Cargo Box / Drawer System Security

jaymar

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Some are built tougher than others, and most are built more for convenience than security. Problem is, the really nice ready-made ones (mostly) seem like a thief could make short work of them with a pry bar (or in some cases, a mere screwdriver). Even with the strongest, the weak spot is the front, where the drawer faces are exposed. And if there are hatches on top, well, that's an even greater vulnerability; now the thief can work inside, unexposed, and just whale away at those.

Some initial thoughts on security...

1) Metal cargo barrier in front of the box, or flush with the top, if that's workable. Obviously more useful if this is behind the rear door opening, but that limits the size of the box or the sleeping area.

2) Heavy-gauge sheet metal custom-formed to surround the box on three sides, with bolt-down anchor points located under the box. Forget about hatches; they're weak points--and useless if covered with gear anyway. No open corners; weld them, or fold them with the slits facing the sides, so there's no room to work a pry bar.

3) Make the tailgate difficult or impossible to open (unless you find the secret switch). No tailgate, no drawer access (which applies to tailgate storage too).

4) Medeco or other high-quality locks.

5) Some kind of crossbar locking mechanism that inserts rods or bars into metal sleeves on sides/top/bottom of drawer enclosure (around the drawer fronts) when handles in locked position.

1 is of limited utility, or not, depending on how you use the rear space. 3 or 5 alone should defeat any quick smash-and-grab, if your box is stoutly built. 2 & 3 together, it seems to me, are going to defeat >99% of all break-ins that don't involve stealing the entire vehicle and working on it somewhere else. Sure, cordless power tools will do the trick, but that's going to be loud, put on a real light show at night, and take a while--so not terribly likely.

Seat delete arrangements are more problematic; those pesky hatches. Unless you use the whole rear space for one big box.

Additional thoughts from the Cruiser Brain Trust?


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jaymar

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I’d imagine there are different theft trends depending on area but here’s my experience in rural south Texas regarding vehicle burglaries. I’d imagine it’ll translate well to other suburban or rural communities… minus the human trafficking aspect… for urban environments add drug addicts to your offender list.

Vehicle burglaries…It’s generally a young first time offender crime committed by kids in their late teens. They are going for quick, easy and highly portable. Think guns and electronics. In 13 years I can’t think of any victim who’s had something stolen out of the back of an SUV or trunk of a car. The box alone will probably prevent 99% of typical offenders because rear SUV storage in most areas is very rare. These kids usually don’t own cars so don’t even think to look in the trunk… they are usually looking for unlocked cars or will break a window. I’d imagine that nearly any rear storage system would give you a good chance of retaining your gear. The offender is doing is for fun or to support a habit.

Now for vehicle theft… it’s that same offender in his early to mid 20’s who’s done some time in jail. I’m in rural south Texas so these thefts are usually for human trafficking. Your vehicle will be stolen and all of your gear stripped at a safe location. They’re stealing most anything now. Used for be primarily Ford and Dodge diesel 4x4’s because you could have them moving in only a few minutes with a screw driver and then go through fences and brush like a champ when detected. Now they wait at convenience stores for the guy who leaves his rig running to run in real quick. These guys are usually career offenders; it’s their job and your vehicle is just a tool to make money.

Only good way to not get stuff stolen is to park in a garage. Next option is to not leave stuff in your car. If you park outside and have the ability get high quality surveillance cameras do it. Won’t prevent it but might help identify an offender. Lock your doors. Don’t be flashy, leave your 2A stickers at home, don’t tell them what you have.

Like I said earlier, this is just what I’ve noticed over the years in rural south Texas. I’ve never worked anywhere else and don’t know the trends of other areas. Maybe substitute human trafficking for joy riding, Offroad accessory theft, chop shop. Good luck, the closest thing to guaranteed safety is a garage.
Thanks for the insights. I think we have an increasingly large pool of professionals here on the west coast, because the time between arrest and the next "field learning opportunity" is measured in hours. In 2020 in Oregon, police were chasing a stolen Land Cruiser when it crashed--into a stolen Buick. Both drivers arrested. Somewhere I posted a video of a 60/62 with rooftop tent in San Francisco. Parked for the night. Guy comes up to driver's door, gets in, guy is inside 13 seconds from first touch, news story I saw said it was gone in 45. Also 2020. A lot of these rigs won't fit in the garage. I think we're gonna need a bigger garage...

Here it is:

 
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NeverFinis

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An angle grinder will make short work of most everything, but I am happy with my drawers from @RuggedBound


This is Rugged Bound's Photo:

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If the thief has the ability to bypass a locked vehicle door I’m not sure you’re going to prevent access to anything else. Steal the vehicle open your lockbox later.

Keep stuff out of sight which drawers do a good job of. Beyond that not sure what else to do other than park in a more secure location.

a small gun vault can offer a more secure location for small items/cash. Bolt it down somewhere hard to work on.
 

jaymar

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I’ve added one of the apple tracking things to mine. Not great but better than nothing. Most of my clientele isn’t using apple products so I’m not too worried about them receiving the “there’s a tracking device with you” notification. If I could identify a reputable tracking device company I’d probably go that route.

The reason the OEM trackers weren’t that successful is because every car had one and the few successful thieves knew that it was there and all you had to do was cut the antenna cable. I’ve had the opportunity to see exactly where vehicles were located, in Mexico, and be able to do absolutely nothing about it. I’ve seen aftermarket trackers work well in the rare occasions that a vehicle had them.

We aren’t dealing with the NSA or CIA. We are dealing with kids and addicts.
Interesting. Who--if you can say--is your clientele? And what's the job? :)
 
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I just welded some ears/tabs to both ends of my 4x4Labs rear bumper wings.
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Just buy a big square padlock like:
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No need to spend on locks for the Cargo drawers. If you can’t open the bottom half of the tailgate, drawers are not accesible. Cons: you have to open the lock and remember to put it back on every time you need to access the cargo area.
 
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