Reduce the Risk of Vehicle Break-Ins
Tuffy Consoles and Cargo Drawers: Because Everyone Feels Better With Security
Each year, $1.255 billion in valuables are stolen from vehicles in 1.85 million thefts, according to AOL Autos. Experts estimate that for each theft, there are numerous attempts and break-ins. Vehicle break-ins are a problem everywhere, frustrating for police, and a costly intrusion for the owner. Vehicle break-ins are fast, easy, and often lucrative for criminals. Thieves can be in and out of your rig quickly if the vehicle is unlocked or little noise is created, it doesn’t draw attention, and witnesses are unlikely unless they’re caught in the act.
“With a few precautions, you can reduce the chances that your vehicle is targeted.”
Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Vehicle Break-Ins.
First, adopt the mindset that crime is easier to prevent than it is to solve. You can’t control when a criminal spots your vehicle, but you can safeguard your property. Here’s what you can do:
1. Always lock your vehicle. Do it every time, no matter where you are or how long you’ll be away. Newer models can lock the doors automatically, but if your vehicle is older or you don’t have this feature, make sure to check all the doors.
2. Don’t leave anything of value in plain sight. Use lockable consoles, compartments, place items in the cargo area, or take them with you. Remember to stow them before parking in case someone is watching.
3. Keep it tidy. Any item visible from the outside can be seen as valuable. Stow electronics and accessories out of sight or remove them. Evidence alone may be enough to interest thieves, so hide power cords, iPod adapters, or navigation system mounts.
4. Completely close windows and sunroofs. Thieves may reach in through the gap and open locks with a hanger. Any opening leaves you more vulnerable to vehicle break-ins, and may provide them with additional time to loot it.
5. Increase your visibility. Park in busy, well-lit areas and avoid concealment from other vehicles, fences, or foliage, if possible. The greater the chances are that someone might see a crime in progress, the lower the risk that a potential thief will attempt it.
“Vehicle break-ins are a problem everywhere, frustrating for police, and a costly intrusion for the owner.”
Console Safe Installation
Let’s begin by installing the Console Safe (PN 144) for 2007-2014 Toyota FJ Cruisers inside the factory console. The Pry-Guard II lock allows the lid to be latched without locking, and its push-button lock system contains built-in weather seals. The full-length, marine-grade vinyl armrest cushion takes the place of the armrest on the passenger seat, and the Grade 8 mounting hardware and durable texture powdercoat ensure the safe will look great and maintain its functionality indefinitely.
A 10mm socket, extension, ratchet, and a razor knife are all that’s needed to install the Console Safe. Start by spraying the lock mechanism with WD-40 before mounting it. It’s easier to do before it’s inside the console, and keeps lubricant off of other surfaces.
FJ Cruiser Cargo Drawer
Completing the Console Safe fitting, we liked the security of Tuffy products so much, we decided to use their FJ Cruiser Cargo Drawer (PN 141), along with the optional Divider Kit (PN 145) to organize things. The same locking mechanism on the safe is on the drawer, too, and if the key code is given when ordering the drawer, Tuffy will match the locks, reducing the keys needed to one.
The drawer slides on heavy-duty roller bearings, providing protection for your tools, gear, and other essentials. The side lid panels open to access the jack, power outlets, and a limited amount of added storage. Along with the Divider Kit, Tuffy offers Multi-Point Tie Down Rails, Gear Anchors, Anchor Point Rings, and a Tie Down Kit to maximize the space above the drawer.
To install the drawer, you’ll need a 7/16-inch wrench, 10mm socket and ratchet, 1/2-inch wrench and socket, a flat blade, and Phillips head screwdrivers. If you leave the jack in its original location, it may be difficult to retrieve with any drawer installed. Know how to remove it, because it’s difficult to see the jack. If in doubt, relocate the jack to the drawer or a secure location. Don’t store it under the lid panels, as they aren’t designed to retain heavy items.
Prepare the cargo area of the FJ Cruiser first. Fold the rear seat down and remove the carpet to reveal four 10mm screws holding the tie-down loops to the rear deck. Pop off the plastic caps on the rear 10mm screws, but leave the spacers on the front 10mm screws, as they will be reused.
Taking the Cargo Drawer out of box, you’ll need to remove the outer left and right panels from inside the drawer. Once you’ve sorted out all the screws, washers, and nuts, fasten the panels to the drawer using six 5/16×3/4-inch bolts and six 5/16-inch washers. Install the handle using two 1/4-20 serrated nuts. You’ll need a deep, 11mm socket to tighten the lock mechanism, as your fingers won’t likely fit.
Remove the drawer from the enclosure, pulling it out as far as it goes to locate the silver metal stops on the ball bearing slides. One of the stops needs to be deactivated by pressing down while the other is pulled up. Deactivating the stops allows the drawer to slide out and the slides to separate.
With the drawer out, place the enclosure in the FJ’s cargo area. Install the front panels with ten 1/4-20 screws and ten 1/4-20 serrated nuts. Using a stubby Phillips head screwdriver and a small 7/16-inch socket and ratchet, reach over the rear seat to install the panels. Four 10x25mm screws and four 1/4-inch washers are used to fasten the enclosure to the original tie-down holes in the FJ Cruiser.
Don’t tighten down the enclosure until all four screws are in place. The center hole where a tie-down was bolted to the floor may not match up.
The lid panels are secured from the underside, and you need to get the washers in place before you can tighten the nuts enough to be able to use an 11mm socket. The right and left lid panels are installed, with one 1/4-inch nylon washer between each lid panel connection and the other mounting panel. The lids should pivot open easily, but not be loose enough to rattle.
Gently reinstall the drawer into the enclosure. Don’t force it or the slides will be damaged. Have someone lift and guide the other side of the drawer into the enclosure to avoid damage to the slide bearings. We got our drawer slightly off kilter when reinstalling it, and popped a few bearings out of the slides. Damaged but still fully functional, we’ll address replacing the slides later. Divider kit in place, we finished it off with Tuffy’s Multi-Point Tie Down Rails.
“… adopt the mindset that crime is easier to prevent than it is to solve.”
Tuffy’s Console Safe and Cargo Drawer will help prevent vehicle break-ins from occurring if they can’t see what’s inside. With all the items in an overland vehicle, the use of locks, storage boxes, and drawers is imperative. Even after installing Tuffy’s Security Console Safe and Cargo Drawer, we strongly encourage you to maintain situational awareness, become target hardened, and safeguard yourself and your property. With a few precautions, you can reduce the chances that your vehicle is targeted.
Tuffy Security Products