Product: Anti-Theft
stuff that looks cheap and nasty and does not get stolen   (+15, -8)  [vote for, against]
make your expensive items look cheap and naff to prevent robbery

Recently here, a woman has been shot for her Rolex watch. Mobile phone theft is huge as we have discussed before. I propose that we make our expensive items look cheap and nasty so that the envious and the drug-hungry and the plain envious are not tempted to steal. We will know our belongings are valuable but we may hold onto our items a little longer.
-- po, Mar 12 2002

Camera that looks cheap and nasty to avoid getting stolen http://www.boingboi...ed-theft-resis.html
[hidden truths, May 16 2009]

Resulting, shortly, in thieves taking EVERYTHING in case it might be valuable. Theft is just a way to remind you that things are, after all, only things.
-- rbl, Mar 12 2002

If the expensive items look cheap and nasty, how will you know if you bought an authentic cheap and nasty expensive thing or a real cheap and nasty cheap thing? heh. I would assume those who lavishly spend on these items are so concerned with their image that they would never be seen with anything but the best. If the best looks like crap, then why not just buy crap?
-- dag, Mar 12 2002

the great equalizer, make everything look the same and then there will be no envy.

I think [po] meant that phones can look like crap, but still have all the features and voice quality, a stereo can look shitty but have great sound. the ultimate end: a Lada that drives like a Porsche.
-- rbl, Mar 12 2002

I meant to say about the porsche thingy as well; thanks rbl. BTW do you often have mood swings dear? poor wifey. Touche, Pierre. see link RK.
-- po, Mar 12 2002

I think it was an idea of futurebird's (something about jogging at night?)... can't find it though...
-- RobertKidney, Mar 12 2002

Baked - I do this to my stuff all the time, especially clothes.
-- IvanIdea, Mar 12 2002

I don't know how to add the link, but the idea *is* futurebird's; "crappy-looking electronics that are really good". My husband actually did this to a new 115hp boat engine to fool marine thieves- painted it up to look like hell, dented the cover, etc. The result was that he had that engine until it died of old age. Maybe this isn't a bad idea.
-- Rm Brz, Mar 13 2002

I think Peter has kindly already provided a link to something similar, thank you Rm Brz, although I was thinking of more general goods - apart from my beloved Givenchy, I despise most designer overpriced labeled stuff.
-- po, Mar 13 2002

yes bliss, but I know it cost a fortune...
-- po, Mar 13 2002

Thank you for adding the link, Peter(Wasn't there when I annotated) , and thank YOU, Unabubba, for your assistance to a newcomer!
-- Rm Brz, Mar 14 2002

I had a Citroen BX. It was the same price as a Suzuki Swift 1.6 GTi, but chosen for pure nastiness. Only car on my street not joyridden in the year that I lived there (including a Plastic Pig with neither windshield nor engine).
-- FloridaManatee, Jan 16 2003

My brother traveled to an underdeveloped country once where, he said, this was done with houses. Looks like a shack on the outside, done up proper on the inside... I'd hate it, but if in a high-crime area it's a good idea.
-- resurgere, Jan 16 2003

There was a great fake ad on Saturday Night Live once about a car that was like this. Outside it looked like a rusted, dented 20 year old General Motors crapmobile. Inside the cleverly tinted windows, it had heated leather seats, 8 speaker stereo, etc, etc.
-- krelnik, Jan 16 2003

There's a lecturer in my department who purposly leaves his car under a tree so that birds shit on it, and doesn't wash it often. His theory is, if you were a thief, and could select any car in the street to steal, would you select the one covered in bird crap? My answer is; 'yes if it were a Dodge Viper', but I think he drives like an old Ford Mundaneo or something so it works out okay.

This reminds me of the old adage thingy about how fast must you run to escape the lion; not faster than the lion, no; just faster than your slowest friend.
-- Zircon, Jan 17 2003

i once did this to bike of mine (or at least thats what i told people)
-- andrew1, May 05 2005

Well, since I'm not the one bringing this back to life, I'll post.

