01 PM

David, I am sorry to hear about the break in. We had one 40 years ago and it is really unsettling.

We now have a monitored alarm system that has motion detectors, glass break sensors, video and audible alarm (not to mention water, carbon monoxide, low temperature, power & smoke). It costs about $45/month. It is reassuring to know that everything is okay when we are away.

I am of the opinion that any door can be broken into so the only viable alternative is to scare the would be thief off by an audible alarm (might be a “junk yard” dog). FWIW

-- Art

View DirtyMike's profile


386 posts in 326 days

#4 posted 02-25-2016 11:10 PM

I was at the epicenter for burglary a couple years back, local police accredited the sudden rise in crime to a new batch of meth. I made signs that read ” trespassers will be sodomized’’ and put them up around my property. Didn’t get my ups packages for a while.

View Paul's profile


719 posts in 989 days

#5 posted 02-25-2016 11:23 PM

I woke up 13 years ago in bed with a gun pointed to my face while in bed after hearing a huge thud. Someone knocked in my door and had me at gun point. He took everything I owned of worth at the time.

Since then I’ve owned 3 Rhodesian ridge backs, all trained to only respond to German commands. All 3 trained by the same ex marine K-9 unit that sends out bomb sniffing dogs all over the US.

Not only the best money I’ve ever spent but they have all been the most loyal dogs I’ve ever seen. My best dog Chip, I can tell him to guard the door and when I wake up in the morning he’s still sitting and the door staring at the doorknob.


View RJRosa's profile


33 posts in 1572 days

#6 posted 02-25-2016 11:34 PM

I put in a heavy duty re-enforced kick plate and also re-enforced the hinge side. I put bars on the only windows and motion sensor lights around the exterior. Did I mention the double sided deadbolt? I also am good friends with both of my neighbors they are retired and home most of the time.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2391 posts in 2346 days

#7 posted 02-25-2016 11:37 PM

What Bill White said.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Redoak49's profile


1824 posts in 1412 days

#8 posted 02-25-2016 11:48 PM

I have a monitored alarm system and very sturdy doors. For security, there are now windows on my garage or shop. The garage doors are heavy steel and doors are steel with bars across them.

My shop and garage are on the opposite end of the house as the bedrooms. Having a monitored system for both smoke, fire and intrusions make me feel safer. I also have two loud dogs.

Lastly, I just completed a full inventory with a spreadsheet and pictures of everything.

View dhazelton's profile


2294 posts in 1720 days

#9 posted 02-26-2016 12:16 AM

Some type of camera system is probably a smart idea.

View klassenl's profile


169 posts in 2083 days

#10 posted 02-26-2016 12:22 AM

I live in a small town.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View JoeinGa's profile


7383 posts in 1431 days

#11 posted 02-26-2016 01:00 AM

Some type of camera system is probably a smart idea.

- dhazelton

Do a google search for security camera watches thief …. I’ve seen several vids where the victim is at work, on the phone with the police while she is watching thieves ransack her house. And she’s helpless to stop them. Sad but true.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View bandit571's profile


14094 posts in 2107 days

#12 posted 02-26-2016 01:05 AM

I have two “Doorman”. Mister Smith, and Mister Wesson. Along with a shop dog.

They have tried to break into my van a week or so ago…..flash from the camera stopped that.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


4048 posts in 1623 days

#13 posted 02-26-2016 01:07 AM

Nothing beats a big dog… they are advanced early warning detection systems with teeth, and the last thing a thief wants to deal with.

As for the van… years ago I used to do HVAC service and had problems with people breaking into the van when I was in a building doing work. Problem was solved with the addition of a 12 foot python :)


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View JBrow's profile


754 posts in 344 days

#14 posted 02-26-2016 03:46 AM


It is unfortunate that this is the world we live in, but it is. What is fortunate is that most thieves are dopers and/or not very bright and opportunists. And they would rather avoid a confrontation. Their goal is to grab whatever they can in a short period of time and get out of there and then turn their haul around quickly for cash. Therefore the stationary tools and older tools are probably safe, but the new electronics, jewelry, etc. are prime targets.

