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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever had any of their outdoor props stolen or vandalized? Do you do anything to ensure that your props don't get stolen? This is the first year that I'm making my own props, so any suggestions or pointers would be helpful. I have seen something on Pinterest about using little mini alarms.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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lol. I think anyone who tells you they've never had that problem is either lying, forgetful, or lives in a rural area where it is too much trouble to be vandalized. :D

My solution is to put up the display on Halloween morning and take it down after curfew Halloween night.
 

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I haven't heard about halloween thefts around here but we've had a lot people see there outdoor Christmas decorations/lights go missing in recent years.
 

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We didnt have to much of a problem with theft, there was a group of people that shot at lights and actors with pellet guns and paint ball guns. I added a DVR recording from 4 IR cameras all month. we also parks a car around the corner and watched for them at the time we new they were doing it. along with sitting on the porch with out own paint ball markers just in case. On Halloween night we had so many people around we actually got our very own cop patrol on our block only.
 

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If you put up a fairly tall graveyard fence it will slow people down. Dollar store window alarms wired to props, motion sensor lights, fake or real cameras, chain down props to trees, & put a baby monitor outside so you can listen inside for noise. I have wondered if having props showing what happens to theives & vandals (hanged, buried, etc) helps ---have a sign hanging on them to display their crime. (And try to sleep with one eye open looking out your front windows, LOL!)

Good luck with your first year Haunt.
 

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I think this all depends on how busy your street is and how many teenagers pass by your haunt. I do what Blarghity does, where I only have my display out for about 3 days. I put the cheaper and heavier items out the day before, and keep my expensive and light items to the morning before trick or treating. One other solution is knowing your neighbors. I am in a suburb area where there is a swarm of kids that are more nosy than vandalizing. One year they barged onto my lawn while I was setting things up, so I gave each kid a task. I had a bucket full of skulls and limbs and I told each kid to pick one and find a spot for it. I adjusted everything later, but I had zero vandalism that year. I think the kids appreciated being included and were less likely to try to touch things or walk through the fenced in areas because they had already seen it close up and touched it. I also have a second treat bucket of good chocolate candy; bribes; to give to trick or treaters I recognize as neighbors.
 

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Protector of the winged
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Several years ago when I was still living in MN, I had a ground breaker stolen. It was a cheap one but, broke my heart non-the-less. The next year I hardly put out anything and then when Halloween night rolled around, I felt aweful when Iooked outside as the ToTs came up the sidewalk and saw hardly any decorations. I was asked about it several times as the night wet on... which also made it even more depressing. After that Halloween... I vowed to not let it get me down like that again. My "pouting" about it was pretty excessive and was uncalled for because I completely ruined my favorite holiday that year. From then on I realized it'll probably happen again because there are jerks everywhere. So, do what you can to protect your investment.. outside of that, don't put alot of worry into it or you'll find that it's going to be a very stressful time of year when you're suppose to be having fun instead.
 

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Unfortunately the bad apples exist everywhere. I am lucky enough to live in a small town for now where a yard haunt is a cool thing and no-one bothers the few there are. This is all about to change for me as I will be moving to a much larger city. All I can hope for is I find a decent neighborhood with good neighbors and good kids. I make 95% of my props, and don't spend much on what I do buy. If they really feel the need to destroy or steal, they're gonna do it no matter what I do, and I'm only out a few dollars and time. I'll just have to see what the future brings and hope for the best.
HM
 

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Going bump in the night..
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I'll usually leave the expensive items inside until Halloween night itself - anything I leave out in the yard for the days and weeks leading up will be something I understand could be stolen. So far, only had a couple of pumpkins stolen (they were BIG ones, so I kind of understand why). Nothing busted up either. But, as I'd mentioned, I don't have "good" stuff out for long periods of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, a lot of you have some really great ideas and solutions. I will probably be using a lot of the tricks you guys have mentioned. I am back and forth on this, our close neighbors are wonderful. However, there are a few kids that make me nervous. Although, they tend to stay away from us and our home for the most part, we have 4 dogs, 3 of which are large and powerful breeds, these particular kids are terrified of dogs. Your feet hit my driveway and my Corso is knocking down the door. I'm really just worried that at night I have my dogs all sleeping in my bedroom and I sleep with fans for white noise. It would be difficult for even the Corso to hear things going on in the front of the house in the middle of the night...maybe a baby monitor by her bed would be a good idea ;)
It's really just a shame to think about all the time, effort, and money that is spent on such a fun Halloween display and doing it to give other people something fun to enjoy as well, and then thinking someone would want to come along and steal or vandalize it. I suppose that's life!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ohhhh good idea Deadview, I like it...although if someone came into the yard with the intention of doing something to my props, I would be more than happy to let little Fluffy out to play with them ;) Lol
 
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