1 (edited by ibcj 2018-12-26 11:08 AM)

Topic: STOLEN: Tools & Kids Electric Lotus Exige :-(

tl;dr: 10+ years of tools and racing support equipment was stolen from my storage containers recently near LAX.  If you come across any suspicious Lemons looking gear, Snap-On tools, Miller welder/plasma, or a mint, NIB Electric Lotus Exige for kids, please let me know.

-snip-

As many of you know, I am one of the founding members of the B-Team Racing, a group of (mainly) Lotus owners that discovered each other just as broken as themselves.  We bought a parked E30 in 2008 to prep and field in the 24 Hours of Lemons, have all become amazing friends, and have “competed” in dozens and dozens of races.  That car has become the PussyWagën, and our team has become one of the longest running in Lemons.  We’ve since added a Small Block Chevy swapped Lotus Elite to the lineup (because we are broken), becoming the first team to field a Lotus in Lemons.

Anyway, I’ve taken over running the E30 the past couple years, and earlier this year (2018), I relocated my shop from the Bay Area back to SoCal.  Unable to find similar shop space in LA, I parked a couple 20’ Storage Containers in a secured lot near LAX.  I put all the tools, equipment, support parts, and general workshop miscellaneous that I’ve assembled over the past 10 years into them and have been slowly organizing them and building out a shop in the containers.

Anyone that has raced with me knows that my OCD comes out when dealing with race-prep and tools.  I have a bizarre fetish for buying the right tool for the job, and for every job that I need (or may need) to do.  This has gotten around the paddock, and most folks come to me to borrow tools (and E30 spares!) when they are in need, and quite frankly, I couldn’t be happier to lend them out.  That comradery is a big part of what makes Lemons so enjoyable for me.

On Friday, December 14th, at about 3:15am, three opportunistic criminals went out fishing and caught themselves a pretty big haul at my expense.  They cut the padlocks on my containers and pulled a “smash and grab” on a huge swath of my stuff, including:

Nearly all my Snap-On hand tools:
o    1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2” drive chrome sockets (shallow and deep), ratchets (80 tooth and “regular), extensions
o    “Oversized” shallow & deep sockets (32mm, 36mm, 40mm)
o    3x Hex Socket/Drivers (flat end short, flat end long, ball end short/medium)
o    2x Reverse Torx Sockets (chrome and impact)
o    Torx Sockets (chrome and impact)
o    Reverse Torx Wrenches
o    3/8” and 1/2” drive impact sockets (shallow and deep)
o    1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2” Extension Sets (too many to count: chrome & impact, various length, standard, wobble, and wobble plus)
o    1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2” Universal Joints
o    5x Striking pry bars (2’ down to 6”, green and orange handles)
o    High Leverage Cutters
o    Standard Combination Wrenches (Open & Box Ends) (6mm to 27mm)
o    Midget Combination Wrenches (Open & Box Ends) (8mm to 19mm)
o    Flare Line Wrenches
o    Standard Bluepoint Ratcheting Combination Wrenches (8mm to 27mm)
o    Short Bluepoint Ratcheting Combination Wrenches (8mm to 19mm)
o    Standard Bluepoint Double Box End Ratcheting (8mm to 19mm)
o    Pick Set
o    1/2" TorqueAngle Torque Wrench
o    3/8” Torque Wrench
o    Valious Pliers & Combination Wrenches (mainly Snap-On, some HF)
o    Misc. SAE Wrenches, Sockets, and Hex Drivers (list TBD)

Snap-On and Klein Screwdrivers (approx. 14, various lengths, flat & phillips)

Snap-On Air Tools
o    1/2” Impact Air Gun (MG725)
o    3/8” Impact Air Gun (MG325)
o    1/4” Air Ratchet (Bluepoint)
o    3/8” Air Ratchet (Bluepoint)

Snap-On Tap & Die Set
Snap-On Rethreading Set
Snap-On Coolant System Pressure Tester

Electrical Tools
o    Fluke Voltmeter
o    Craftsman Voltmeter
o    Metcal Soldering Iron
o    S&G Tool Aid Crimper Set

Craftsmen Toolboxes & Bags
o    Red Carry Toolbox (covered in Lemons stickers, car stickers, etc.)
o    2x small toolbags
o    2x medium toolbags

Welding & Plasma Equipment
o    Miller Millermatic 180 (220V MIG)
o    Miller Plasma Cutter (110V w/ built in air compressor)
o    Blue Welding Cart
o    Airgas 80 cu ft Cylinder (Argon?)

Hitachi 18V Slide-On Style Tools
o    Hitachi 18v Cordless Drill
o    Hitachi 18v Impact Gun
o    Hitachi 18v Reciprocating Saw
o    Hitachi 18v Hammer Drill

Bosch Circular Saw (Corded)
Porter Cable Hammer Drill

Racing Gear & Equipment
o    Bell Helmet
o    Sparco Race Suit
o    Sparco Gloves & Shoes
o    2x HANS devices (Large?, 1x fiberglass & 1x carbon fiber)
o    Simpson Race Suit (3 layer, Black & White)
o    Simpson Race Gloves & Shoes
o    Simpson Black Carbon Fiber Helmet (Scorpion?)
o    4x Coolsuit Shirts (Large?, 2x Blue&  2x White, 1x Hooded & 3x Non-Hooded)
o    2x Sampson Helmet Radio Kits (1x IMSA, 1x NASCAR)
o    2x Sampson Radio Kit Adapters (1x IMSA->NASCAR, 1x NASCAR->IMSA)
o    Gear Bag

Racing Radios
o    Yaesu VX5R
o    Yaesu VX6R
o    4x Baofeng 5W

Bench Tools & Misc
o    All my misc bench tools, parts, storage bins, screw & bolt collections, electrical crimp connectors, etc.

