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View Full Version : Let's Talk Breaking and Entering



D.L. Shepherd
09-21-2017, 05:36 AM
Does anyone know how hard would it be for someone to break the glass doors to a large box store, like a Home Depot or a Petco....without any tools handy, other than maybe a very large rock they find in the woods nearby?

Would they be better off trying to break the lock instead, and then just slide the doors open? If so, how would they go about that?

Also, if there was no power to the store, would those types of doors even slide open at all?

Thanks for any help or ideas. I tried searching for "breaking" and "glass" and didn't come up with anything.

Layla Nahar
09-21-2017, 05:44 AM
I'm pretty sure a nice rock would do the trick. The problem w/ Home Depot, at least, is that those things are open 24/7, literally. There's a whole inverse day - 9:00PM to 6:00 AM, unloading trucks and putting product on the shelves. So even if they broke the window & got in the store, the people working there would be - heck, you could just walk in the receiving entrance - you could be a trucker needing to use the bathroom...

Layla Nahar
09-21-2017, 05:45 AM
("if there was no power" ... there'd be backup generators...)

Mary Mitchell
09-21-2017, 05:48 AM
I suspect (but I've never tried it ;) ) a big enough rock would break the glass--it's strong but it's not bullet proof or anything. And yes, the doors can be slid open manually with some effort. Otherwise it would pose a safety hazard if the power went out due to a fire in the store.

BTW, I don't know if this is true everywhere, but locally the Home Depot is manned 24 hrs a day, because there's a night shift that restocks and does display changes. The only times the doors are locked are for about fifteen minutes of "lockdown" just before opening and just after closing, when the trays of cash are being swapped out from the tills. Pisses staff off to no end--both being locked out in the middle of winter, standing around freezing while waiting to get into the store to start the opening shift, and the fact that the doors remain unlocked when the store is closed, meaning members of the public still casually stroll in after closing and have to be shooed out.

blacbird
09-21-2017, 05:48 AM
Methinks those doors are effing tough and hard to break through. And every one of them will have alarm systems and security cameras. "Power off" probably isn't an issue, because a lot of these systems are either battery-powered or have battery backup. Plus, once you get in, what do you take? You have to get in and out quick, and you can't be running around deep in the bowels of the facility searching for the quick stuff to steal. I can't recall any incident of a break-in at a big box store in my town in the 26 years I've lived here. Smaller stores, like convenience stores, restaurants, etc., get broken into, but these big facilities?

caw

Kitkitdizzi
09-21-2017, 06:14 AM
I worked for Home Depot for 13 years (and still do, occsssionally on the night crew when my regular job is furloughed). My current store still has a night crew every night but Sunday. However, some of the other, less busy stores in the area no longer have a night crew. This started a few years ago, but all truck deliveries have to be done during the day and those stores throw freight during business hours.

A rock can get through those doors. Not too long ago, someone drove a car through ours. And last winter, someone left the back garden gate unlocked and a woman just started walking in and taking weedwackers. Sure, night crew was there, but in these days our crew is pretty lean.

And unless someone is actively working the front pad, the front door is kept locked, at least at the stores I've worked at.

The doors can manually slide without power, though we have backup generators. Even with power, there's a control box that switches from electronic lock to manual. And the side panels can be pushed open too. I can't count the times I've had to reset the doors after they accidently get pushed off-track.

D.L. Shepherd
09-21-2017, 04:34 PM
Thanks everyone...your answers helped some...and brought up some more.

To clarify a bit, a have a character in a post apocalyptic novel trying to get into some stores for supplies, so the buildings are empty, no one around. No worries about noise, or getting in and out quick.

I do have questions about the backup generators and battery backups now. How long do you think things like that would run after the power went out? It doesn't really matter if the alarm goes off, but I guess it could be a background annoyance too. Unless it's a silent alarm?

I really don't have a clue about these things, and neither would my character. He has no supplies with him, other than whatever he can find in and around the parking area, which is pretty void of cars or anything else that might be useful.

Kitkitdizzi
09-21-2017, 06:21 PM
That's easy then if you want to break into a Home Depot. Scale the back garden gate (tall chain link fence), get on the forklift and drive it through the doors between garden and the main building. We never take the key out.

I don't know the answer to how long the generators would last and if the alarm is silent.

CWatts
09-21-2017, 07:36 PM
That's easy then if you want to break into a Home Depot. Scale the back garden gate (tall chain link fence), get on the forklift and drive it through the doors between garden and the main building. We never take the key out.

I don't know the answer to how long the generators would last and if the alarm is silent.

Plus now the post-apocalyptic survivor has a vehicle. What fuel does the forklift use? If it's diesel, could it run on homemade biodiesel?

