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Stolen - 1990 Esprit Turbo SE ... And brought back !

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I am absolutely gutted ...

 

Today I brought some car parts into my hangar and saw that my Esprit had been moved. The car was sitting there since about a month awaiting spring. Someone took it out for a joyride and brought it back parked it exactly like it was before. Either they just wanted a joyride or were after stealing it and found the lack of power disappointing and decided to bring it back ...

 

I immediately saw the remaining water splash from a fresh drive outside. Nobody but me has the keys for it. The lower body was still wet, rims, tires and the backside still had a fresh mist of dirty water on it. Splashwater from a fresh drive on a rainy road.

 

I was looking at the roof and around to make sure its not a leaky roof or a broken window where it rained in. There are no water pipes and everything else is dry in the hangar, except the lower bodywork of my SE. The water is everywhere where you expect splashwater, front grille and ducts, sides, under the doors, below and under the engine and on the exhaust. Just as if you put your ride back into the garage after a wet drive.

 

It must have happened yesterday or the day before. Yesterday I was there too for an hour but didn't noticed anything or just didn't payed any attention.

 

Wating for the landlords reply to check out the cams. They have a couple ofcamera arrays mounted there, You dont get in there without being seen. Impossible.

 

The doors of the SE werent locked and I had the bat killswitch installed and power disabled. The killswitch key was left in place as I just cut the power for avoiding battery depletion.

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Hi Steven,

Scary news but good that it is back and in one piece. I hope you will get to the bottom of it. Anyway, enjoy spring in the Esprit.

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Gremlins with a thirst for speed

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Still scratching my head over this. If it weren't for the rain or the fact that I was there at that day I would have never found out about this...

 

Do you think they used some kind of generic key or actually hotwired it ? What do you think is the most likely ? I couldn't find any damage there.

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I'd be taking a pic of the odometer too. You need a way to catch the culprits, you don't want them back doing it again. Can you rig up a camera yourself somewhere discrete?

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I agree with Bibs, but I would also look for a way to disable the car so that they can't defeat the lack of having the keys.

Pull fuses, trip the fuel cutoff? Wire a switch into the ignition circuit that is in an out of the way place?

Remove the wheels?

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I finally reached the landlord and to my utter disappointment, none of the cameras were running ... There are 4 cams in front of my door plus another dozen down the road, but their system was not operational since 2 weeks...

 

I now took some further precautions to avoid the car being started. I am working on a setup bibs. I know how they got in and of course this will be fixed too !

 

Someone knew what he was doing and was paying carefull attention to not leave any traces but he made his plan without the weather and me showing up so soon. Its not a pretty neighborhood by any means.  

 

The odometer btw stopped working, together with the speedo.

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You can buy a GPS tracker which will alert you if the car moves from ebay pretty cheaply nowadays....

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Not a nice experience :(.  When you leave it, I'd disconnect the battery.  Also a bit crude but I'd put a thumping big chain and pad lock from the bottom of the steering wheel to under the seat.  I've always done this to mine and has worked for me. 

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That is seriously messed up, who returns a car after taking it for a joyride...

 

Very suspicious that the security cameras were disabled.

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What Bibs said, I'd go with fitting something like this cheap GPS tracker in your car, It runs using a prepaid SIM card and you can call the device to see where it is and it will text you back with it's GPS location. Some will send a text you when it gets moved outside of a pre defined zone. Depending on which one you get it will also report and record the journey  speeds etc onto a micro SD card, 

 

I've got one in mine, it's an easy job to add the wires in to the loom to keep it powered and running but the battery will run for 60 hours before needing a recharge.

 

Downside with my one is if you disconnect the power and leave it running on batteries, when it drops below a certain voltage it send you texts every 30 minutes until the battery goes which is a pain if you are unable to get back to the unit for a few hours

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-GPS-Tracker-Magnetic-Car-Vehicle-Spy-Mini-Personal-Tracking-Device-TK102-/111201679112?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item19e422f708

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That's weird and quite worrisome. Perhaps you were sleep-driving :) ?

 

I'd be readying a defence for the impending speeding fines that may come your way too.

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So the car is back home for now. I dont want to risk anything.

 

As the saying goes, "Pics or it didn't happen" here are some pics I snapped today. Excuse the poor cellphone quality (I dont lug my photo gear around every day) but the message comes across. 

 

The water droplets are still there but less than yesterday. As you can see its clearly splash water. The hood/roof/rear deck & wing are dry. I assure you that there is no water source nearby that can cause such splash while the car is sitting inside. 

 

I will definetly look into on of these trackers, seems like a no brainer. 

 

The car was parked exactly like I left it, as I said the only clue was the water splash that points to something out of the ordinary. It has been over a month since I parked it. Its seriously messing with your head I tell you :)

 

 

 

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Any damage to the steering lock?  If they didn't break the lock, and didn't have the keys, then they couldn't have driven it except in a straight line...

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No damage to the steering lock as far as I can tell Travis. Lock seems still fine no scratches and no damage. I found the steering lock engaged when I went to start it up. I usually dont lock the wheel when I park it.

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Is the car alarmed/immobilised?

 

In the meantime, you could pop the inertia switch as a temp measure although next time you turn up it may have a flat battery! 

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Is the car alarmed/immobilised?

 

In the meantime, you could pop the inertia switch as a temp measure although next time you turn up it may have a flat battery! 

 

I brought the car back, its now sitting in front of my house as it used to be, no manipulations done for today, I might just take it for work tomorrow. It doesnt have any factory alarm afaik.

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Do you have a history of sleep walking, and it's now just faster?

 

Negative :) That would be a far drive from home to my hangar ^^

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Any water on the floor leading to or from it? Anyone likely to have been washing anything nearby? Close to a door which left open would let the rain in?

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Seem very messed up and the pics look absolutely like it been taken out.

 

When I had my old MG I used to leave the doors unlocked to stop a potential burglar slashing the roof. I did once get my tonneau slashed even though the doors were unlocked.

 

Still I always had one of these fitted. Cheap but pretty effective

 

$_57.JPG

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Universal-Steering-Wheel-Lock-/400738694576?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item5d4de335b0

 

Various different types.

 

Buddsy

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The locks on an Esprit of that age are awful. I have half a dozen old Leyland keys here, and I'm confident one of them would work.

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