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Old 09-17-2021, 05:16 PM #1
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Stolen - My 4runner.

EDIT: My 4runner has been found. Huge thanks to everyone who shared / posted pics and to everyone who has given me big advice moving forward. Going to check out the truck in the next few days after inspection (my insurance company is having it inspected)


Hey all.

First off if this post needs to be moved to a different forum let me know.

But I wanted to reach out to this community in regards to my 4runner which was stolen Wednesday evening from my apartment building's "secure" garage in Portland. I know people here are from around the country (and world) but I also know this car had about 9 hours to drive in any direction before a police report was filed and there's a chance it could be out of Oregon at this point (or more likely ditched somewhere in Oregon I have yet to find.)

This truck was my life during the past two years and I can't thank you all enough for how much you've taught me in both car mechanics and Toyota elitism LOL. These have been two very difficult years for many reasons but learning about these trucks has been a huge support for me in otherwise brutal times. We've had quite the journey: From blowing my headgasket driving in the Santa Cruz mountains during the worst fire in America's recorded history to driving off road in Moab for the first time, you guys were all here for me. I could really go on forever on the sentimental value of the truck to me but as many of you know in cases of damage & theft, there's a potential for huge financial loss on trucks like these as well.



Here are details that stand out in relation to my truck both to look out for if these parts / accessories pop up anywhere:


'97 4runner Limited - 4WD
  • Red with grey cladding
  • ~251,000 miles
  • Oak leather interior
  • Cracked left tail light
  • Torn left CV boot (lol)
  • Billstein 5100's - 3" lift with OME coils.
  • Prinsu roof rack
  • Rotopax mounted and locked to roofrack
  • 2 x Pelican 1600 cases
  • Dewalt mechanic's socket set
  • Smittybilt air compressor
  • Patches stuck on headliner from every park / state I've visited in the truck


Now here are the rest of the details that may be a little less relevant to spotting the truck that I'm going to post since I never made a proper "build" thread for my truck.
  • Red with grey cladding
  • ~251,000 miles
  • Oak leather interior, power seats
  • 3" lift with Billstein 5100's, OME 881, 890 coils.
  • Diff drop
  • Tom Wood's driveline
  • 231mm Tundra brake upgrade with black Napa calipers
  • Five star OEM 4runner wheels from a 2000, powdercoated grey
  • 265/75/16 Duratrec Wranglers
  • Camburg UCA's
  • eimkeith Panhard Correction
  • Basically every major part of the suspension replaced with new OEM parts n the last two years. New UBJ and LBJ's, new driveshaft, new sway bar links, etc. Only thing I didn't get to do was the LCA bushings (I have some poly bushings but haven't had the time)
  • Champion Radiator
  • Magnaflox Catback Exhaust (Overland)
  • Ultragauge mounted near headunit
  • Spiker phone mount with Moment MagSafe mount
  • Sony XAV-AX200 Headunit
  • Prinsu roof rack
  • Rotopax w/ Prinsu locking mount
  • 2 x Pelican 1600 cases with recovery and mechanics tools. I'd mount these on the roof using this method: (How to mount a Pelican case to your roof rack without drilling through the base! - YouTube)
  • Smittybilt air compressor
  • This list could go on forever


Anyways folks, I don't wish to bring harm to the likely poor / desperate person who stole my truck (I'm also not going to lie and say I'm okay with my building management's handling of anything though.) I just want to get my truck back if possible.

One big thing I learned from this is I'm never going without a GPS tracking device in a car ever again. Airtags have some limitations but that's a good start.

I appreciate your time and the support I've already received from @ TimmyTheToolman, YotaTrader and their respective communities.


