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Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

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Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby Bob Sihler » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:08 pm

This is just a heads-up that I should have posted several days ago.

On the morning of April 17, shortly after 6 A.M., my son and I left the trailhead at Calico Basin to head up Ash Canyon. When we returned, I found that the front windows on the driver and passenger sides had been smashed in. Whoever did it was looking to steal things, as was clear from the open glove compartment and center console.

Fortunately, someone must have happened by and caused them to flee, for I accidentally had left my wallet in the console, in a second compartment they apparently didn't have time to get to, and my DSLR was in the trunk, which they hadn't yet opened.

I'm pretty sure I saw the culprits, though I can't remember them distinctly. Just about a minute after my son and I arrived (we were the only ones there at the time), an older-model American sedan with two young-looking white people, male and female, came tearing into the lot, scraping bottom. While I did not notice a lot of details, they looked grungy and certainly did not look like hikers or climbers. They stayed there a moment and then tore out. I am convinced they were the ones and just waited a bit until we were gone from the car.

As it stood, they got nothing but caused a lot of hassle, especially since it was a rental vehicle. I'm grateful enough not to have lost my camera, ID, cash, and credit cards.

But let this alert people that there may be thieves, possibly looking to feed their drug habits, prowling trailheads in and around Red Rock Canyon right now. Storing valuables out of sight will not deter them. I caution you not to head out for a hike or climb until there is at least one other car there, especially at the more remote trailheads.

I filed a report with the police and the BLM, knowing they would not look for or catch the perps but hoping they might patrol lots more frequently. Anyway, keep a lookout and plan accordingly.

And to the thieves on the off chance you are reading this: I hope some slow suffering is in store for you sometime really soon, you assholes.
"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off."

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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby JHH60 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:39 am

Maybe those two white guys didn't recognize the authority of the BLM or of any government that restricts their taking anything of value owned by non-Nevada residents. Worked for Cliven Bundy.
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby Fletch » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:28 am

Bob - sorry to hear about this. Where exactly is Calico Basin?
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby Bob Sihler » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:52 pm

Calico Basin is in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation a little west of Las Vegas. It is just east of the popular Scenic Drive. Access roads pass through private property although trailheads are on public land.

Specifically, the TH at the end of Sandstone Drive was where the break-in occurred.
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:22 pm

This was the Kraft Mt Parking (as far north as one can drive, really a dirt road with chain-link at the entrance)?

I park there often, fairly early... but usually not earlier than 7AM. I guess the fact that my car looks like it should belong to a homeless person, and has an unrecognizable mass of junk in the front seat, probably makes it less of a target. I put up sun shades on front and side windows partly to make it harder for people to look inside. The back looks like it contains pee bottles and unprotected bomb-making equipment.

People have been hitting the parking areas near Red Rock, probably for smartphones and ID materials, for some years. Possibly new cars are more of a target. That said, my 1993 Saturn was stolen (from downtown) in 2003.
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby Marcsoltan » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:49 am

Bob, I'm happy to know you didn't lose anything. You left your wallet in the car accidentally, but I have seen many people who leave their wallets in the car intentionally. I have always wonder about the reason for that!

Some years ago, after doing a bit of climbing, my wife, my climbing buddy and I decided to go for a short hike in the Sycamore Canyon not far from LA. I asked for my wife's wallet to put in my day pack. My friend had a fanny bag, and I figured he had his wallet in it. When we got back to the parking lot the car was broken into. They stole 2000 dollars worth of my climbing gear, and my friend's wallet, his harness and his shoes. My homeowner's insurance covered my losses, but my friend had to go through all the hassles of replacing everything he had in his wallet.

I don't think the thieves were climbers, but I'm sure they played with my cams a lot.
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby Bob Sihler » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:38 pm

MoapaPk wrote:This was the Kraft Mt Parking (as far north as one can drive, really a dirt road with chain-link at the entrance)?


Yes, it was.
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby Bob Sihler » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:42 pm

Marcsoltan wrote:Bob, I'm happy to know you didn't lose anything. You left your wallet in the car accidentally, but I have seen many people who leave their wallets in the car intentionally. I have always wonder about the reason for that!


Sometimes I leave my wallet in the car (out of sight) just to save a little space and weight, especially if I have a smaller pack. However, I take out my credit cards, ID, and any cash first and carry those with me. This time, though, I forgot, so I was really relieved they didn't have time to get my wallet.

I don't think the thieves were climbers, but I'm sure they played with my cams a lot.


They probably found some novel way to use them to smoke dope.
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby MoapaPk » Thu May 01, 2014 6:48 pm

Bob Sihler wrote:
Marcsoltan wrote:
I don't think the thieves were climbers, but I'm sure they played with my cams a lot.


They probably found some novel way to use them to smoke dope.


"New Peak" out of Calico Basin had a hookah on top around 2006-2007. The name "New" was actually a joke written in the log back about 2005 (which had no name), but it has been repeatedly erased/crossed out; one replacement name was "Stoner Peak." For a few years you could smell the residue from "sparking the owl."

