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EDC bag security

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by jeroen94704, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. jeroen94704

    jeroen94704 Empty Pockets

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    Last week, my wife's purse was stolen (at a hospital, no less!). Since it had ALL her stuff in it, including her house- and car-keys, agenda (containing our home address), wallet and driver's license, the following couple of hours were a mad scramble to get her ATM- and credit-cards blocked, replace the locks at our home, get the locks of the car replaced, inform neighbors etc.

    Things have settled down now, and apart from big chunk of money, nothing irreplaceable seems to have been lost. This whole episode did get me thinking about security though. My EDC bag (Maxped Jumbo) also contains all my stuff, and while I carry it on my person at all times when I'm outside, the quick release buckle on the shoulder strap makes it relatively easy to grab.

    At work, it sits on my desk several hours each day. While there's often someone of my team around, there are also times (coffee-breaks, meetings) when it's unguarded.

    So how do the members of this forum make sure their bags are not stolen in the different situations such as the ones described above?

    Jeroen
     
  2. Boy SureFire

    Boy SureFire May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way

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  3. adnj

    adnj Loaded Pockets

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    I had a school bag stolen while in college. It was sitting on my front seat. I learned my lesson. I would never leave a bag or briefcase on my desk. We had episodes when the cleaning crew was stealing laptops and bags during lunch hours.
     
  4. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    I don't believe that there is a strategy covering every contingency, unless you want to handcuff it to your wrist, and even then, someone who wants it badly enough will take it, even if it means cutting off your hand. I think that the only solution is to be mindful of the bag, its contents and its importance. Try not to leave it unattended, or if unattended, in a secure room, file drawer, etc. I am especially careful with my bag as its contents - including a loaded Sig or HK pistol - are very valuable. Even the bag itself is expensive. So I mostly carry mine when I'm outside of my home or my mother's home. If I'm in the car and can't carry the bag inside with me, I lock it in the trunk. I can't think of anything else to do. Treat it like it contains the nuclear launch codes.
     
  5. brix

    brix Loaded Pockets

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    +1 mindfulness is something we should all practice. My wife and I talk about mindfulness all the time, especially now that we have a baby. She lost her phone a couple of nights ago and never back up her data. She keeps all her appointments and notes on that thing. Mindfulness is a tough practice, but being aware of your surroundings, your gear, and situation should take top priority especially with people that EDC stuff. This practice goes for anything that you might EDC from a cellphone to firearm. My father always told me to always be aware of my surroundings and if I don't want lose something to take measures to keep myself and my things safe.
     
  6. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Loaded Pockets

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    If I'm outside the house, the BatBelt is on me. The only exception is when I hang it on the door of a bathroom stall.
     
  7. amacman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    amacman Loaded Pockets

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  8. Boy SureFire

    Boy SureFire May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way

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    Mine never come unless I'm taking a shower or going to bed.
     
  9. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    I keep my phone, wallet and keys on my person at all times for several reasons, not least of which to defend against theft of unattended items. I'm very careful with my laptop bag. I have chosen to accept the risk that I would lose my BOB if my car was broken into and the thief went into the trunk.
     
  10. P35

    P35 Loaded Pockets

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    my bag is either locked down or within sight, never left unattended
     
  11. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    That looks lilke an interesting device, especially if it indicates that the bag is being or has been moved. My major concern is that I'm going to have to take my bag away from the thief and my pistol is in the bag. Hopefully, the thief will not know this and, hopefully, will be a very slow runner - say no one faster than an armadillio or an opossum .
     
  12. buckshot

    buckshot Loaded Pockets

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    I have a couple of thoughts to add that may or may not help.

    First off, minimize what you carry in your wallet/purse for ID, Credit Cards, etc. Only carry what you need, dont carry your Social Security card, dont carry your passport, dont carry every credit card you own, leave at home what you dont need.

    Second, do a wallet dump / Purse dump and photocopy the front and backs of everything you have and keep it at home in a safe place, this will be very handy if your purse/wallet is taken and you dont remember what was in it.

    Third, and this may not be for everyone but its worked for me for the past 15 years...Rent a mailbox and have everything go to that mailbox. All your bills, car insurance, registration, drivers license address, etc should be to that mailbox. Your purse is stolen with wallet and keys, no big deal they will be going to the mailbox address to break in not to your home address. Your car broken into and your garage door opener and registration taken? Not a big deal, again its the mailbox address not your actual home address.