Best,
Nicholas



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Old 09-17-2021, 05:49 PM #2
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@Denver Airport , That really sucks. That is a really nice truck. If its a secure garage then someone has an access code or key to get in. Are there cameras in the garage or around . post an image on FB, IG may be someone can spot it because it's a rare color combo. Hopefully you can get it back without much damage. Best of luck.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:28 PM #3
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@Denver Airport , That really sucks. That is a really nice truck. If its a secure garage then someone has an access code or key to get in. Are there cameras in the garage or around . post an image on FB, IG may be someone can spot it because it's a rare color combo. Hopefully you can get it back without much damage. Best of luck.
Unfortunately a neighbor let someone into our building and the person made it down to the garage (you can access the garage from the building without a fob and you can exit the garage without a fob.) No cameras in the garage but I have video of the guy entering the building and driving out with my truck and have filed a police report and everything immediately after discovering my truck was stolen. Have had a lot of folks viewing / reposting on Instagram / FB / Reddit so that has been good. I appreciate it -- luck is what I need more than anything.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:41 PM #4
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That sucks and I'm sorry to hear it. Good luck with it being returned (in a condition worth returning).

My distaste for urban areas can't grow any, but if it could, this would do it.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:51 PM #5
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That sucks and I'm sorry to hear it. Good luck with it being returned (in a condition worth returning).

My distaste for urban areas can't grow any, but if it could, this would do it.
I've spent time in the city and in the country. Both have their positives and negatives. Right now is a tough time to be in any city though that's for sure. I've driven around 10k miles in my 4runner across the country in the last year and have seen shit change in places I didn't expect.

I appreciate it, and you make a good point -- "worth returning" condition is huge. I have a feeling it's being stripped but you never know.
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:04 PM #6
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Your truck is an absolute beaut I'd be heartbroken.

You should post on the Nextdoor app which is full up of paranoid soccer moms with Ring cameras, and ask if anyone in your neighborhood can check their cameras around the time it happened or if anybody saw anything.

Someone on the local Nextdoor just had a stolen jeep returned after another user noticed it parked on their street.
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:13 PM #7
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This if from the MUD forum for Land Cruisers but it might be of help.Stolen FJ62 - SE Portland - FOUND!!! RECOVERED!!! | IH8MUD Forum
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:32 PM #8
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Man - that is a gut punch. So sorry to hear about that. One thing people do in where I live is go online to see if their stolen car has received any parking tickets and if so, head to that hood for a look around.....
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:32 PM #9
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Very sorry to hear but I would get to looking with your friends and NOT rely on police to do a damn thing, you're only wasting your time hoping for them to call you. If I'm not mistaken OR is doing the same as WA and CA as part of their police reform and they are ordered to no longer directly pursue or relatively investigate cases of stolen property, including cars. Instead of actually trying to search and recover cars, they now just keep an eye out and hope to receive tips or spot it on CCTV. So of course car thefts and break-ins are skyrocketing now, especially around Portland. Just a couple months ago my buddy's F250 Dentside was stolen from his Seattle apartment with 2 ARs in the backseat; cops only had to offer shrugs and told him unless they happen to come across it during a traffic stop or otherwise stumble upon it, there's very little they're permitted to do. Wish I was making this up but I'm not - sorry, that's just the price of being "ahead of the curve." Isn't it great?
I assume you already have but I would start searching now, but don't expect to spot it right away. If they're smart it's in a garage or under a tarp right now, but it won't stay that way forever and common sense isn't that common anymore so it may not be to begin with. Put out a notice on all the social media you can - across as many local and semi-local facebook groups and the like, reaching out to WA/ID/CA groups while you're at it. Making listings like you're selling it is a good one too, just to put word out there it's stolen. Like you said there's also a good chance it's probably not in the immediate area anymore. Nextdoor, craigslist and the like too. If you had any expensive gear or good mods you could identify easily, browse the hell out of OfferUp over the next couple weeks - it's practically the go-to for selling stolen shit. With any luck it was some meth addict who posts everything for sale within 2 days for 500% less than it should sell.
Just some ideas to help get started
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:47 PM #10
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Very sorry to hear but I would get to looking with your friends and NOT rely on police to do a damn thing, you're only wasting your time hoping for them to call you. If I'm not mistaken OR is doing the same as WA and CA as part of their police reform and they are ordered to no longer directly pursue or relatively investigate cases of stolen property, including cars. Instead of actually trying to search and recover cars, they now just keep an eye out and hope to receive tips or spot it on CCTV. So of course car thefts and break-ins are skyrocketing now, especially around Portland. Just a couple months ago my buddy's F250 Dentside was stolen from his Seattle apartment with 2 ARs in the backseat; cops only had to offer shrugs and told him unless they happen to come across it during a traffic stop or otherwise stumble upon it, there's very little they're permitted to do. Wish I was making this up but I'm not - sorry, that's just the price of being "ahead of the curve." Isn't it great?
I assume you already have but I would start searching now, but don't expect to spot it right away. If they're smart it's in a garage or under a tarp right now, but it won't stay that way forever and common sense isn't that common anymore so it may not be to begin with. Put out a notice on all the social media you can - across as many local and semi-local facebook groups and the like, reaching out to WA/ID/CA groups while you're at it. Making listings like you're selling it is a good one too, just to put word out there it's stolen. Like you said there's also a good chance it's probably not in the immediate area anymore. Nextdoor, craigslist and the like too. If you had any expensive gear or good mods you could identify easily, browse the hell out of OfferUp over the next couple weeks - it's practically the go-to for selling stolen shit. With any luck it was some meth addict who posts everything for sale within 2 days for 500% less than it should sell.
Just some ideas to help get started
Yeah definitely aware of the situation with police here in Portland (and similarly in many cities where there have been mass exodus of police officers from police departments) -- not much the officers left can do about this type of stuff there just isn't time. I immediately went the first day to check some spots (there's a list that another user posted a link to that I actually have already been using of camps around Portland. I've got a lot of folks on the look out regularly and people have been amazing with reposting across Facebook, NextDoor, and Instagram. The main fear I have is that after watching the video, I have a feeling this guy knew what he was doing. This was not a guy I've seen around my neighborhood or in camps, he was well dressed, and he had a clever way of getting into the building. He had a bike and I think picked my truck for multiple reasons, one of which being the ability to put his bike in it...