The line between "retrieving booty" and "stealing" is pretty fuzzy for some climbers in Red Rock. Some people cache ropes, gear and supplies when they plan to do a route with a long approach. One climber in particular would go to such routes and look for cached items. One time he was caught, retribution was achieved, and he ended up filing a complaint with metro police-- amusing stuff.
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby Marcsoltan » Thu May 01, 2014 8:20 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
Bob Sihler wrote:
Marcsoltan wrote:
I don't think the thieves were climbers, but I'm sure they played with my cams a lot.


They probably found some novel way to use them to smoke dope.


"New Peak" out of Calico Basin had a hookah on top around 2006-2007. The name "New" was actually a joke written in the log back about 2005 (which had no name), but it has been repeatedly erased/crossed out; one replacement name was "Stoner Peak." For a few years you could smell the residue from "sparking the owl."

The line between "retrieving booty" and "stealing" is pretty fuzzy for some climbers in Red Rock. Some people cache ropes, gear and supplies when they plan to do a route with a long approach. One climber in particular would go to such routes and look for cached items. One time he was caught, retribution was achieved, and he ended up filing a complaint with metro police-- amusing stuff.


Well, I did say "I don't think the thieves were climbers." Who knows, may be they were. I wasn't suggesting that all climbers are honest. I am very curious what the "retribution" against the unsavory climber entailed!
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby RaymondShevsky » Fri May 02, 2014 7:24 pm

Thank you, Bob, for the warning.
Not too surprising that such low-lifes see the Red Rock parking areas as easy pickings: they are rarely, if ever, policed. For the amount of revenue Red Rock pulls in, you'd think they could send a few rangers out on patrol. A related gripe I have is the recent expansion of Red Rock to include much of the La Madre/limestone mountains NW of Vegas. "Red Rock/No Motorized Vehicles" etc. signs placed at the "boundaries", but never a ranger in sight...so no deterrent for the many ATVers/jeepers/scramble bikers zooming up the dirt tracks, or the crap being dumped/shot full of holes. It's an annoying, bad joke. If you're gonna put the signs up, please send out some rangers!
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby MoapaPk » Sat May 03, 2014 3:40 pm

RaymondShevsky wrote: A related gripe I have is the recent expansion of Red Rock to include much of the La Madre/limestone mountains NW of Vegas. "Red Rock/No Motorized Vehicles" etc. signs placed at the "boundaries", but never a ranger in sight...so no deterrent for the many ATVers/jeepers/scramble bikers zooming up the dirt tracks, or the crap being dumped/shot full of holes. It's an annoying, bad joke. If you're gonna put the signs up, please send out some rangers!


One of the great ironies is that the people who obey the signs are the people least likely to trash the wilderness, and the most likely to get tickets for unintended transgressions. The beer-drinking-random-shooting crowd usually does so after hours or on weekends, when BLM security is not around. On the other hand, people occasionally get tickets for "off-road driving" when they pull off the road onto a lifeless dirt berm, during BLM hours. Or they get a ticket for not pulling off the road.

The Wilderness Act is silent on mandating road closures in wilderness areas, even though many wilderness organizations adamantly insist the act tacitly implores them to close roads. So, many roads in sparsely-traveled areas are now closed at the wilderness boundaries. I always see tracks from off-roaders in crazy places around the barriers. These folks often come in the evening after work when no one is around to ticket them. Some of the BLM closures make sense -- they help over-used areas recover; others make little sense. Locals often tear out the barriers, so the barriers get more and more sophisticated till they are nearly tank traps... and yet the locals in old jeeps and atvs still drive around them.
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby Bill Reed » Thu May 15, 2014 4:29 pm

Glad you didn't lose anything there Bob. Sorry you did Marc.
You can call me Captain Obvious here but trailhead and campground robberies all seem to have one common thread-Location. If they're within a relatively short drive of cities or towns that contain a significant population of lowlifes, your vehicle and valubles are at risk. Thieves are predators-They always go for the easy pickins'.

Bob~Calico Basin is in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation a little west of Las Vegas
Marc~Some years ago, after doing a bit of climbing, my wife, my climbing buddy and I decided to go for a short hike in the Sycamore Canyon not far from LA.

Some areas in the West and in particular, the West Coast seems to have alot more of this happening than other areas of the country. Perhaps it's because more trailheads are located close to population centers like LA, SF, Vegas, Seattle and their environs.

I've been hiking and backpacking in Colorado and Wyoming for many years and have never had an issue. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen here, just not very often, as far as I know.

Might be an interesting poll question: Has your vehicle or anyones you know of, been broken into at a trailhead? And if so-where?
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Re: Vandals and thieves in Calico Basin

Postby MoapaPk » Fri May 16, 2014 1:13 am

My car has never been violated (touch wood) anywhere in the rural areas of Nevada. I do try to drive to slightly more "difficult" areas when I can, so opportunistic thieves -- driving by on the paved roads -- won't be able to reach the car easily. Friends have had their cars broken into when they were parked near the "main" roads in CA and NV. My car currently looks like an abandoned vehicle anyway.

My car was stolen in 2003 when it was parked in a secure area in a Vegas apartment complex.
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