Keep Your Generators Secure From Thieves

This is sort of a public service announcement to inform and to

attract ideas about protecting generators from being stolen, as

happened to us recently.

We had built a separate concrete shed for our generator and

secured it with a chain, iron gates and a padlock. We thought

we had actually overdone it, if anything. But we were proven

wrong. In the middle of the night, with several members of the

household awake and moving about inside, an undetermined

number of thieves came and removed the generator along with

it's gas-kit. These were not amateurs. This could only have

been the work of specialists.

Now this generator was so heavy, that two reasonably strong

men could barely move it. The thieves couldn't work the soph-

isticated main door, so they hoisted it over the boundary wall.

(There was ample evidence to suggest it). You might think that

is strange, but this was the same modus operandi that they

had previously employed next door. Not once, but twice, with

success. Finally our neighbours now keep their generator on

their rooftop.

We here in Karachi, are looking at a couple of long, hot summers

ahead. I was in Saddar today and UPS and emergency lights

were flying off the shelves like crazy. Generators today aren't

just a 'status symbol', they're quickly becoming a necessity.

People are desperate and it seems, will go to any lengths to get

one. If somebody in our house had spotted them, they might

easily have been shot dead. And that's the kind of chance they're

willing to take. We are thinking of further beefing-up security

and have some ideas. If anybody out there has any, would love

to hear about them.




Sheikh 'Hai O'Zalima' Chilli

Motion detection CCDs with an automatic firing gun mounted near the camera? Gonna cost a couple million dollars... ;)

@ sheikh_chilli

Dear friend, it is really sad to hear the robbery incident in your home. Ah, remind me of my own experiences.

I would say that instead of post-protection (like sirens etc.) do some preemptive protection (like your neighbors did), put it on roof. But there could be some other steps too. We can think of it.

Always think from robbers point-of-view. Concrete, simple walls, and common locks are good to keep out "good" people but may not work on robbers (especially who are professional in their work).

@ Asad

I don't think that will cost that much, if we create ourself a simple motion detector with mechanism for automatic gun-firing. However, the reliability that gun doesn't fire on real owner is a fear to live with (and most likely to happen by human or mechanical mistake) :D

Fe-Aman Allah.

No substitute for attentive security. I think it is ridiculous for people to expect their "guards" or "chowkidars" to stay up all day doing chores and duties, and then expect them to remain attentive at night.

We keep two separate guys, one for the night, one for the day. Works well, absolutely no issues in the last 3 years. That being said, the entire neighborhood also knows we have a dog and eight other men in the house who are more than happy to mix it up if push comes to shove....

Also depends on how well your neighborhood is lit and how attentive your neighbors are as well. Our biggest problem is that the house next to ours is all but abandoned.

That being said, none of these heists are done with out scouting and planning so be on the look out for suspicious behavior.

wampyr, you're right about taking preventative steps that

would discourage any potential thief. The nature of power

generators is such that they have to be kept outdoors and

because of the need of frequent maintenance they can't be

welded or put into concrete. The need for both service and

security tend to limit your options. The idea of putting that

darn thing on the roof is a little problematic. The noise of our

neighbour's petrol gen is enough off-putting, lest we add to

the mechanical shore-O-ghogha ourselves.

Raza, the chowkidaars remained fast asleep while the thieves

made out with the machines. There is a working street light

right outside the house and all neighbours have at least one

chowkidaar. Like I said, these guys knew what they were doing

and were not afraid to get caught/shot.

Some ideas floating around wrt security are putting the gas-gen

inside a welded steel cage, riveting it to the ground/wall, conn-

ecting it to the alarm system, CCTV and getting a vicious dog

(there is some resistance to it, owing to it's nuisance value). I

will have to find a way to record the CCTV footage, that's reliable

and robust (UPS backed ?).

Sheikh 'Operation Safe-Gen' Chilli

wat abt insurance?

@sheikh chilli

There is a company called TeleData, contact them regarding a CCTV System. That being said, I would suggest you just make better security arrangements. Your CCTV system would only be as effective as the person monitoring it. If it is going to be the same person who was asleep when an entire generator was stolen, then its pretty useless.

I guess this is the trade off between living on a off-street and the main-streets in Defence. I am sure your street is really quiet at night whereas even at 2-3am, there is usually a car that goes by at least once every 5-10 minutes here.


Where do you live?

sorry to hear that, where in karachi sheikh_chilli.

One of the older sections of DHA. I thought nothing bad could

happen to you, once you moved to "defence". You would always

get water, electricity, good roads, working sewerage & utilities

and above all security. Instead, we get taxed-to-death at every

turn. According to DAWN, DHA (Karachi) is the most highly taxed

society in the whole of Pakistan. Now you tell me.

I want my money back.

abdulsami, it was hard enough to save money for a generator

yar. Oper say insurance bhee dou ?. :) Really I don't even know if

they've got insurance for such things. Should check it out though.

Sheikh 'Sur MundaTay Hee... ' Chilli

Providing security to citizens is the responsibility of Government as they collects Tax from us. But you know what, Insurance business, Private security firms businesses are flourishing in Pakistan. Private Guards are short these days.