I didn't think about OfferUp. I have some bait posts on Craigslist already but I should start scanning there as well.

Thanks so much for the help, everyone with this. It's not just a huge sentimental loss but this is also my DD / my only car and I'm looking at a huge financial loss.
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:51 PM #11
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Anyone have any experience with claiming upgrades on their vehicle specifically in cases of theft? Just read through some cases around people who's car was totaled in an accident but not sure if that completely translates to theft cases? I'm also not sure about any of this I've never had to make a theft claim before.

I've got receipts for everything and I know my renters insurance will be able to cover everything that was inside of the car (they told me everything that wasn't "attached" to the car) but with suspension and new parts I have a feeling I'm in trouble with my auto.
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:51 PM #12
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This if from the MUD forum for Land Cruisers but it might be of help.Stolen FJ62 - SE Portland - FOUND!!! RECOVERED!!! | IH8MUD Forum
That was a hell of a thread - sleuthing, tweeker camps, anti-theft talk - good stuff. I need to upgrade my deterrence and tracking ASAP.
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:00 AM #13
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... need to upgrade my deterrence.
It is more than time for all of us.

So what single wire under the hood is best to cut into for a Kill switch, anyone know off hand?
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:49 AM #14
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It is more than time for all of us.

So what single wire under the hood is best to cut into for a Kill switch, anyone know off hand?

My opinion is the ground wire for the EFI relay coil (control) side. This ensures the computer is totally offline. Iíve considered the starter relay as well but then if itís a manual, it could be push started. EFI relay off line, it can crank all day long: no injectors, no spark, no fuel pump.
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:54 AM #15
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Besides hidden kill switches on relays etc. As immobilizer. I would place a hidden GPS tracker. This way if stolen our rigs can be tracked.

I really few bad for the OP. I have no tolerance for any type of theft and the penalties need to be a lot higher then they currently are.

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