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My Stolen and Stripped Honda Civic

My beloved Honda Civic was stolen earlier this week from my driveway — the picture above shows what was left of it when the cops found it. I’ll forever wonder: If I had invested in some kind of anti-theft tool for my car, would it be the stripped-down wreck it is now? So, for those of you without an anti-theft device for your car, Summit Racing is selling this Gorilla Grip 3 steering wheel lock for $53.

Made from cut-proof hardened steel, the lock fits on any steering wheel and locks in place in seconds. It also features a built-in 130-dB siren and flashing LED lights to attract attention. You deactivate and remove the lock with a key.

I hope you never experience having your car stolen — it SUCKS!

Gorilla Grip 3 [Summit Racing]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]


21 Responses to Dealmonger: Gorilla Grip Steering Lock $53

  1. Patrick says:

    Sorry to hear about your car.
    But wouldn’t they just cut thru the steering wheel and pitch the lock as they drive away. If they are going to steal something, they are going to steal it.

  2. Andrew says:

    Yeas ago now I was not a very nice person and on occasion stole a vehicle or twenty. (I’ve since mended my ways and righted those wrongs)

    Clubs, and other such steering wheel locks are useless if someone wants your car. They will just saw through the steering wheel itself which is usually little more the pleather wrapped thin walled aluminum tubing, it takes about five seconds. You’re best bet is to lock your doors, and pray they don’t want your car enough to jimmy the lock, because if someone is willing to get through the door locks, he will probably be willing to get through just about anything else. It means he is targeting your car’s make and model specifically.

    My guess is Stephen didn’t lock his doors, and as such was the victim of a walk-by. These are guys who just wander up and down streets pulling on door handles of non-alarmed cars, looking for the first one that’s unlocked. And if you can’t muster up the energy to lock your doors odds are that fancy Gorilla Grip is gonna spend most of its time sitting on the back seat like a fancy paperweight.

  3. Bobk says:

    My sympathies on the loss of your car.

    I hope that most of us realize that a thief is, by definition, going to steal something. All we can do is attempt to make it difficult enough that they decide to keep looking elsewhere. I do like how the anti-theft bar lays on top of the dash, making it VERY obvious. Another suggestion would be to search for some form of hidden “cut off” or “kill” switch, diabling either ignition, fuel pump (if electric), or both.

  4. Patrick says:

    Bad things happen when doors are locked too. The back window on my truck was forced open at a very public and very busy train station recently. I lost a GPS unit, the face plate for my stereo, sunglasses, and ,worst of all, a great number of my tools that were stashed in the cab. Seems like now, if you don’t want to lose it, don’t keep it in your car. It is no fun being burgled.

  5. forlerm says:

    My friends truck got stolen in seattle years ago they cut the steering wheel like
    other posters said and threw his club out the window after that he bough the
    one that go’s on the brake petal now they just still hi radio and leave the truck.

  6. Mindbender says:

    Part of the problem is insufficient punishment of car thieves. When one is caught, they rarely get time, and if they do it’s not much time. Just enough so they can spend a year on our dime learning the latest techniques in car theft. Raise the punishment (not “rehabilitation”) until it’s so harsh nobody wants to steal a car.

  7. Dan says:

    Andrew is right the steering wheal is thin and meant to be in case your head hits it in an accident and can easily be cut with a hack saw.


    I have seen a few types that lock the break pedal that is
    1. Hard to cut
    2. Hard to reach and cut with the door closed especially
    3. Can’t really drive with out the pedal

    Con is its not so visible to prevent the thief from entering in the first place but they do have the covers that go over the steering weal to draw attention to a locking device

  8. Chris says:

    @Bobk: Another suggestion would be to search for some form of hidden “cut off” or “kill” switch, diabling either ignition, fuel pump (if electric), or both.

    Bingo. If you live in a neighbourhood bad enough to worry about this sort of thing on a regular basis, pull the ignition relay and starter relay and take them with you. It’ll take a fairly knowledgeable thief to make off with your car without those two parts, and if the thief is that good, he was going to steal it anyway.

    I’ve done this when my buddy and I had to leave his car with a less-than-trustworthy friend overnight and sure enough, it kept his car parked right where we left it, despite the friend’s attempts to “borrow” the car in the middle of the night.


  9. DJFelix says:

    Don’t keep anything in your car that isn’t permanently installed and keep full coverage insurance. That is the only sure-fire way to protect yourself.

    You could install a club, a gorilla grip, and a brake-lok, and a determined thief could still steel your car. A can of that compressed “air” or an A/C recharge kit will make quick work of all three of those locks. Not to mention the fact that you can cut all three locks off with a hacksaw, and in the case of the brake-lok, attach a homemade pedal and be off.

    Like Andrew said, Civics are specifically targeted as the parts are super easy to fence. You’re only defense is to ensure it, and keep the doors locked. If they want it that bad, they will take it. Let them have it, and file a claim.

    Or pay for an armed guard to watch the car 24/7 😉

  10. DJFelix says:

    err .. insure that is. d’oh!

  11. Azzy` says:

    Last time some product of the great society broke into a car in front of my parents house, he was greeted by a Remington Sportsman 48 shotgun. He ran, and we didnt find him (we being my father, myself, and 3 police cars) but there has not been a similar breakin since.

  12. ToolFreak says:

    The steering wheel locks are a joke. Good tools go right through them, and if that’s too much of a hassle, it’s easy enough to hack up the steering wheel to get it off.

    The BEST way to prevent theft is not making your car a target for theft in the first place. Not driving one of the top 10 most stolen vehicles would be a start, but if you must drive one, when you park your brand new Civic out in the driveway in a theft-prone neighborhood, what do you think is going to happen? Park it in the garage, carport, etc. Lock the doors.

