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.
Trashed TJ! |
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!
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
console (left) even has a padded armrest. |
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.
now use rubber tabs to help keep your cups in place. |
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
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
anti-twist buttom makes the new Tuffy glove box easier to
use than their earlier key latch setup. |
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.
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
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. |
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.