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Old 09-08-2015, 01:04 AM   #1
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Criminal intent?

The DW and I have been on the road for two years now and just experienced our first known criminal intent episode.

We pulled into a busy Walmart parking lot - after all, it was Labor Day - parking along the edge of the lot near a grassy area to walk the dog. Noticed a couple guys in a car parked about 50 feet away - not unusual. Finished walking the dog and proceeded to the store.

Returned after about 30 minutes and noticed the two guys still there. A little unusual. DW unlocks the door and remarks "Oh, you locked both locks". I had only locked the deadbolt, but didn't think much of it. Upon opening the door, our 90 lb Lab/Hound was standing at the door, which he never does. He always slowly awakens from his nap when we get back. So I think - he has to pee. I let him out and he puts his nose to the ground and begins to hunt. After a while, I see he is not interested in peeing and take him back in. I then notice the windows are now rolled up in the car with the two guys still in it. Now, it's only about 80 degrees and cloudy, but their car wasn't running, so no A/C.*

Okay, I am a bit slow, and while a bit suspicious, wasn't really alarmed. Maybe smoking some dope, I thought.

Any way, drove to the campground and went to open the awning... the front arm latch on the awning was open and the rafter knob was almost completely unscrewed. That's when it finally hit me, because I definitely checked the awning before leaving the previous campground.

Background: A couple years ago I read here about someone having their MH ransacked while shopping. They evidently used a key common to RV's as nothing was damaged to enter and they had locked only the door latch. Since then we have only used the dead bolt lock which requires a separate key. Also, advise was given to park with the door of the RV facing the store. I do this most of the time, however it is not always practical in a crowded lot. This was one of those times.

I don't know if it was the deadbolt, our dog, or both that prevented a theft, but our hackles have sure been raised.

* I believe they rolled the windows up while our dog was sniffing to conceal their smell.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:23 AM   #2
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Newmar got wise to the key problem some years ago. Our 2002 DSDP had different keys all the way around. Made it somewhat hard to even find a key shop with the correct blanks. In fact I had to order some direct from Newmar.

The present rig uses different keys also, although I was able to get duplicates made with no problem.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:27 AM   #3
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I have had that scenario a couple times as we spend a lot of time sleeping overnight in walmarts while traveling to different races we attend. I have parked in the early morning hours or even during the day and noticed folks just sitting in their cars. I give them a good stare down and even double back on occasion and make sure they know I am eyeballing them and my motorhome. It at least puts them on notice that I perhaps have their plate # and description and could ID them if need be. Too bad my memory is crap LOL I forget the plate # by time I get my cart LOL
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:46 AM   #4
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I'm glad it all worked out in your favor and no entry gained. I hate thieves and when they prey on people who have worked all there lives and finally retire it really bothers me. Safe travels all.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:13 AM   #5
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Me and my 26 year old son which we both carry went to a WM he let me out to run in. He calls me and says get out here some guy is nuts out here, he's running along banging on the car. I told him keep driving if you get boxed in do what you have to do. We called the police which was worthless.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:47 AM   #6
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We stay away from Walmarts, too many meth heads and petty lowlifes to take a chance. If we overnight on the way to a destination we might stay at a Cracker Barrel, different clientele and the place closes by 10 or so.
Or a campground if I can find one that doesn't rip you off for an 8 hour stay.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:51 AM   #7
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So what your saying is these 2 guys made your motorhome more secure for you locking both locks after they spent some time hanging out under your awning and then waited around for you to return to make sure nothing happened to your rv??? Your dog probably didn't have to pee cause they took him out to do his business while enjoying the shade under the awning. Never heard of criminals worried about locking up after they leave and then hanging around the place they just broke into. Especially ones carrying keys to your deadbolt...
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:58 AM   #8
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If you must park at Walmart, they have the entire property inside and out covered in cameras.
Perhaps parking with your door or MH in plain view of their cameras.


P.S. We all see the stories on TV each week about a new incident at a Walmart. People seem to gravitate, even the criminals, to a "safe place".
I will not "camp" at Walmart.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:11 AM   #9
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I shop as needed at WalMart and have overnighted with managements approval and I am not a meth head or low life, but former law enforcement and security/safety director.


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Old 09-08-2015, 11:16 AM   #10
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It is an interesting scenario for sure.

Perhaps they locked the second lock to make sure the dog did not get out.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:14 PM   #11
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We overnight at Walmart when we are trying to get from point "A" to point "B". It's a convenience as we can restock groceries and usually pick up breakfast if they have a Subway or similar fast food inside. We've never encountered any trouble, but I do keep an eye on what's happening. I also lock up if we leave the coach.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koop View Post
We overnight at Walmart when we are trying to get from point "A" to point "B". It's a convenience as we can restock groceries and usually pick up breakfast if they have a Subway or similar fast food inside. We've never encountered any trouble, but I do keep an eye on what's happening. I also lock up if we leave the coach.
Yep, been doing that for many years with no troubles either. Now, rest stops are a different thing. The only time I've ever felt threatened enough to pick my .45 off the floorboard was in one in Wyoming in 2004.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abarkl View Post
......We all see the stories on TV each week about a new incident at a Walmart..........,,,.

I see no such stories on TV each week. I don't believe this is true. Documentation, please.

We overnight in WM from time to time when traveling. We have had no difficulties.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha_Rooster View Post
Me and my 26 year old son which we both carry went to a WM he let me out to run in. He calls me and says get out here some guy is nuts out here, he's running along banging on the car. I told him keep driving if you get boxed in do what you have to do. We called the police which was worthless.
Is there more to the incident? The police didn't show or were worthless - how did you and your son resolve the problem?

Like others we have overnighted at WM many times without concern or issues but we haven't overnighted at WM in some of the high crime places like some areas of the LA basin or other large cities.
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