Friday, June 1, 2007

To Catch a Thief

Or at least make him work harder for it. As if I didn´t have enough on my hands with negotiating prices every month due to inflation I have to worry about someone making out with my metal grating that I put on the curb so that we could have vehicle access to our factory.

As you can see from the picture there is one part that is missing. That one they managed to take away for the second time. I was a little puzzled. Together with the architects we were trying to figure out how they managed to steal the metal grating. They left the hinges behind and they don´t look forced.

I looked at the remaining gratings to see if they had any evidence of tampering and found that the second one was cut and was just barely hanging on. In fact, it was completely loose. I don´t know why they did not take it. Could it have been just one person and the second one was just too heavy to take?

From this picture you can see that it was slightly out of the hinges.

And from this third picture you can see where they cut the grating from the hinge. This gave the grating its freedom from one of the hinges and all they had to do was just lift it and pull it to the right to free it from the other hinge.

As you can see, I went to the Jumbo and bought a couple of chains and chained my grating to the municipal gratings. My chains are so puny and they look like you could cut them with scissors, but they apparently did the trick this time. My people told me that when they came in this morning they found the second grating lying on the floor out of the hinges. Apparently they had tried pulling it out and then they tried hitting the chain with something. The chain had marks and dents all over it. I am going out now to buy some thicker chains.

For now they are two to my one. They managed to rob me the first time and they came back to take one more from me. I came back with a puny chain and blocked their third attempt. If I manage to stop their attempt tonight with some bigger chains I will consider it a tie. After that I will be fixing these gratings and I am going to have them soldered on to each other as well as chained. They are going to have to up their game and go pro if they want these gratings again. I admit that I can´t do anything against a pro but would a pro waist his time and effort on these gratings? This is a hypothetical question since it is obvious I am not up against a pro here, just desperate people, and now I am desperate too (to have vehicle access to my factory).

If any of you have any ideas I am all ears.


SFO said...

Definitely an amateur. A professional would certainly have had a pair of bolt cutters on hand. I would have thought that there wouldn’t have been much profit in scrap iron. Better to wait for the next power cut, and harvest copper wire (but making sure the bolt cutters have fiberglass handles …).

As a stop-gap measure, you might consider using sand bags (they’d be useful anyway to stop the fall leaves clogging the drains and cause potential flooding when the rains come (again).


99 said...

Hola Frankie sugar, no offense please, but what you´re doing is not legal. Those yellow stoppers I mean.
And the rest, man, you´re just leaving your personal property in the street... which is a public space and not part of your building. That´s the law in BA. Even the trees belong to the City. Check it out with your architect.

So don´t expect much more than leaving a purse with money on the sidewalk overnight...

Why don´t you try some removable ramp each time you need to use it? There are some plastic very resistant ones at Easy.

Unknown said...

Hi 99,

I was actually going to comment about those yellow tubes since I have those at home.

When I first came here I thought they were awful. Since my neighborhood has become so popular I had to install them becuase of the countless times people would park their car in front of my driveway leaving my family stranded at home. It is not fun putting your kids in the car, with plans in their head of going somewhere and all of a sudden finding the surprise that you can´t get out becuase someone parked in front of your driveway. If you are going to the movies okay you can get in a cab. If you are planning a trip out to the suburbs (el country) then youre whole day is screwed.

I talked to the police countless of times and they could only shake their heads, offer an apology and write a ticket to the offending cars and offer an apology. They know my house becuase I would call them every 10 minutes until they would send a car so they got to send the cars pretty quickly so they would not have to hear from me.

The city came by once to cut them down and I remember arguing with them to no avail. I was in a rush and had to go to a meeting. My neighbors were more efective than me since they stood out there and would not budge. When I got back that afternoon guess who was the only one in the block with those poles cut? The next time they come around I am cancelling whatever meeting and chaining myself to those poles if I have to.

Don´t get me wrong. I would love to not have to use them and if they had tougher laws and even the capacity to tow cars away from my driveway I would be out there cutting them down myself. But the fact is that they don´t have the full equation figured out yet. They don´t have all the citizens protected and you just can´t have half measures put in place. So legal? Was it legal to only pick and choose which poles they cut down? Is it legal to leave me on my own to be victimized every weekend with nothing to back me up when people park in front of my driveway? On my block there is also an old folks home that is frequented by ambulances and they ran into the same problem as me. Countless of times I would see them arguing with people that blocked their driveway leaving no access for the ambulances.

No offence taken 99 but someone, somewhere hasn´t really put a whole lot of thought to this problem. Another thing, I am sure you and I both agree that these are problems that should be looked at and addressed because you do not want to leave a segment of your population just out there unprotected.

Unknown said...

Oh, by the way, those gratings flip up and out of the way. The city has come by to clean the sewers and no problem. They just flip them up and their done.

Unknown said...

One other thing. Those city sewer gratings also get robbed. In fact, right under my gratings there is one that is almost undone. I don´t know if it was by the same people that have taken mine but chaining them together has just added another deterrent that wouldn´t stop a pro but would just make it a little more troublesome, a little more work and require a little planning and forethought.

We get visited by countless inspectors of every type. They leave with the impression that we are truly trying to do everything correctly. Not only do they leave impressed but actually a little proud that there exists another responsible model factory in Argentina. No need to worry. The city is very active in going after factories and spotting trouble in the streets. I have run into just about every type of inspector there is.

I better stop. As you can see I can talk hours about this.