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  1. #1
    Registered User Blazeman's Avatar
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    Default Fontana Dam VC - Catalytic Converter stolen

    Just a heads up. Hiker parked at Fontana Dam Visitor Center had catalytic converter taken from vehicle. Hiker got back to car on April 6th. Talking to local shuttle driver that this is real problem around this area. Heard this has also happened at Dicks creek gap and Winding Stair Gap. Very unfortunate that this is happening at the AT trail head parking areas.

    Best to find a place to park car in secure area like local hostel. We are section hiking around the area and that is what we did with vehicles.

    Anyway just passing on info on for others.

  2. #2
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Well [email protected]#_%^!&
    Yet another "safe" place that ain't safe anymore.

    Big Creek Ranger station on the other end of GSMNP used to be the "safe" place to park on that end of the park, but with Covid, CC thefts went thru the roof at Big Creek.
    Fontana has been considered one of the safest places to park since it's federal property with the dam there and all.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Well [email protected]#_%^!&
    Yet another "safe" place that ain't safe anymore.
    I have a friend that lives in the area, and this has always been a safe place to park because there's usually plenty of cars and TVA patrols. I'd like to know more about the type of vehicle and where it was parked. There are some parking areas that are next to but not near the visitors center. Guess we would have to contact TVA to get more factual information.

  4. #4
    Registered User Blazeman's Avatar
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    Here is some additional info. Tom from the Hike Inn was the shuttle driver that took hiker back to his truck that lost CC. He dropped us off this morning at VC and showed me where truck was. He said truck was pretty tall so easy access. He showed us where truck was parked. It was in parking lot in front of VC. There is parking lot with concrete barrier up above VC but directly in front of VC. It was not on parking lot to right when going to VC and not the other parking areas up the hill close the Fontana Hilton.

    We parked there for about 4 days last year with no problem. But heard from Sherpa Al last year that CC thefts were a problem around the area. So that is why we are not parking at trailheads this year.

    We also thought of all the places to park the Fontana VC was safe since only one way in and out. But unfortunately it doesn’t look like it anymore.

  5. #5
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    I must be out of touch. I had no idea CCs were a thing that people stole. Good to know!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmperkins74 View Post
    I must be out of touch. I had no idea CCs were a thing that people stole. Good to know!
    Been a thing and has taken off again curing COVID.
    Now with fuel prices, thieves are stealing fuel. Some from stations. But the other trick is to slide under a vehicle, and DRILL a hole in the tank and drain it into 5 gallon buckets. They steal $20 or 40 in fuel (not from a diesel truck which would be more like $100) and do $1000+ in damage to the vehicle.......
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  7. #7
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmperkins74 View Post
    I must be out of touch. I had no idea CCs were a thing that people stole. Good to know!
    Covid lead to supply chain issues and that caused the value of the medals in CCs to sky rocket. The end result is that "they" are after the precious metals in the CCs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazeman View Post
    Here is some additional info. Tom from the Hike Inn was the shuttle driver that took hiker back to his truck that lost CC. He dropped us off this morning at VC and showed me where truck was. He said truck was pretty tall so easy access. He showed us where truck was parked. It was in parking lot in front of VC. There is parking lot with concrete barrier up above VC but directly in front of VC. It was not on parking lot to right when going to VC and not the other parking areas up the hill close the Fontana Hilton.

    We parked there for about 4 days last year with no problem. But heard from Sherpa Al last year that CC thefts were a problem around the area. So that is why we are not parking at trailheads this year.

    We also thought of all the places to park the Fontana VC was safe since only one way in and out. But unfortunately it doesn’t look like it anymore.
    Fontana Dam visitors center parking lot is no longer a safe place to overnight you're vehicle. Last week numerous trucks and SUVs had catalytic converters stolen. This is first hand information
    Sherpa Al

  9. #9

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    Personally, I would not consider any overnight parking on the AT safe. Covid brought upon us many curses; unemployment, inflation, shortages, crime and they are here to stay. Pay a few bucks to park your car in a hostel and take a shuttle, that's the best option.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazeman View Post
    There is parking lot with concrete barrier up above VC but directly in front of VC. It was not on parking lot to right when going to VC and not the other parking areas up the hill close the Fontana Hilton.
    From what I understand, those upper lots are mostly empty much of the time. The shelter is the only thing nearby, and it's not really that close either.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    Fontana Dam visitors center parking lot is no longer a safe place to overnight you're vehicle. Last week numerous trucks and SUVs had catalytic converters stolen. This is first hand information
    Sherpa Al
    This is horrible news. I guess TVA isn't able to properly patrol the lots. I heard many of the facilities around the area are shut down to to short staff.