As people generate their own electricity they should take care of security for themselves. It has been over a month since elections, i never heard anything over power crisis from the newcomers in Power corridors. All they are interested in to remove a specific person, to hell with Awaam

CCTV network IP cameras with motion detection flash light, if some one jumps in,flash light automatically turns on,and the camera captures the mugshot, maybe install a alarm,beeper to go with it,so that sleeping chowkidar could wake up and check the intruder

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
The thieves couldn't work the soph-

isticated main door


how much sophisticated is it ? keypad/finger print/iris detection ?

Use Passive Infrared Motion Detector = Rs. 1000 to 1500 with a honking siren = Rs. 200-300

"Now this generator was so heavy, that two reasonably strong

men could barely move it. The thieves couldn't work the soph-

isticated main door, so they hoisted it over the boundary wall."

I'm still wondering how they managed to hoist such a heavy thing over a wall! how tall is the boundary wall? do you think they used some pulley system rigged on the back of a pickup truck?

I hope it wasn't an inside job... :/

SalmanAhmed wrote:

how much sophisticated is it ? keypad/finger print/iris detection ?


:) No, we don't have biometric level of authentication here. It's

just remotely operated, by radio waves.

xplorer wrote:

Use Passive Infrared Motion Detector = Rs. 1000 to 1500 with a honking siren = Rs. 200-300


That's a good idea. Thing is, this generator will be handled day/night

and the motion sensor might give a lot of false alarms. We are thinking

along these same lines though, something that would trigger an alarm,

only when somebody tries to m-o-v-e the generator.

firestorm wrote:

I'm still wondering how they managed to hoist such a heavy thing over a wall! how tall is the boundary wall? do you think they used some pulley system rigged on the back of a pickup truck? I hope it wasn't an inside job... hmm


Well four really strong and determined guys could've lifted

it high enough to put it on the boundary wall. It's probable.

They left behind enough evidence to remove any doubt in

our minds. The wall is normal 6' tall. I guess it wasn't tall


Nevertheless, it's still very incredible. With chowkidaars all

around (albeit asleep), the place lit up like on 4th of July,

to pull such a heist --they must have been quite confident.

An inside job cannot be ruled out. Probably was, but it will

only be conjecture on our part.




Sheikh 'A Stitch In Time...' Chilli

This is crazy!... I just bought a 86KG generator!, and if they took yours they can easily take my. We in a commercial area and planning to put it on the roof of the 5 story building. We will be will be putting it on the side of the roof and making a cage around it but now i'm going to make sure we make the rage strong after your story. The thief's would need to take the generator down 5 floors but I'm not taking a chance after your story.. :P

Your bad luck that the electricity didn't go during the theft, as someone would have gone out to turn on the generator...

Similar theft happened at my uncles, their generator (5kva or so) is chained and padlocked to the wall, and sometime during the night it just disappeared. The gate was locked, it seemed like the the thieves hoisted it over the wall.

It was heavy enough that it must have taken 2-3 men to lift it over the wall. No one heard them do it either...

These thieves are so quiet, fast, and efficient that they could probably start a generator installation business!

I now have a theory, on the 'how' of this mystery. How they

were able to pull if off, with minimum noise and apparent effort.

Late one night this week, I was looking through our first floor

window and I noticed that a white Shehzore truck was parked

outside our house. One of those mid-size cargo trucks which

are specially fitted with a webbed extendable crane structure

to hoist a repairman to a utility pole.

There were two guys in the back and two in the cab. They were

talking to a couple of chowkidaars on the street. After their little

chat, they then tried to make a U-turn. As they pulled away

from the house, the back of the truck and the crane therein

(which even in it's folded state), came right up and over the top

of our boundary wall! That hoisting crane, fully extended from

it's base is designed to withstand the weight of a grown man

standing on it's tip.

It does not take much of an imagination to picture how easily

and quietly one could hoist a generator over a wall, without

much noise or effort with the help of this truck and a cable.

Best of all, that kind of truck is a common sight, day-or-night,

on our streets today, owing to the load-shedding, etc. If some-

body even saw it parked next to a house, in the middle of the

night, nobody would give it a second thought.

It's the perfect camouflage, for the perfect crime.

I just learned today that a friend's generator was also picked

up from his house. He lives two streets down. Same modus

operandi. Gates remained locked, not a peep heard and the

generator got wings and flew away in the middle of the night.

I would be on the lookout for any suspicious 'utility' trucks,

which are just parked on your street, doing nothing. But I

find myself stumped as to how you stop the Hoisting Heist'ers,

short of building the Wall of China around you.

Sheikh 'Eureka!... Now What ?' Chilli

PS: najamd, I wish you well my friend. Thieves are resourceful

and desperate. We must do all to defeat them.

KO, that's funny. That's just what my brother said the moment

he learned of the theft, "If only bijli challi jaati during the attempt!". :)

There is NO substitute for proper human security in Pakistan. Sad but true. Want to be double secure? Install CCTV to watch the watchers.

I think alarm is the best way to go i think. CCTV or whatever. Alarm is a must or just get a gun man for it. :P