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SERIOUS THEFT PROTECTION

By Cole Ford

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THE CRIME!
At approximately 7:23am on October 23, 2001 I looked out my front window to discover that the passenger window of “Project Cross Trainer” was partially missing. I immediately ran outside to discover that the Jeep and I had been the victims of a theft! A quick investigation of the scene and I could tell you exactly what happened. The thieves saw a nice-looking custom Jeep and figured that it must have valuables inside. They also figured the Jeep was an easy target.

They destroyed both of my door locks trying to gain entry. When that failed, they simply broke the window out. They knew that it would be very easy to break open the factory glove box and center console to steal the contents inside. They broke into both the glove box and console and totally ignored the TUFFY rear cargo box - even though all three were unlocked.

Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
Trashed TJ!
Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
Ouch! That'll cost!

THE REAL COSTS OF CRIME!
We know what the crime is and who the victims are but what are the real repercussions of a crime like this? A little-known secret here on ROCKCRAWLER.com is that I am also a police officer in Colorado. I obviously deal with the criminals and the victims they leave behind. There is more to a simple break-in like this than most people think. Any one of you out there that has ever had your Jeep broken into knows what I am taking about. The first thing you think about is your stuff being stolen. Then you think about the cost of the damage that was done by the thieves. On “Project Cross Trainer” this cost us in the neighborhood of $1000 just to put the Jeep back in working order.

The part that we often don’t think about is the psychological costs of the crime. At first, you are flat out mad! Then you become frustrated because you feel you can’t have anything nice without a crook ruining it! That frustration leads to a sense of insecurity, fear, etc., and you are afraid to leave your jeep alone at night!

WHY ME?
Sometimes, the victim of a crime wants to know why they were the victim and not someone else? Did they do something to bring on the crime? In the case of us Jeep owners the answer is YES!

We build our Jeeps to be bigger, better and cooler machines. This costs money, time and effort. The bad guys know this. They know that a Jeep may contain valuable items like a stereo, cameras, GPS, CB Radios, etc. They also know that Jeeps are easy targets. Jeeps have soft tops, no tops, easily-broken-into doors, etc. It is just plain easy to gain access to the inside of a Jeep.

Once you are in, it is just as easy to break into the flimsy factory plastic console and glove box. There is some interesting criminal psychology at work with the crooks that broke into Project Cross Trainer. They were so certain that they could break into the glove box and center console that they did so without even checking to see if they were unlocked. They were so certain that they could not get into the TUFFY rear cargo box that they did not even try.

PEACE OF MIND!
While no theft prevention plan is 100% you can at least get some sleep at night with the right parts in place. The console and glove box in the Jeep were in need of repair or replacement now, anyway. Like any true Jeeper, I wanted an upgrade, but more importantly, I wanted peace of mind. My current TUFFY rear cargo box offers more protection from theft unlocked than my factory stuff would locked. So the choice for replacements is obvious.

The TUFFY Series II center console and glove box were on there way to replace the factory stuff. One of the goals we wanted to accomplish with the TUFFY products was simply to make the Jeep look like too much of a hassle to break into. When the thief looks at the heavy steal boxes with big locks they simply move on to the next vehicle. (Just hope your buddy is not the next vehicle).

Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
The Tuffy console (left) even has a padded armrest.
Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
The Tuffy glove box (right) is much more secure.

The TUFFY Products are made from 11-16 gauge steel and are powder-coated to match most Jeep interior colors. The Pry-Guard Locking system keeps thieves from being able to pry their way in. Even if they find a way to destroy the tamper-resistant locks they are not getting to your stuff!

The console not only uses the factory bolts but also adds some heavier-duty stuff that can only be accessed from inside the console (so keep it locked). The glove box bolts to the steel framework of the TJ dash and even adds several new bolts around the locking mechanism to make sure nobody gets in.

MORE THAN JUST SECURITY!
The TUFFY center console gave us several upgrades beyond security. The interior size of the console is quite a bit larger than the factory TJ console. This allowed me to mount the CD changer inside the console and still leave room for other items. Inside the console, there is also a tray that you can put smaller items in so that they don’t get lost deep in the console like they do with the factory unit.

Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
Cup holders now use rubber tabs to help keep your cups in place.
Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
Our CD changer fits nicely inside the box. Seen, also, is the removable tray for small items.

In order to get all this room inside the console TUFFY makes them slightly taller than the factory unit. Combine the added height with the plush, padded armrest and the comfort level inside the Jeep was greatly increased. TUFFY also enhanced their already-great design to make the console a little more at home in a modern TJ. The console has some new curves and slopes to it that make it a better-looking console. They also added some cup holder inserts to keep beverages in place. Recently, Tuffy has begun manufacturing the center console with grille slats to facilitate a subwoofer, if your TJ came with one in its original console.

The TUFFY glove box also received a bit of a facelift. The new locking system now makes it possible to open and close the glove box while driving down the road by simply pressing a button. Previously, if you wanted to get into the glove box, you needed to use a key to unlock then relock it, as the lock, itself, was what kept the glove box closed. The new locking mechanism is much stronger and user-friendly than the previous style, as well. The new console and glove box both incorporate the new locking system so I was able to have TUFFY set them both up with the same key. However, it is not compatible with any of the previous-style locks.

Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
The easy-to-use anti-twist buttom makes the new Tuffy glove box easier to use than their earlier key latch setup.
Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
The Tuffy glove box is screwed in to the dash through its frame. Once closed, the screws are unreachable by thieves.

THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE!
The addition of TUFFY products to any vehicle will greatly enhance the security of the rig. The looks, alone deter would-be thieves. If they do try, they won’t get in! But to really keep your valuables safe, you should make the TUFFY products just one piece (or several pieces) of the whole puzzle.

Some other pieces include installing an alarm system. Even a cheap alarm with a small flashing light may keep out potential thieves. Also, don’t leave valuables lying around your Jeep. Take them inside or lock them up inside of TUFFY products. Finally, park in populated areas with good lighting. Even if a tough guy wants to take a shot at your TUFFY console with a cutting torch, he won’t do it if you are parked in the front space of the grocery store.

Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
Removal of the original center console is a relatively simple affair. The same goes for the glove box. Standard tools you have around the house are all that are needed.
Project Cross Trainer Gets Tuffy Serious Theft Protection!
The Tuffy center console requires a little more work to install. You'll need to drill a few holes in the floor, as the console is physically bolted to the floor to help prevent theft.

 

RESOURCE
Tuffy Products
www.tuffyproducts.com
25733 Road H
Cortez, CO 81321
Ph: (800)348-8339
Local: (970)564-1762
Fax: (970)564-1783
sales@tuffyproducts.com