Yard Theft Prevention without a Fence (Due to Council)

So over the past year or so we've been having people wander into the garden - all around the house, not just from the mail box to door (no it's not the mail man, he's a drop and dash kinda guy) and take our stuff, plants, tools, etc. Just installing cameras today, though we have caught the people red handed and they don't give a damn, often they're walkers but the other day one aunty drove up and when spotted said she was here to collect, and had to have the plant taken from her. We can't have a fence/gate due to the property location and council. Any tips? There have been multiple offenders all aunties/uncles, ballsy they come to collect or take what they want even after been confronted, one said he'll send his people to collect the plants. Which he indeed did, as the plants he said he was interested in were snatched.

Has this happened to anyone else?

We do have a dog often in the yard, alas he's friendly and probably will be snatched too at some point. Have consulted a friend, she laughed and said this is why you live compound or have security on site. She says they'll just take the camera as well as plants next time… and she wasn't joking.

As Halloween is coming up we're going to have creative deco, skeletons hanging from the old oak with a noose, warning signs all that. Tips for waterproofing it very appreciated, as hardware stores are closed, and that stuff been flammable can't be posted it seems, also none within 5km.

TLDR; 1. Plant theft by aunty/uncle, council says no to having a fence/gates, what to do?
2. Tips on waterproofing Halloween deco to be used year round outdoors appreciated.


  • +73


    • +5

      Yep bikies arnt a suitable solution here, mines are the only answer.

      • +6

        Bikies sitting on mines. Parked next to a roof rack-less RAV4.

    • +51

      As a safer deterrent, motion activated sprinklers

      • +8

        9th green at 9 haha

      • +1

        Directly attached to the hot water tank!

      • Great idea, it stopped cats sh!ting on my back lawn, should deter humans too. Cost about $15 off ebay.

    • +1

      LOL that was my first thought - but only because I have just finished rewatching CLOY.

      Wonder if the Halloween shop sells fake ones that click when you step on them?

    • +3

      Mines are too noisy, will wake you up. Google "viet cong booby traps" :)

    • Why not mine the place with dye-packs like they use for theft at really expensive stores?
      Or is that only in the US?

      "Aunty, why are you purple today? You look like that kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!"

    • or mimes!

      • Marcel Marceau?

        • Yep, he can mime holding a gun and calling the police.

  • +27

    Develop a neurotic obsession, stalking the perimeter at night, leering through the curtains, responding manically to the slightest noise.

    • +7

      I can vouch for this. I have also had success with on command explosive defacation. With practice, you can keep it going for sub 2 minutes while maintaining eye contact. Removing pants is optional.

      • +10

        Username almost checks out…

    • Already checked. I wish they were like normal people and came at night, because we're going to have fun.

      • +26

        Three step process:
        1 - Install those cheap yet effective motion activated flood lights
        2 - Spread out the garden hose and sprinkler system. The tap turned on, and with a relay to the flood lights.
        3 - Upload the footage to YouTube, monetize, and profit !!

        (PS: If you google/youtube a how to should be easy to find)

        edit: …after you upload the footage, make sure you post the links here for us to watch. It would be quite hilarious to see the aunties/uncles coming close enough to trigger the flood lights, getting spooked, and being trapped between the house and the garden sprinklers. I reckon many would do the fast "scuttle of shame" and hopefully the water to their face and clothes might wake them up to their misbehavior.

        • Let’s improve on that.*

          1. Flood light
          2. Loud Siren with voice “You’re Dead Now!”
          3. Shotgun sounds
          4. Release the hounds

          *no more big water bill

          • @bOngOCaT: This seems like it was inspired by Home Alone 2 in the Trump Hotel, mixed in with some Mr Burns.

      • +3

        Are you allowed to have a gate between the side of your property and fence?
        Obviously not at the front boundary line, but after 5-10mt.

        Usually that should be ok with estates, we have had that with a newer estate but due to tenants privacy we put one one up. Less than 1k.

        If they ask you to take it out give them your reasoning or worst case- sell the gate.

        How old is your estate's plan. Some of these societies and co-op don't exists anymore and are burden on councils and judiciary.

        For me security will come first considering the times

  • +32

    Wait… are they your aunt/uncle? I'm confused.

    • +19

      We do have family drama too, but I save that for therapy.

      Aunty/uncle refers to older person who's your parents age but younger than grandma/pa.

      In case anyone is curious I'm half white, half Japanese for context.

      • +1

        Does an aunti/uncle have to be the same race as you or is it used solely based on age?

      • How old are your parents?

    • +14

      Very Indian/Asian thing to say for an older person of your parent's age as of respect

      • +14

        It's Australian too. It is just the first century or so of boat people that don't use it.

        • +6

          I have never heard anyone refer to a random person as an aunt or uncle.

          • +1

            @O15: Yes. They are usually of the same heritage or community. And it is usually a sign of respect.

