The ethics of stealing

A meeting place for regulars to discuss the lighter side of old-houses.

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Post by lrkrgrrl »

Well, for pete's sake. Doesn't everybody know that the official Code of Thieves' Honor, Section One, Paragraph Two, clearly states:

If'n you're gonna steal stuff, don't tell nobody!!! :wink: :twisted:

Seriously, it can be heartbreaking to watch "perfectly good" stuff go to rack and ruin. It can't hurt to make some kind of offer, but if the building is in that desperate of shape, the owner would be acting reasonably and responsibly to refuse access for salvage purposes. You might have to offer a waiver of some sort (sometimes called a "hold harmless" agreement) that would assure him he wouldn't be liable for injury.

I read an article about the "house rustlers" last time I was out in Nebraska, and was suitably horrified myself. Here in the northeast, there's been a nasty rash of theiving wrought iron gates from graveyards over the last decade or so. Now, that's evil.So are the cactus rustlers in the southeast.

But yes, catya, it's perfectly natural to dream of saving such resources, and I, for one, forgive you for being tempted.

As far as public good, a number of communities have created "deconstruction" programs that provide jobs, training, and recycling as an economic development program.
Last edited by lrkrgrrl on Wed May 03, 2006 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Don M
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Post by Don M »

They still shoot horse thieves in some places!

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Post by Starr-Point »

lrk, there aren't too many career thieves living in luxury becasue as a rule, they're not all that bright. Witness, putting out the word on a Board! :wink:

I think this kind of thing happens even more than we think. Sometimes it's sheer cussedness. My wife knows a woman with a great old range - coal or wood, I don't know which - in her tumbledown barn. She's convinced it's worth tens of thousands, even though half the county has tried to buy it with back-upo appraisals and reports showing it's worth $1000 at most.

She's the same woman who agreed to let me have a few boards off of her 150 yr old barn so I could make repairs to my 150 yr old barn without the repair being so obvious. She wanted $100 per board...uh, right. :roll:

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Post by johnb. »

In one city, theives have been stripping off antique door hardware (door knobs and their assemblies, knockers, etc.) in the wee hours while the occupants were asleep! Now, that takes guts!

I don't think they've been caught, yet. I think that's breakin' and takin', instead of breaking and entering; there's no entering involved. Still, it takes guts.

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Post by Neighmond »

Some slick from Fort Dodge was sneaking around our old farm after a recent death, and the authorities found him the next morning, walking barefoot to town with very little clothing on. On Gravel. In the sun.

Nobody would elaborate further.
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Post by HarleyLady »

the ethics of stealing...isn't that an oxymoron :?:
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Post by shrimpdip »

The last couple flea markets that I have been to have had at least two of the old cast iron G.A.R. flag holders/cemetery markers. Radnor, a town about 10 minutes east of here had their beautiful iron cemetery gates stolen about 5 years ago. It is a shame that people can't leave things well enough alone.


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Post by jeepnstein »

Neighmond wrote:Some slick from Fort Dodge was sneaking around our old farm after a recent death, and the authorities found him the next morning, walking barefoot to town with very little clothing on. On Gravel. In the sun.

Nobody would elaborate further.
Priceless, just absolutely priceless.


Don M
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Post by Don M »

Robbery around Boston sometimes occurs during publically announced funerals of wealthy familiy members. Susan's family received a number of odd telephone hang-ups following the death of her grandmother at the family home. Don

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Post by Edee »

Since I've lived in a mostly historic area (1999), I've seen many old homes left to rot, and then one day they're taken down over night. I stopped at one being razed that had new siding put on a few months prior and asked the foreman why and if I could salvage anything. He said the owner had purchased it, put new siding on and then found out the whole back foundation was rotted out (1840) and decided to take it down and salvage the beams, doors, etc. I guess this is OK with me, at least they salvaged what they could.

A large brick 4-square on Main street was recently moved to a back lot - I guess this is OK with me too, at least the house is being saved..

A roofing company down the road has an old brick home that is missing window glass, porch railings falling apart, etc.I don't know their plans...

On the other end of Main, heading outside city limits are more brick homes boarded up heading into PA, and they are so nice and big with handsome features. Once beauties, they have been left to whatever their demise may be. I don't know what's up with these. It's sickening to me. I would have loved a brick one.

The owners and probably being offered mega bucks for the land in the business section on Main Street America.

I see many old farm houses left to rot and overgrown with vegetation, still standing in the middle of corn and soy bean fields and I wonder, are there floor boards that match mine, a nice old mantel someone may want, a banister, etc.

Catya, I can't understand why some owners let the house cave in and it's contents with it. Why won't they give it/and or the contents away or sell it? To let it fall to ruin "just because it's mine" is odious, and pure meaness - in order to forgive them, I can only say, those people surely have serious psych problems, something's hurting them inside.

There goes another chunk of the past.
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