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This past Halloween my neighborhood had a rash of pumpkin thefts.. Almost all of my neighbors on my street had their pumpkins stolen the week before Halloween.

Fortunately-I live in a fairly small and middle income/average neighborhood with really low crime rates and most of the kids in the area are very young (toddler to 6 yrs.) The general consensus among my neighbors and I is that someone from outside our neighborhood made repeated visits in the early morning hours and decided to cause some trouble..:( It's hard to believe someone would be that bored and persistant..but who else could have done it?

Now, for those who don't grow their own out here-pumpkins around here go for between 5 and 8 bucks each-and many people who had theirs stolen just decided not to replace them out of fear that they would simply vanish again. Many people had three+ pumpkins vanish. Not alot of money true-but I guess they felt it wasn't worth the risk. Fortunately mine weren't stolen (they were tucked in a corner) but it meant that most of the houses in my neighborhood-didn't have Jack O' Lanterns on Halloween night:(

On Nov 1st. I opened my front door and saw a running mess of pumpkins that evidently had been thrown out of a car sometime after midnight. They were spattered all up and down the block. Evidently-they had stolen the pumpkins-then saved them..then came back and were throwing them around. That actually alarmed alot of people because many were concerned that they might have been aiming at windows etc.

After all this, many of my neighbors said that they would get the fake pre-made jack o'lanterns and put them inside- in their front windows. That troubled me because I see two traditions in danger-carving the pumpkin (and all the gooey mess)-..and the traditional jack o'lanterns on the front steps..

Halloween is of course a time for pranks and such but to me-stealing a pumpkin is like stealing a Christmas tree-it's the one symbol that I treasure more than any other. It just made me pretty angry.:mad:

I was just wondering-has anyone else had a problem specifically with pumpkin thieves?

I am hoping that it was a one time thing last year..I don't want to have to keep my Jack O'Lanterns inside:(
 

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dress up as a scare crow or a prop type of thing wait for them to walk up into your yard ....be sitting next to pumpkin let them get close enough jump up and kick there asses.
 

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some ideas:

1. Superglue them to a big piece of heavy plywood.
2. Cover them with a foul smelling substance so they have to smell it everytime they pick thier snotty little pumpkin stealing noses. I suggest deer urine.
3. Wire them to your wall outlet..ZZZAAAPP!
4. A small charge wired to a cherry bomb nested inside each pumpkin hooked up to a mercury switch. The slightest motion, and KAPOW! Pumpkin pie all over thier stupid pumpkin stealing faces.
5. A proximity switch hooked up to a voice and a camera that warns them they just had thier snot nosed pumpkin stealing asses picture taken and will be posted all around the neighborhood.
6. Fill some pumpkins with dog crap..the smellier the better. Beforehand, cut the bottoms and secure them VERY loosley..When thier crappy little pumpkin stealing get-away car rounds a corner, the bottom will come off, spilling the canine gift all over thier laps.
 

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Halloween theft and vandalism is a constant threat, and an ongoing problem everywhere. It really doesn't have anything to do with where you live, or how expensive your decorations are. It just takes one kid who was raised by wolves to spoil everything. There are a few basics to keep in mind.
1. Bright lighting deters thieves and vandals.
2. Booby-trapping is against the law, and you can lose everything you own in the ensuing law suits.
3.Make it difficult to get to, and or remove any decoration. The downside is that they might just trash it in place.
4.Surveillance cameras may not prevent a theft, but it may help you find out who did it.
5. Bring in anything you don't want damaged or stolen every night. When you put the dog out for the last time, bring your pumpkins in.
6. Never give up. Altering how you celebrate your holiday is just plain giving in to the bad guys.
 

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Halloween theft and vandalism is a constant threat, and an ongoing problem everywhere. It really doesn't have anything to do with where you live, or how expensive your decorations are. It just takes one kid who was raised by wolves to spoil everything. There are a few basics to keep in mind.
1. Bright lighting deters thieves and vandals.
2. Booby-trapping is against the law, and you can lose everything you own in the ensuing law suits.
3.Make it difficult to get to, and or remove any decoration. The downside is that they might just trash it in place.
4.Surveillance cameras may not prevent a theft, but it may help you find out who did it.
5. Bring in anything you don't want damaged or stolen every night. When you put the dog out for the last time, bring your pumpkins in.
6. Never give up. Altering how you celebrate your holiday is just plain giving in to the bad guys.
Sound advice, Vlad. Of course, my ideas were meant to be a joke. I don't REALLY suggest you fill pumpkins with dog poop!
 

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You're right Vlad it really doesn't matter where you live.
I avoid as much of the vandalism and theft as possible. I set up the day of and take it all down when its over. Exhausting work, but I just don't want anything ruined. Plus being in the north west with all the rain we are prone to I don't want everything sitting in rain for days.
 

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A harmless (someone correct me if I'm wrong here) booby-trap would be to spray the JOLs with diluted silver nitrate solution. This chemical is used as a fixative in histology samples. It will turn your skin coal black, and it does NOT wash off, not even a little. It's clear and colorless before and after drying, so the thieves won't have a clue for about an hour. It takes several days to wear off your skin.
There's an old adage among biology lab techs that the likelihood of getting silver nitrate on your hands is directly proportional to the importance of the dinner date yu have that evening.
 

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A harmless (someone correct me if I'm wrong here) booby-trap would be to spray the JOLs with diluted silver nitrate solution. This chemical is used as a fixative in histology samples. It will turn your skin coal black, and it does NOT wash off, not even a little. It's clear and colorless before and after drying, so the thieves won't have a clue for about an hour. It takes several days to wear off your skin.
There's an old adage among biology lab techs that the likelihood of getting silver nitrate on your hands is directly proportional to the importance of the dinner date yu have that evening.
You're absolutely right, Otaku. Everything you said is correct. The only warning I can find is that it stains your hands. It is so safe, they put drops of it in baby's eyes if the risk of chlamydia is present as it is a strong antimicrobial. Since it is used in photography, it is indeed clear, but turns black when exposed to light. You may end up with black pumpkins instead of a deterent, however.
 

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someone put mustard all of over one of my flood lights once....kinda odd, it was like burnt on XD, i didnt really care i mean it came off, just bizarre...
 

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Just sit outside on your porch as if you were a prop and sit there with a shotgun. When a hooligan comes up and steals a pumpkin, KABLAM! Shoot them. Or just place land mines under them, that would work too.
 

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someone put mustard all of over one of my flood lights once....kinda odd, it was like burnt on XD, i didnt really care i mean it came off, just bizarre...
That is bizarre. Kind of funny for the simple fact why mustard makes no sense. I can hear it now "Hey Man! lets cover that thing in mustard!" :googly:
 

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One year we had some juvnile delinquents steal pumpkins only to throw them threw peoples windshileds. The cops were called in and the news crews covered it but onone was caught. Alot of the neighbors stopped putting out pumpkins. Too bad
 
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