I have not completed a full inventory, and I’m sure there is more that I’m forgetting, however this is the bulk of the tools that I know they absconded with.  And while this is a huge bummer for me, hopefully my insurance will cover most of it and I can easily replace it all.

What I fear I cannot replace however is the kids Electric Lotus Exige I bought 4 years ago or so when Walmart was clearing them out.  I knew they’d never make these again, and at the time I didn’t even know if we were going to have kids or not.  I hid the purchase from my wife (girlfriend at the time) for a couple years, and when she discovered it and asked me why I bought it, I said “well, just in case we have kids, I’m going to want them to have a Lotus like daddy’s”.  Plus, the thing is cool as all hell!

Well, now I find myself with an 8-month old that I love with every ounce of my being.  When I was inspecting my containers after the break in, I was pretty bummed out about the tools, but took it in (relative) strive.  However, when I discovered that the Lotus was missing, I did yell out a solid, whiny “F*CK! WHY?!”.  I was totally looking forward to getting this car prepped for my son, including spraying it Saffron Yellow to match.

So now that you know what went down, here’s what I’d _greatly_ appreciate some help with:

1. Keep on the look-out (ebay, Craigslist, classifieds, forums) for the above tools, gear, and especially the kids Electric Lotus! (I’ll happily buy the stuff back just to get it!)

2. If you know anyone that is selling a large set of Snap-On gear (with or without a Snap-On box), please let me know (think: retiring, repo-boxes, estate sales, etc.)

3. If you (or any other crazy Lotus zealots) have a new-in-box (or even used, I’m desperate) kids Electric Lotus Exige that I can buy, I’d be **most appreciative**).  I don’t really need it for another year or so, as my son is only 8 months old at the moment.

My biggest takeaway from this: padlocks (even the “nice & expensive” ones) are terribly easy to defeat.  Sadly, I knew this when I locked up the containers, but didn’t know about better container securing options.  I do now, and that $100 mistake ended up with me losing $20k or so worth of gear.  If you have a regular padlock protecting anything that you care to keep, I’d strongly suggest replacing it _today_.

Thanks for listening everyone.  Best, -cj

No really, I am.

#72 - PussyWagën E30
#74 - Just Plain Stupid Chotus

Re: STOLEN: Tools & Kids Electric Lotus Exige :-(

Wow. I hope you get a satisfying resolution to the situation. That really sucks. sad

3 (edited by jbl 2018-12-27 02:18 PM)

Re: STOLEN: Tools & Kids Electric Lotus Exige :-(

Fwiw, I'll look this way for the toy (lots of old ads posted...got excited for a second).  I know you've got a full plate as it is, but did you already call Kaylee (the mfr)?

Edited to add...

https://m.facebook.com/mmultrasports/
https://www.kidswheels.com

A ride-on parts/repair/upgrade place recommended the 2 above, particularly the first for hard to find ride ons.  Tried calling, but they're closed for the holidays it seems.

NJMP '11--#132 (Speedycop), NJMP '12 to '16--#215 (Philthy Motorsports), NJMP '16--#75 Most Heroic Fix, NJMP '17--#75 (still drying out), NJMP '18--#75, NHMS '18 - #75 Datsun 510

Re: STOLEN: Tools & Kids Electric Lotus Exige :-(

You can also try searchtempest.com to search craigslist.

Re: STOLEN: Tools & Kids Electric Lotus Exige :-(

whole bunch of snapon stuff just or sale here in San Diego.

May be a dumping ground for stolen tools?

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/search/ … =241763064

Re: STOLEN: Tools & Kids Electric Lotus Exige :-(

Thanks for your responses guys, much appreciated!  I have no intentions of letting this slow me down, so the PussyWageën, in one form or another, will ride again!

TrackGeeks_Chris wrote:

Wow. I hope you get a satisfying resolution to the situation. That really sucks. sad

Yeah, I suspect my insurance will help make this right.  It does beg the question of if I go back to Snap-On, which I love, or maybe some other tool provider.  Decisions.

jbl wrote:

Fwiw, I'll look this way for the toy (lots of old ads posted...got excited for a second).  I know you've got a full plate as it is, but did you already call Kaylee (the mfr)?

I haven't called Kaylee - it looks like they make a model for a year or so, then move on to another one.  I had written off calling them, but it's not a bad idea.  A fellow Lemons racer (jv/boingr) found a NIB Exige in Milwaukee, so I'm going to reach out and see what I can make work there.

jbl wrote:

https://m.facebook.com/mmultrasports/
https://www.kidswheels.com

A ride-on parts/repair/upgrade place recommended the 2 above, particularly the first for hard to find ride ons.  Tried calling, but they're closed for the holidays it seems.

Awesome, thank you for this!

Spank wrote:

whole bunch of snapon stuff just or sale here in San Diego.

May be a dumping ground for stolen tools?

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/search/ … =241763064


Funny how much you know what your tools look like.  Nothing in those San Diego links is mine - nearly all my sockets are on cheap Snap-On rails like these are:  https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/tls … 53067.html

No really, I am.

#72 - PussyWagën E30
#74 - Just Plain Stupid Chotus

Re: STOLEN: Tools & Kids Electric Lotus Exige :-(

Seems that the "secured" lot wasn't very secure.

Should the lot be on the hook?

Re: STOLEN: Tools & Kids Electric Lotus Exige :-(

ibcj wrote:

[snip]... cheap Snap-On

... didn't know there was such a thing - good to know ...