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Old 03-15-2013, 01:11 AM   #1
wolfpack21643's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 92
Campground Theft?

As a police officer and someone who watches people make themselves a victim all the time I have a question for you seasoned campers out there.

Are there many thefts at the average campground? My DW and I just started RVing last year when we bought our Mini Lite 2306. We went to four diffrent CG's last year and we really enjoyed ridding our bikes around the CG and checking out the diffrent RV's and how they had set thier sites up.

I couldn't help but notice all the grill's, hitches, lawn chairs ect. lying everywhere. We were at the KOA in Williamsburg, VA last summer on a Tuesday at noon and I belive we were the only people in that entire half of the CG. With all that high value stuff lying about, someone could have drove in there spent 15 mintues collecting stuff and made a killing at the local pawn shop.

In the CG's I stayed in campers where coming and going daily and I saw very little staff moving around at any of them. There was no way to tell who was suppose to be there and not suppose to be there.

When in Rome do as the Romans do so I have heard and I left my stuff lying around like everyone else but it just made me a little nervous.

As a cop I can tell you that if your counting on your fellow campers looking out for you I would say to an extent that is true but I pulled up to a crime scene one time where a kid was getting the crap beat out of him by his stepdad in the front yard and 20 adults at a cookout across the street were just standing there watching. That kid ended up with a broken arm from it so you can imagine the butt whipping that was going on in plain view. Alot of people today just dont want to get involved, it's not great but that is just how it is in these times.

I do my best to look out for my fellow campers but even with my professional skills ie. criminal observation, the ablity to profile your common thief ect. It would still be hard for even me to relize a theft is occuring in a CG where I cant tell who owns what and who is where they are suppose to be. I dont see how putting a CG or vistors tag on your rear view mirror is going to help much.

I haven't read anything about CG crime so thats why I'm posting this to find out. Im more curious then anything. I find it hard to belive that someone hasnt gone into a CG and cleaned it out while everybody is at the local Theme park for the day, and I'm sure it has happened. My wife says I need to turn off the cop thing when camping but as most people know, when you spend over 2000 hours a year doing the same thing it's hard not to pay attention even when your off duty.


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Old 03-15-2013, 01:40 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 73
It's an interesting thing I have noticed. There are a few reports of thefts here, however. We have been on the road for 5 years now and never really heard anybody mention an issue. Most of the CGs we stay in feel pretty safe and we leave chairs, BBQ, ice chests (not often, as we usually don't need one), and other items outside and under our rig. We often have bikes out (mostly tied with a bike chain, but those are flimsy!).
That's my two cents.

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:11 AM   #3
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Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio
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My family and a group of about 6 other friends with TT have never had or heard of an issue. Campgrounds feel safe to me but I will lock the TT and truck doors if we are leaving for a day trip and at night.
I do put my sons electric scooter away and keep my trailer hitch in the back of the truck out of plain site.
I would not leave my wallet on the picnic table though.
I think it boils down to odds.... Hopefully the guy next to me has better stuff. lol
My biggest worry is about the kids. A bad guy could snatch a dozen from the playgrounds or streets inside the campground and nobody would be the wiser.
I find myself watching out for the kids ( lost, hurt or abuse) as opposed to theft.
Try to relax and enjoy the upcoming season.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:13 AM   #4
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Location: michigan
Posts: 1,640
It depends on the campground. I know of one seasonal campground near ours that is not patrolled, has few rules, etc. I have been told they have a theft problem. Also, w/e drunken brawls. The gate there is not manned so anyone can get in and never be registered. We seasonal camp where there is a gate, rules are enforced and 24 hour patrolling. While I won't say there is zero theft, I think how they run it discourages theft. At state campgrounds, I would think DNR presence would be discouraging. Don't mess with the DNR!!! The key is accountability and patrol. Before we seasonal camped and went all over, I always made a point to talk to the campground staff or DNR staff, was friendly and chit chatted when they passed by. This gave me a sense that they knew who we were and what belonged there.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:01 AM   #5
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Location: Lakeside mountains, Calif
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I locked mine to a tree -- but

I have found crime to be on the very low side in RV campgrounds
a guy at a desert park where we stay at times
saw me locking my bicycle to a tree
made the comment
you don't have to lock your bikes here
my bike cost close to a grand
why take chances
I must say that later on in that same week
the wife and I met a couple in the same park
they were extreme bicycle riders
between the two of them they had around 5 or 6 bikes
carbon fiber frames etc etc
worth at least 2 to 4 thousand each
yes they were all unlocked

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Old 03-15-2013, 05:29 AM   #6
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Location: Virginia
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We very rarely see crime at campgrounds, a larger one we stay at nearly 900 sites when full in the summer every now & then teenagers may steal a cooler sitting outside hoping for free beer....... a lot the the time the coolers will turn up......empty... There was a death / murder at one but it was a domestic thing..........

This can change quickly as you know but to date in 30 years of camping we have had no issues with theft or other crimes.

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Old 03-15-2013, 05:44 AM   #7
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I guess we are of the mind that if you don't give them a chance, chances are you won't get things stolen. We also used to take our laptop and iPad when we left the RV. Before our trip to Wisconsin last year I installed a small fire rated safe for the valuables. We leave very little laying around.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:08 AM   #8
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Camp Ground Theft

You would like to think that there is NO theft of orther persons stuff, In the years Ive been camping the most often thing is kids and cooler for the beer, the cooler shows up most of the time and I do remamber the time the parants of the kids & kids came walking into camp bring the cooler back, had a talk with the kids and parants about this, now we are good freinds and camp together, kids are kids they will try things and if they do wrong it needs to be put right.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:14 AM   #9
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i haven't had any issues. most campers look out for each other. now i do admit, the higher value stuff i do chain down, like the winegard satellite dish, but my bikes have never been messed with. heck, i figured the first thing to get stolen would be my spare tire! it's still there!
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:17 AM   #10
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We've been camping for many years and have never had anything walk off. On one occasion we came back after being gone most of the day and found our awning rolled up. The neighbors had rolled it up when the sky's looked like a storm was coming. I've always found that everyone tries to watch out for each other. We may not be related but it feels like family when we're camping.


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