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It's time to take preventative action against thieving scumbags

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Staz, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Ads
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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    At last, Thank you.
    Exactly what I was saying, but in a nutshell.
    #81
  2. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    i said the same thing at first. post #7 reads:

    i take back the bit about it not being the buyer's fault. we need to take on some personal responsibility. since then we've come up with using some sort of indelible method to mark our units, so that if the unit is later discovered we can identify it. we should:

    create a visible database of serial numbers/identifying characteristics of missing units.
    try to find the source of the units we're buying, and inquiring about the serial number and then cross referencing it with the database
    report units we think are stolen
    only use paypal or a credit card to purchase the item so if we find out it's stolen we can give it back and we're protected.

    using these steps we've gotten around aythreee's scenario of a person learning that another member is in possession of their recently stolen unit. let your moral compass be your guide.

    it's true that if a seller is asked about a s/n he might refuse to divulge but at that point we refer the matter to eBay. an honest seller should be transparent.

    he may well then go on to sell to the next person that doesn't ask, but we're still removing some of his market, and hence some of the saleability of stolen units.

    we spend a lot of time trawling through eBay. we could help each other out on this - if a member's unit has been stolen, someone who's in the market could ask suspicious sellers about their items. we know the scum check these websites to find targets, so at the very least we know that we're reducing the chances of OUR units being stolen because they know that we're on the look out for them.

    what we're doing doesn't increase the chances of our units being stolen, but it does stand to decrease the chances. the other problems are something we have to resolve between ourselves, but as beanoir rightly points out if a member is known to have another member's stolen unit then legally he'll have to give it back, whether or not the police get involved so there's no question or argument there anyway. if a member is guilty of not protecting their purchase then they have to bear the consequences.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
    #82
  3. beanoir
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    beanoir Large Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    Putting all the arguments aside, a quick poll of the thread suggests that

    10 people have said "yes, good idea"

    2 people have said "no, it won't work"
    #83
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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    Again, it all makes sense in practice, but it just ain't gonna work or make a blind bit of difference to anything.
    The rigid framework you have proposed is going to go straight out of the window the moment that someone is on ebay and has 10 seconds left to win the auction, if they can even remember it in the first place.
    Trust me, NO ONE is going to be thinking "now what was it that sub39h said I had to do before buying an RNS-E??".
    All that is going to be running through their mind is BID BID BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDD!!!

    Also, when the novelty of this "list" quickly wears off amongst us it'll just become a redundant list that everybody has forgotten about or doesn't care about.

    This idea is a bit like one of those inventions on Dragon's Den. Initially it seems like genius, but when you start to pick it apart you soon realise it's a bit pointless.

    I've harshly summed it up, I know. But I guarantee that's what will happen.
    #84
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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    And I wonder how many of those 10 would now join the 2??
    #85
  6. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    lol it's not what i've said, it's a solution we're all trying to come to. but that's my point about buyer responsibility. you're absolutely right about it not working if nobody wants to make an effort to get it to work. we have to take the issue into our own hands if we want any solution to work.

    that gives us time to think of a better solution, orrr by then the A3 will have been replaced
    #86
  7. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    Now they know that the serial numbers can be changed, I say all 12 would say, dead in the water now.

    Some people just dont read or listen, answer me this Sub & Beanoir, if the serial numbers are able to be changed as I know they are & you now do, what is the point in listing them? Head, wall argghhhhhh
    #87
  8. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    if you've scratched your s/n into the side of it, it's there for the world to see. if someone tries to obliterate it, then that'll show on the photos and make the unit less sellable anyway, and the location of the damage may be used as a potential identifying factor. (i'd imagine we wouldn't all scratch it in in the same size and in the same place.)



    just out of interest though, is there no way to physically chain the unit to the bulkhead somehow (or some similar solution), so that it'd take longer than 5 minutes to remove? the harder they are to remove the less likely they are to get stolen. if you only end up with a smashed window it's better than if the unit gets knicked as well.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
    #88
  9. beanoir
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    beanoir Large Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    ermmm.....well

    *cough*

    what was that?
    #89
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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    I see your point, but unless you scratch your serial number on to the actual screen of the unit then it's easy to hide in a photo on ebay. And then you won't know about the scratched out serial number until you've bought and received the unit and then it's too late.