I had a high-end mountain bike while in college, which I had completely "crappified". I stripped the paint, re-painted and decal'ed in a costco Huffy theme, and beat up the finish, including fake rusty paint chips, scrapes, and banged-up pedals. Looks like it's worth about $50. Certain key features of the frame are recognisable to someone who really knows bikes, but it never gets a second glance from a casual thief.

Some may say that this is like driving a Ferrarri painted to look like a pinto, but it never got stolen (I sold it when I graduated and bought a car).
-- Freefall, May 05 2005

So, I gotta suffer so that criminals don't get excited and take my shit?

This is an old idea, blatantly manifest in middle eastern women dressed head to toe so men don't get all horny over them. I live in america, so, for the time bieng, I'm boning this.

It's just a messy solution, however recurrent it is. I see elements of this mentality in bugs that look like sticks, and if nature's doing it, then it must be worthy. I now shall bun this idea.

But, nature is notoriously inefficient. We have the option to decide how and where to live. A new cat is in the evolutionary town, conscious directed cultural evolution, yeah. Get outta the freakin ghettos and polish your jewels. Bone.
-- daseva, May 05 2005

//A new cat is in the evolutionary town//its not that bloody schrodinger thing again, is it?
-- andrew1, May 12 2005

my maths teacher once did this to his car, he used a shotgun, i think you can figure the rest out for yourselvs.
-- andrew1, May 14 2005

Your maths teacher lied to you - he was just on the run from the mob. Good cover story though.
-- wagster, May 14 2005

This is what people seem to do with their iPods - I keep seeing people who've ruined the elegant interface and aesthetics of their iPod by putting some cheap, crappy cover on it.
-- hippo, Jan 30 2006

//But, nature is notoriously inefficient//

I disagree completely. Inefficient when compared to what??!!!
-- Minimal, Jan 30 2006

Well sony baked the reverse of this idea- the end product was a PSP! it looks cool, it IS expensive but it's plagued by shoddy engineering. It's expensive but it breaks if looked at the wrong way (exxagerating, obviously)
-- Dickcheney6, May 26 2008

My house is kind of like this; crappy on the outside, pure elegance within.
-- nomocrow, May 26 2008

//the great equalizer, make everything look the same and then there will be no envy//

{gasps} Communist!

True story --> While at a very indigent time in my life, my house was robbed by crack-addicts, whilst living in a trailer park, lovingly called "snuff-city". They took my camera, my tool box (with tools), and some of my combat-memorabilia. It was strange, looking through the house to see what all wasn't taken. I would keep thinking to myself "What's so wrong with this t.v. that a crack addict/house thief wouldn't take it?"

It was very humbling.
-- MikeD, May 26 2008

Maybe the TV was a little hard to nonchalantly carry a few doors down.
-- ye_river_xiv, Jun 10 2008

this idea could redefine "shabby chic" you'd be right in style if you chic stuff looks shabby. "dahling...It's the latest thing to deter thieves" It also reminds me of joke ad i saw in a book called "not available in any store" it was an ad for a furrier selling coats that were already blood and paint spattered to avoid animal rights inspired vandalism.
-- -wess, Jun 10 2008

hello wess, blimey - starchaser might turn up any minute...
-- po, Jun 11 2008

I keyed my own car one time to show someone how much I cared about the paint, but you can bet your arse that I use premium filters, fluids, and other parts when the time for maintenance rolls around. I care about what matters to me, and I don't give a damn about impressing others. I like your idea because it reflects how I already live my life.
-- kevinthenerd, Jun 22 2008

bike messengers have been doing this forever. Wrap expensive aluminum cannondale bike with medical tape then paint over with flat black paint. looks like crap, and can be removed later.
-- jhomrighaus, Jul 02 2008

random, halfbakery