One might think that night time is the most likely time when thieves would strike. However, in Ohio where I live, a burglary committed when a person is home earns bonus points for the thief at sentencing. Therefore, many residential burglaries happen during daylight hours when a thief believes no one is home. This profile is, I believe, generally correct, but of course there are those who do not fit this profile – thankfully fewer than the majority.

Security monitoring systems, cameras, and dogs are all deterrents to would be thieves. Guns are good for ending a threat to life, but offer many disadvantages and great care must be exercised when in the home. Kids are very curious.

Here are a few other things that can be done:

1. Never enter the home if it appears the property has or may have been burglarized. The thief could still be in the home.

2. Ensure there is good lightening around the property. Evil hates the light.

3. Keep landscaping trimmed, especially around windows and doors. Also ensure a clear view to the front door when you are pulling in the driveway.

4. Keep windows and doors locked. This is obvious if you are leaving the house. However there are surprisingly few people who keep windows and doors locked when at home.

5. Establish and maintain a good relationship with your neighbors. In a case where I suspected an attempted burglary of my home, I notified my neighbors as well as making a police report.

6. Whenever you suspect someone tried to enter your home, report it to the police. They are probably working a string of burglaries, could increase patrols, and your report could otherwise be helpful.

7. When away for a few days, stop the paper and the mail. Use timers to control lights inside the house regularly, even when at home. Keep the porch lights on at night and during the day, especially for a month or so before leaving the home for a period of time. Whiles thieves tend to be dumb, some are smart enough to drive around looking for homes where it appears the homeowners are on vacation. A porch light normally off during the day and then it is on all day long is a tip off. Dusk to dawn LED motion lights are a good alternative to leaving outdoor lights on 24 hour a day.

8. Have a locksmith come to the house and upgrade your locks. His locks are better than those at the home center, all locks can be keyed the same, and reinforcing can be added. Deadbolts with 1” throws are needed. If the locksmith is not called, reinforce the strike plates and replace all the screws in the door, jam and hinges with heavy screws long enough to penetrate 1” into the framing. Also flush mounted dead bolts at the top and bottom (at the floor) door edges are good but may not be very practical. Nonetheless the flush mounted deadbolts can defeat a spreader bar used to jack the center of the door opening just enough for the door to swing open.

Ensure a sliding glass door cannot be lifted out of its tracks when closed (some can be). Sliding doors and double hung windows can be secured close with a long dowel wedged between the door or window and frame. Breaking the glass becomes the only way in. Many thieves do not like making noise and do not want to cut themselves.

9. Take stock in what you have. An exhaustive inventory of everything you have could be handy in the aftermath of a burglary, but is indispensable in the event of a fire. I have taken photos of my possessions, put them on two memory sticks, gave one to a relative for safe keeping and I kept the other. The copy of these pics on the computer could disappear with the computer in a theft. And this inventory should be updated at least annually.

Also, engraving at least high target, high value items with a number but not a social security number (perhaps the reverse of a birthday) on could be helpful to law enforcement. It makes it easier for police to identify a recovered item as stolen and return it to the owner.

10. Steps could be taken to protect any electronic records on the computer. Sensitive files that contain personally identifying information like the social security number or tax records should be encrypted. Inexpensive encryption software is available and easy to use. Also any important files on the computer should be backed up on a device that it not likely to be found during a quick rifling of the house. If the computer is taken, at least you retain your important files and the thief will have a hard time viewing your personally identifying info.

11. Seek help of professionals. You may find the police more than happy to speak with you about what specific steps you can take to reduce your risk of being hit again. Also your insurance company may have resources that could be helpful.

View JAAune's profile


1617 posts in 1740 days

#15 posted 02-26-2016 03:53 AM

Insurance agents recommend noisy alarm systems with cell phone backup. Most thieves won’t stick around long when the horns and flashing lights start up.

-- See my work at and

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