    Here is a photo of an RNS-E that is currently for sale on ebay and all you can see is the front of the unit...

    [​IMG]

    You'll probably now say to ask the seller to provide photos of the side of the unit, at which point they can easily say "I've only got the one photo" or they could simply use the photo of another unit to be found anywhere on the internet which has an unmarked side.

    My point is, no matter what we try, if the seller wants to sell the unit he will, with an easy workaround to whatever question is thrown at him.
    #90
  11. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    To be honest there's no point really. You can't help those that don't want to be helped. I don't have RNS-E so I stand nothing to gain from this. If other members don't want to assist I don't see why I should try and persuade them. It's not my Symphony II unit the thieves are after.

    Beat of luck with whatever solution you come up with guys.
    #91
  12. beanoir
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    beanoir Large Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    I dont think they have, just shooting others down.
    #92
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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    ERRRRMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.... WELL

    *COOOUUGGHHHH*

    WHAT WAS THAT?
    #93
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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    Pot... kettle.
    #94
  15. beanoir
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    beanoir Large Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    I don't think that applies, I haven't seen you come up with a potential solution, which lets face it is the point of this thread in the first place.

    Staz has quite usefully suggested a method of trying to prevent the ever increasing levels of theft that many members of this forum seem to be experiencing recently. I admit, the method is not perfect for the reasons that Nige very helpfully pointed out, and I admit I missed. He may well have asked for people's opinions, but surely we can do better than just find fault with it.

    But come on, lets think outside the box a bit, Nige has good tech knowledge of this kind of thing, as I'm sure others do. Surely we can come up with some solution that might make stealing these units a bit more awkward for the crims, that afterall was the underlying point of the thread in the first place.

    If you don't want a list then fine, we get the point now that it's potentially a failed idea, so what do we do, give up? Or do we come up with some other ideas?
    #95
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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    Oh I think it does.

    But moving on... I haven't come up with a solution, you are correct. And I have already have stated in this thread that I will not be able to come up with a solution. And the reason - because I don't think there is one.

    I think that no matter what we propose here (short of sticking a rottweiler on the back seat of our cars) there will not be one less unit stolen as a result, neither will there be a single stolen unit returned to it's rightful owner.

    Maybe you're right... maybe I should keep to myself the fact that I think the whole idea would be a waste of time. But then it wouldn't be much of a discussion forum if everyone kept their opinions quiet.

    And by the way, my view on the idea is not meant to be negative against Staz. I think he can, and does, come up with some good'uns. I just think this problem is just too big to be solved or lessened here. I.. M... H... O.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
    #96
  17. beanoir
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    beanoir Large Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    Come on mate I'm trying to move on, I never implied you couldn't voice your opinion, I realise what threads are for.

    Where there's a will there's a way and all that;)
    #97
  18. JohnS3
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    JohnS3 Active Member

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    [Nov 30, 2010]
    So where do most of the RNSe units on ebay come from in the first place? The police recently cracked a gang stealing units in Germany. It's a big problem over there.
    #98
  19. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 1, 2010]
    Good question John, as has been hinted at I think many of us need to have a look at ourselves here already.

    Interesting debate so far.

    We may have stumbled on the whole serial thing slightly but we still have something to go on, if a unit is fully marked up with the owners details in black permy and in UV pen I think it's a reasonable assumption that not every single one of the stolen units will be fully cleaned up so there's a chance of being able to match a unit to its owner.

    As Sub39h has said, if we manage to prevent 1 theft or get one unit back to its rightful owner then, for me, it's bloody worth it.
    #99

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