    The relay tip is a good one, but the best sure-fire way to be sure you get your car back if it DOES get stolen is a remote kill system. There’s quite a few options for them, but I kind of like the one that gives the vehicle position to the cops, then shuts off the engine once they’re in pursuit, and locks the thief in the car until the cops pull them out.

  13. You know, I always wondered why people fill their garage with boxes of crap that is maybe worth $500 and park their second most expensive possession in the driveway. I see way too many garages with boxes piled to the ceiling and $20,000 cars in the driveway in my neighborhood.

    Park your second most expensive possession in your first, unless you’re converted your garage into a shop 🙂

  14. Zathrus says:

    Benjamen — probably because the car is made for being outside, while the $500 of crap isn’t!

    When we bought our current house I quickly realized that the garage just isn’t big enough for two cars (and this after a house that could have both cars, a workbench, and tons of other storage). Ok, I guess it would be if you stored absolutely nothing (including garbage cans) in it, but that’s just not happening. So I quickly said screw it and built a 12′ bench on one side. I hope to eventually clear enough space for one car, but until then the $500 of crap is in the way 🙂

    Then again, we don’t live in an iffy neighborhood. I’m more concerned about my car being broken into while at work than I am while at home.

  15. Thanks for the good wishes, I thought I would add some more info. The Honda was locked and parked in my driveway unfortunately I don’t have a garage. I live in/on a pretty respectable quiet neighbourhood/street. I don’t know how they got in because they stole the door and the other locks weren’t tampered with and there was no broken glass. The car was stripped like there was a shopping list of parts that they needed because they didn’t take any of the personal affects that were in the car including some new parts I had just bought for the car. The cops told me that Honda’s are the No.1 most stolen car, and are worth more in parts that as a whole car. On top of that boy racers love them for there customisable light-weight engines. They seem to think it was just bad luck, they drove around looking for a particular car found and took it. It just so happen to be my Honda. The worst part for me, apart from the inconvenience of not having transportation and the mountains of paperwork I have to fill in is that the car sits directly below my bedroom window. My window was also open at the time and I heard nothing, creepy!

  16. der5er says:

    Sounds to me like someone was in an accident and visited Midnight Auto Supply. They damaged their hood, bumpers and driver’s side door…but left almost everything else. I’d look for the guy driving the silver Civic in town who’s paint doesn’t quite match on the parts you’re missing…then visit HIS Midnight Auto location!

  17. Gearhead says:

    It’s actually getting more “known” about the “back door” immobiliser defeats in modern cars with factory antitheft systems. On Hondas, it’s a sequence of pedal-presses and e-brake handle pulls, and a couple of other things like a wierd expensive game of “bop-it”. A friend’s Hybrid Civic in SFO was stolen this way. I’ve also read of the same thing on Navigators, along with denials of insurance claims due to the underwriters accusing the owner of fraud in order to get out of the obligations of financing (and no this was in the middle of the SUV craze a couple of years ago. Guy went into Target and came out to an empty space and keys in hand. Ins co claimed he set it up. Can’t remember where I read it though). I’m very keen on the idea of pulling relays, but beware that the sockets can’t take such abuse and may leave you inadvertently stranded at an inopportune moment (explain that to the missus). For kill switches, be certain to wire a DPxT switch with the contacts in parallel to each other should a set of terminals get an errant case of intermittents. Confuses the heck out of the ECM and your mechanic alike.

  18. ToolFreak says:

    I’d say from the looks of it, your car was targeted for a laundry list of parts alright. They left the wheels, interior, the other door, etc. I’d hazard a guess they may have even seen you driving it and followed you home to check out if you garaged it and how easy it would be to jack late at night. Hopefully whatever you get from the insurance is enough to replace everything that was stolen. Just leave all the body panels flat black, or get some gaudy paint job in your favorite color so noone will steal it again!

    You probably didn’t hear anything since they popped the door, busted the steering lock, then just rolled it away in neutral until they were far enough to drive it…or tow it.

  19. Patrick says:

    To throw in my two cents: I feel for you. Had a guy move my motorcycle out of a parking spot once. He didn’t mess with the bike, he just wanted the space. Had I caught him doing it or found him that night I wouldn’t be talking on this blog; I was that mad.

    But going with what the others say – they want to steal it, they’ll steal it. All you can do is keep your property loss low (older, beat up looking car) or drive something no one really wants (my Truimph; it’s not a Harley, so noone’s gonna be fencing parts. I love her though. And if you see that bike on a truck, call the cops, it’s being stolen).

    I’ve left my doors unlocked nearly everywhere, never had a break in; no one wants to figure out if there’s a GPS under the seat of a old F150, too much time.

  20. Fzzt says:

    The biggest drawbacks to having to add extra layers of security is the constant time you waste using your own car and the possibility that the thief or thieves decide to wait for you to get by your own security before jacking your ride.

    I worked for a wealthy family and they would leave one car unlocked and the keys in the console, that way if someone was intent on stealing something hopefully they’d just go for the ‘easy’ car and not put the family in the house in danger.

  21. Ed says:

    After having 4 cars stolen . 2 of them recovered, thank god and 3 others broken into . I finally learned my lesson. None of the cars where stolen from my residence or broken into BTW. I started to purchase cars that are not on the top 50 most stolen models. I also stopped adding good electronics like fancy cd players. First off I dont have or ever had money, but now I dont act like I have money by buying certain models or simply dumping money into my cars like a pimp daddy. What I am saying love your car but dont catch unwanted attention or buy a car that may keep you in thieves radars. Life is unfair

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