Kitkitdizzi
09-21-2017, 07:48 PM
Plus now the post-apocalyptic survivor has a vehicle. What fuel does the forklift use? If it's diesel, could it run on homemade biodiesel?
They're propane. Tanks go behind the seat. Extra tanks are kept in a locked cage behind the building.

Al X.
09-22-2017, 03:06 AM
In Oakland, the gang-bangers have it down to a science.

D.L. Shepherd
09-22-2017, 04:16 AM
That's easy then if you want to break into a Home Depot. Scale the back garden gate (tall chain link fence), get on the forklift and drive it through the doors between garden and the main building. We never take the key out.

I don't know the answer to how long the generators would last and if the alarm is silent.

Thanks so much for the info. That might be of use.


Plus now the post-apocalyptic survivor has a vehicle.

Good point!


They're propane. Tanks go behind the seat. Extra tanks are kept in a locked cage behind the building.

Now that's pretty unique.

Bren McDonnall
09-29-2017, 08:56 AM
Better going in through the back by prying the overheads off of the tracks. You do NOT want to be up close to one of those big windows when it comes apart! Tempered glass, that being said, breaks easiest at the edges.

WeaselFire
09-30-2017, 02:01 AM
Concrete block opens those doors pretty well. The sliding glass doors have a plastic laminate that keeps the shards together but it folds in and out of the way. If it's a liquor store, you're in and out before the cops show. Post apocalyptic the cops ain't ever coming, better things to do. Like steal food for their families.

Jeff

frimble3
09-30-2017, 09:29 AM
Plus now the post-apocalyptic survivor has a vehicle. What fuel does the forklift use? If it's diesel, could it run on homemade biodiesel?


They're propane. Tanks go behind the seat. Extra tanks are kept in a locked cage behind the building.
And, if you've got a forklift, you could pick up a pallet, throw a sleeping bag and a tarp on top, raise the forks all the way up, and have a relatively safe, temporary shelter.

tenuki
10-30-2017, 03:47 AM
Another note on post apocalyptic novels: The thing that drives me crazy is the use of gas that is many years old. That wouldn't work past a year or two ( and can stop working as soon as a couple of months ) as gas breaks down pretty rapidly over time. Propane on the other hand stores indefinitely - so this would most likely be the more useful fuel of the post apocalyptic driver. Easy to convert vehicles to propane too.

Note: Diesel is even worse than gas nowadays due to the introduction of low sulphur product. these can be taken over by bacterial infections. :/

neandermagnon
10-30-2017, 10:23 PM
Back in the day when I played ice hockey, someone managed to hit a slapshot that went over the plexiglas and smashed a bullet-proof glass door. It may have been bullet proof but it clearly wasn't puck proof...

D.L. Shepherd
10-31-2017, 12:19 AM
Another note on post apocalyptic novels: The thing that drives me crazy is the use of gas that is many years old. That wouldn't work past a year or two ( and can stop working as soon as a couple of months ) as gas breaks down pretty rapidly over time. Propane on the other hand stores indefinitely - so this would most likely be the more useful fuel of the post apocalyptic driver. Easy to convert vehicles to propane too.

:/

Hey, thanks for this info! This particular novel occurs only a few weeks after things come crashing down, however, I am planning a series with the same characters, so this might come into play later on.

D.L. Shepherd
10-31-2017, 12:22 AM
Back in the day when I played ice hockey, someone managed to hit a slapshot that went over the plexiglas and smashed a bullet-proof glass door. It may have been bullet proof but it clearly wasn't puck proof...

Wow. Weird how things like that happen.

cornflake
10-31-2017, 12:54 AM
Another note on post apocalyptic novels: The thing that drives me crazy is the use of gas that is many years old. That wouldn't work past a year or two ( and can stop working as soon as a couple of months ) as gas breaks down pretty rapidly over time. Propane on the other hand stores indefinitely - so this would most likely be the more useful fuel of the post apocalyptic driver. Easy to convert vehicles to propane too.

Note: Diesel is even worse than gas nowadays due to the introduction of low sulphur product. these can be taken over by bacterial infections. :/

There's a series 'The Last Man on Earth,' in which there's a virus that wipes out everyone but a few people and that comes up. A few years after, someone is trying to use a generator and it won't go, and they pour in gas which is all gloopy and chunky, and the survivor who knows shit is like: 'yeah, I told you gas expires after X, diesel after X...''

Al X.
10-31-2017, 01:50 AM
Just as an FYI, aviation gasoline (100LL avgas) ostensibly has a one year shelf life but it is often still good after several years of storage. Not sure about Jet-A. Of course, if you run it in a modern car, you will plug up the catalytic converter (not a big deal) as well as the oxygen sensors (a big deal.)

Bren McDonnall
11-16-2017, 12:01 PM
Gasoline in sealed containers lasts a long time, generally. Got to keep it cool so it doesn't create too much pressure, but I've used gas 3+ years old with no problem.