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McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT


Postby Sgurr » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:42 pm

Does anyone else feel a bit ambivalent about |McNeish's advice on leaving your car and NO note of where you have gone? When walking solo, husband usually knows where I am, indeed it has proved useful once when I was allowed to walk a certain hill despite stalking as long as I went THEIR way, as I explained that if I went to another hill, my husband wouldn't know where I was. (They took one look and obviously reckoned that I couldn't be guaranteed to get myself back).But notes in cars? Do they really inform thieves? If there are going to be people trying to break in, I would have thought they would be just as likely to do it to a car with NO note as one with a note. Fishermen, walkers et al,. leave their cars for a long time and thieves probably know this.

A note can not only tell police you are in a bothy, but could save your life. I wonder how often (if ever) MRT people find notes in cars, or do they always just react to phone calls or panic and route advice from families?


A note in car, or no note in car???
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby Moriarty » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:23 pm

Don't feel the article focussed on the reality of the situation.

Wheel locks are irrelevant for car break ins - they make car theft more difficult.

I'm sceptical that notes of plans are relevant either - smash and grab thieves will assess if anyone is here NOW when they break in, a note suggesting the owner won't return for 24 hrs is irrelevant.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby AHillTooFar » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:39 pm

I have never thought about people breaking into cars parked by hill walkers. However I have never left a note in my car either.

I would agree with what is said above that the time it takes to break into a car means it is of no significance whether someone is away half an hour or half a day. It would be a cruel person who steals a car from such a remote location though.

For a lot of these types of car parks it is reasonable to believe people are not going out of their way for a five minute pit stop and I would be more worried about someone robbing me in person at such a location. Even then they would have to have a lot of patience for little reward in the case of robbing myself.

So, for me, no notes left in the car but also that I do not think those alone will make a car more of a target than others.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby al78 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:21 pm

I've never thought about it myself, but I have never left a note in my car. As far as theft from parked cars in remote areas are concerned, a thief will know if cars are parked by hikers and so will be gone for hours rather than minutes. At best a note reinforces this. His advice to leave the car so that it looks like there is nothing to steal is a good idea. A thief will surely rather try their luck with a car that has got something valuable on show. I thought the point of leaving a note in a car was to inform passers-by who see the car at what might be thought of as an unusual time, that the owner has planned to be gone a while, so no need to alert the authorities to a possible lost/injured walker.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby mrssanta » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:01 am

we camped out in the Drumochter hills in December 2016. It was fab! but extremely cold. When we got back to the car we discovered that the polis were just about to come out and look for us as our car had been there for 24 hours. we hadn't left a note in the car but some nice person was keeping an eye on the car park at Balsporran.
We called them pronto and they were happy to hear from us but it might have wasted a lot of time and effort if we had been half an hour later off the hill. A note on the dashboard would have prevented that. We had let people know where we were and when to expect us to call them - but they were in England so that wasn't much help to the locals.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby Essan » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:14 pm

The main point with leaving a note in a car is that if it's parked for several days folk may be concerned about the whereabouts of the owner. For that reason I always recommend leaving a note with your own mobile number and that of someone at home who knows your plans, so that if the police/MRT are concerned they can contact someone.

Where you are going and when you will be back is of no relevance.

The other point is, as with parking anywhere, don't leave anything of valuable on display.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby NickyRannoch » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:55 pm

Thieves won't care about notes, they will be in and out of a car in under 2 minutes having checked the usual places for valuable and then move on.

I would good money on these break ins being one-off opportunistic incidents. It simply isn't worth people's time and hassle to commit a crime in the middle of nowhere that they could be doing just as easily in more accessible locations.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby davekeiller » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:29 pm

As above, I would be surprised if it made much difference either way. Having said that, it might make a difference in the eyes of an insurance company if your car were to be broken into.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby ScotFinn65 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:15 pm

I would also agree with what McNeish said.

This was also the advice of the police when l inquired last summer.

Their advice was not to leave anything of value in view and also NOT to leave a note in the windscreen.

Instead, they advised to register with the local police station and leave other details with 2 friends or relatives (usual walking information).
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby davekeiller » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:55 pm

Registering with the local police station is all very well but it assumes both that you know where it is, and will return during the hours when it is staffed in order to confirm your safety.
Ensuring that you have nothing on display is sensible, as I'm guessing that most break ins are smash and grab jobs, but a note on the windscreen isn't likely to make much difference either way because thieves will deliberately look for a quiet car park and make a quick getaway, so it doesn't matter if you're 10 minutes away or 10 hours away.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby simcc » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:14 pm

What I've often done in the past is to leave a very simple note saying something like:
"Gone hiking. No valuables in vehicle!"
Sometimes I have also left my emergency contact's number.

That way, at least police etc know why the car is there. And hopefully the bit about valuables not being present will out off thieves as why bother if there's nothing to gain.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby al78 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:35 pm

simcc wrote:What I've often done in the past is to leave a very simple note saying something like:
"Gone hiking. No valuables in vehicle!"
Sometimes I have also left my emergency contact's number.

That way, at least police etc know why the car is there. And hopefully the bit about valuables not being present will out off thieves as why bother if there's nothing to gain.


Unless the thief decides the "No valuables" is just a deterrant attempt, and you really do have valuables in the car.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby Giant Stoneater » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:37 pm

simcc wrote:What I've often done in the past is to leave a very simple note saying something like:
"Gone hiking. No valuables in vehicle!"
Sometimes I have also left my emergency contact's number.

That way, at least police etc know why the car is there. And hopefully the bit about valuables not being present will out off thieves as why bother if there's nothing to gain.


"Gone hiking. No valuables in vehicle!" i think that is tempting someone to break in,it's a bit like all the work vehicles with signs "No tools left overnight" but they get broken into.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby Sgurr » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:21 pm

Police are so centralised these days that they have no clue where you left your car if you let them know. Most stations have notices on saying "Phone this number". We tried to get info as to what local guy with an ATV might rescue a sheep stuck in a bog. None of the nearby houses would answer the door, although we could see they were in, as it was SUNDAY. We phoned the police and got Inverness. The guy who answered couldn't help, of course, and suggested we go on banging on the doors, and eventually we got a retired couple from elsewhere who had moved to Lewis who phoned someone with ATV.

Our own police station was closed for days over Xmas and New Year.
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Re: McNeish : Note in your car, or NOT

Postby Sunset tripper » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:29 am

I dont leave notes in my car. Fortunately in the highlands break ins like these are very rare. I've parked at Achlean many times and the only thing that concerned me are the no overnight parking signs. Unfortunately nowadays the highlands are joining in the car park profiteering game and the people most likely to rob you are the folk running the car park. :(
I didn't hear anything about the Achlean car park break ins and it doesn't even seem to have made the local news which is surprising for such an unusual event. Be good to hear what the full story is if any one knows, because the info in Camerons article is a bit vague regarding the actual break ins.

A good deterrent might be putting warning cctv camera stickers on your windows which may deter the opportunist thief. I haven't bothered doing this myself but have thought about it though nothing will prevent someone who is determined.
Biggest problem I have found regarding this sort of crime and vandalism in particular is that even on the rare occasion when someone is brought to justice the courts are far too lenient. :(
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