    I find having all my mail going to a mailbox rental outfit is worth the $100 a year I pay for it just in peace of mind and security. I might mention an added bonus is that there is always someone there to receive parcels and packages so theres no more UPS dropping off your new toys at your front door or getting delivery notices and needing to go to the depot to pick them up, the packages are there when I go in for my mail.


    So my three suggestions are minimize, catalog and deception I guess.
     
  13. NInjaSMS

    NInjaSMS Empty Pockets

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    Here is some advice that I follow. Carry whatever you're willing to lose. You have to consider the possibility of theft or misplacement at all times. This is a bit extreme but I actually photocopy the relevant contents of my wallet. This way If I lose it or gets stolen I have all the numbers to call and know exactly what I had in there.


    +1 for buckshots mailbox rental suggestion.
     
  14. jeroen94704

    jeroen94704 Empty Pockets

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    Thanks!

    Thanks everybody for the feedback.

    The proximity alert is actually a pretty neat idea! I might just go ahead and get a set to see how it works in practice (There's quite a few false-positive scenarios I can come up with, and I don't want to scare my co-workers every other day :) ).

    U.S. style mailboxes such as those offered by Mailboxes Etc are not available in the Netherlands, so that's not an option. P.O. boxes are available, but they are pretty pricey, and not everything can go there, particularly the stuff one would care about in this case such as official documents.

    In any case, the whole episode was apparently captured on camera, including the thief arriving and leaving by car, so if the police gets around to investigating this case, I am pretty hopeful they'll catch the perp.

    Thanks!

    Jeroen
     
  15. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    Glad things have worked out for you, Jeroen. I was surprised to learn that accommodation addresses (like our former Mailboxes Etc) are not widely available. I've used one for years and, as others have said, it is well worth the expense. Since I'm often away from home, my mail drop can receive and sign for FedEx/UPS deliveries (which a PO Box can't handle) and even forward important stuff to me. And when I had my freelance business, I was able to move my residence around and still keep the same address for my customers. Plus, they know me personally, so it would be impossible for someone to try to impersonate me. Above all, I like the fact that my mail drop doesn't give away my home address. It's the address on all my documents and on my luggage tags.

    Another thing I have done is to replace my main home door lock with a combination lock, which means I don't have to carry a key. The lock also looks more intimidating for a would-be burglar, as it could be tied to an alarm. Of course, the door is reinforced, as are all my other doors and windows. Yet that can be done for very little expense.

    Finally, when traveling, I put scans of my passport, license, credit card, and other important documents on an encrypted thumb drive which usually hangs around my neck out of site (I just did this for a friend who is traveling right now).
     
  16. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Loaded Pockets

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  17. amacman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    amacman Loaded Pockets

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    This is the biggest reason why off body carry is a bad idea imo.
     
  18. Jack_Wood

    Jack_Wood Loaded Pockets

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    Nth-ing the suggestion of keeping your bag on your person as often as possible. Whenever I'm at class, at work, or on the bus, my bag is sitting between my feet with the shoulder strap resting over my knee.

    My recommendation would also have to include keeping your bad as svelte as possible to make mindfulness easier on yourself. You might think it's easier to stay aware of something heavy, but you're also more likely to want to slip it off and leave it relatively unattended.

    For those other situations, like travel that might take you, say, to the beach, I like some of those bag securing devices that've been mentioned. I don't have the full net, but I do have a thin cable that I thread through a d-ring to lock my bag in place. I wish it were thin enough to thread through the locking holes on the main zipper.
    Though I did recently read a tip about inserting an unfolded paper clip through that. It was mostly an airline tip, because the airline can undo it without damaging your bag, but it will discourage the casual pick-pocket.

    Also nth-ing minimising damage in case of bag loss. I do have my laptop in my bag. But I always keep my wallet, keys, and cellphone in my pockets, for instance.
     
  19. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    I place my briefcase in a locked container when I am away from it.
     
  20. Towanda

    Towanda Loaded Pockets

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    At work, I put my bag in the deep file drawer or the above-desk cubby thingy in my cube and lock it if I am going to be away from my desk.