  12. #12

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    Patrols. CC theft is a crime done in a few minutes. Two people case a place, one jumps out with a jack while the other crawls half under the car with a sawzall. By the time the car is jacked up by criminal number 1, the CC is half cut off by criminal 2. It's over in a few minutes. Higher clearance vehicles (Trucks and SUV's) don't even need the C1 doing the jack thing. Unless a guard is on duty, a patrol doesn't deter much.
    Here in the Dallas/FW TX area, there has been some car lots hit also.
    Stealing the fuel takes a bit longer, drain time is a bit slower than the sawzall.
    There are a few ways to slow them down, but not much. Sadly there doesn't seem to be a way to protect yourself yet.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  13. #13

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    There are custom devices you can have installed under your vehicle that makes stealing the CC more effort than it's worth.

    I've also heard of people placing a realistic fake snake under their vehicle, which could repel at least some would-be thieves....

  14. #14
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    It's a crying shame, just when we thought we've found a love and away from the matrix and the that comes with it still seems to find us.....

  15. #15
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    .....and the evil that comes comes with it it ooops......

  16. #16
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkmi View Post
    There are custom devices you can have installed under your vehicle that makes stealing the CC more effort than it's worth.

    I've also heard of people placing a realistic fake snake under their vehicle, which could repel at least some would-be thieves....
    They could go to much stronger metals but in the end a lock only keeps an honest man out!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkmi View Post
    There are custom devices you can have installed under your vehicle that makes stealing the CC more effort than it's worth.

    I've also heard of people placing a realistic fake snake under their vehicle, which could repel at least some would-be thieves....
    Now that's an untapped market- battery powered fake rattlesnake with realistic rattling tail...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhjanes View Post
    Patrols. CC theft is a crime done in a few minutes. Two people case a place, one jumps out with a jack while the other crawls half under the car with a sawzall. By the time the car is jacked up by criminal number 1, the CC is half cut off by criminal 2. It's over in a few minutes. Higher clearance vehicles (Trucks and SUV's) don't even need the C1 doing the jack thing. Unless a guard is on duty, a patrol doesn't deter much.
    Here in the Dallas/FW TX area, there has been some car lots hit also.
    Stealing the fuel takes a bit longer, drain time is a bit slower than the sawzall.
    There are a few ways to slow them down, but not much. Sadly there doesn't seem to be a way to protect yourself yet.
    Accurate description. Thieves are fast and brazen, See YouTube. Our Prius got hit a month ago, at night, practically under a street light. Small town in northern Missouri. Took it to a dealer. 5 other cars waiting for CC delivery. We're having the protection plate installed. Wish I had a Trunk Monkey... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7Vk6zXjen8
    These thievin a-holes (etc) think there just isn't enough uglyness in the world.

    Do NOT think this won't happen to you... Research protection methods. If it does, INSIST on OEM parts. Aftermarket CCs are inferior quality and not legal in all states.
    When you get to those unexpected situations in life where it’s difficult to figure something out, just ask yourself, “What would MacGyver do?”
    See ya!
    Rickles McPickles

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by McPick View Post
    Accurate description. Thieves are fast and brazen, See YouTube. Our Prius got hit a month ago, at night, practically under a street light. Small town in northern Missouri. Took it to a dealer. 5 other cars waiting for CC delivery. We're having the protection plate installed. Wish I had a Trunk Monkey... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7Vk6zXjen8
    These thievin a-holes (etc) think there just isn't enough uglyness in the world.

    Do NOT think this won't happen to you... Research protection methods. If it does, INSIST on OEM parts. Aftermarket CCs are inferior quality and not legal in all states.

    One of the BEST Trunk Monkey commercials. "It's not enough to just stop the thief, you have to dispose of the body".
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  20. #20

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    Seems like this would be an easy get for LEO. Set up a lifted truck at a trailhead with a CC with GPS locator installed. the thieves would steal it, drive back to their place of "business", and then the cops move it to recover multiple (hopefully) stolen CCs.

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