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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This summer my area has seen an alarming increase in home invasions and car break ins. The perpetrators cause incredible damage.

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There are many instances where both parents and their offspring participate in the destruction. They roam around like they own the place, can't be reasoned with and authorities act like they are helpless to mitigate the situation. We're on our own.

Here's what we're up against:

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We have black bears - not big grizzlies. This summer my neighbors have had two home invasions and a half-dozen car breakins. A honda had it's door torn off. An SUV windowframe was bent 90 degrees. I have muddy paw prints on the sides of my van once or twice per week.

Here's what we're doing to reduce the chance of van breakins, ordered by my guess as to effectiveness:
  • lock the doors always
  • never leave the window cracked open, so they can't get leverage with claw to pull the window out
  • always keep window shades on, so they can't see what's inside
  • never eat in the van, nor transport take-out food
  • all food and coolers removed
  • wipe down the interior frequently with ArmorAll Cleaner Wipes
  • leave a zip-lock with a sponge soaked in pine-sol - an odor deterrent
  • home security cameras with phone alerts
  • tools at the ready to chase and harass: air horn, bear spray, pellet gun, rocks
I've seen many breakins to small cars, but none yet to big vans. My theory is that Transit Vans are a hard target for black bears, because:
  • they cannot easily get on top of the van and use their body weight to break thru the windsheild
  • they cannot reach the top of the doors to insert claws and pull the locked door open with their body weight
  • transit doors are stronger and stiffer than the thin window frames of many small cars
  • it's harder for the bear to see inside the van
I'm curious if any of you know of a Van that has been broken into. Also: what measures do you take to bear-proof your vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bear-proof?
My bad - should have used a phrase like "bear-harden" or some such to indicate improved but not perfect security.

The electric fence idea is interesting for home-perimeter security. I know a guy who does this and has had good (perfect!) results so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would be concerned the "harder" it is, the more damage will be done to the exterior before the bear gives up.
I've seen that theory, and know that some people keep their cars unlocked for just this reason. Not me.

When I got the Transit I Googled for vans peeled open like a tin can but was surprised not to find any, but I've got to believe they're being broken into as much as cars.
I haven't found any stories of Transit randsackings either. Plenty of minivans - here is one - but not full-sized vans. Not sure why.
 
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