            But I have no idea how Japanese migrants and their off spring use it.

      • +1

        Very a lot of cultural thing to say. Don't see it in Western culture much though. Infact, I would argue that people would find it offensive. "How dare you call me an Auntie?"

        • +1

          Only those that are 20+ years older then you but wants to pretend to be your age

  • +5

    What is Halloween?

    • +2

      OP must live in the USA

      • +2

        Is that what we're calling Victoria now? Harsh

        Actually, shouldn't lock down be helping the OP right now?

    • +6

      As an adult; the best party of the year!

    • A reason to party harder than last weekend ;)

      Normally work (I am/was? an events planner) will host a party or we'll be invited to one.

      • -2

        What is the reason?

    • +1

      What is Christmas?

  • +10

    There have been multiple offenders all aunties/uncles

    What does this mean? How have you been able to ascertain their family relations in the scenarios you have described? What difference does it make if their siblings have children?

    • +19

      Sorry I do that thing where I don't realize there's gaps where things make sense to me but I don't realize that others see gaps and get confused.

      Aunty/uncle refers to older person who's your parents age but younger than grandma/pa. Like even your parents' friends who aren't related. They don't have to have kids/family, it's more about age than anything.

      • +6

        Yeah I'd didn't realise this is what you meant either when it comes to a stranger - I'd only use it for close family friends and relatives of the right age, regardless of whether they are actually aunties or uncles - I certainly wouldn't use it to refer to someone stealing from me because it's a term of endearment and respect - usually something we ask kids to say for any of our friends our age for example.

        macrocephalic above summed it up above - "When talking to my kids I refer to family friends as "Auntie X" or "Uncle Y", but I don't refer to strangers as aunties and uncles. To me it's a person who is close enough to be like family (but might not be)."

        I did know in Indigenous culture it can be used more widely - I assumed, perhaps ignorantly, it referred to just friends / acquaintances of the right age among the same cultural group.
        So, I've learned something new today that it could be anyone of the right relative age group.

        • lol I felt that I'd be negged for describing them straight up that's why and people would racism when I was pointing out what I saw

          • -1

            @anastasiastarz: It’s probably easier to just say ‘people’ as it’s hard to convey context in text.

      • Strange.

        These English words have very specific meanings. It's best to use them to avoid confusion.

        I had no idea what anyone was talking about until I got to this section of the comments.

        Edit: No, I'm not racist because I don't understand the slang words of the 195 different countries.

    • Maybe because they are older, they aren't doing it maliciously or could just be oblivious/dementia etc.

      • haha no, she said she was here to collect and drove up.

        • +2

          Sounds like she had the wrong address?

        • +16

          Check gumtree Facebook for ‘free plant’ ads. Might have your address listed.

  • +3

    Robot Sentries

    On a more serious note, it sucks that your stuff is getting nicked… they even having the audacity in getting caught red handed and just waving it off…. nothing much you can do without fencing or some sort of deterrent. Even with a security system, the cops won't do much. I would secure your tools properly. Don't leave them outside, bring them inside and box them up. Plants on the other hand…. steel ball and chain? lol.

  • +7

    Hedge? You can build a small trellis that looks a lot like a fence and start training your hedge over the trellis (I mean, with many hedges you dont need to do that but it gives you a head start). Or buy bigger hedge plants to start with - waist high, plant them right along your boundary

    Other option is what we used to call the Mediterranean option. Probably shouldnt call it that nowadays but older people will know what I mean - namely, concrete the whole front yard so there is nothing to steal

    Im pretty sure most councils allow fences along the side of your house (ie between your side fence and your house), so you should be able to block off part of the garden.

    Get a meaner dog

    motion activated sprinkler system

    • +1

      Oooh the Mediterranean option, that's a cool term I've never heard of, yes it is becoming a more popular thing here (asian area), so you can park more cars. I think we're a target because all our neighbours have plain yards or plants in ground, whereas we have orchids around the side in pots - but as I said you need to wander in. I now question why we haven't had laundry stolen…

  • +18



    The council wants to tell you what you can do to keep yourself and your personal belongings safe?

    Honestly, I'd sell and send the council a bag of turd as representation of their value to your former community.

    You need a fence and a deterrent. If someone is brazenly infringing on my rights, I'd follow them home and confront them there.

    • +13

      Easy there, Doc. Have some morning tea.

      • +7

        Government makes me angry.

        The anger is my tea. Mmmm…

    • haha yes that last part is why I seek therapy. Because I ain't afraid.

    • +6

      Send council the bill for replacing all the stolen stuff as they are responsible for not allowing you to secure your property.

  • +11

    set up a motion trigger water sprinkler, so when someone walk near by , it will trigger the sprinkler, may not work at night ? or install or door bell sensor, like the one used in 2 dollars shop, it sound ding dong when customer walk in.

    • My friend uses the motion sensor and it goes red and loud af alarm. It works quite well since your neighbours will also tell you to shut up multiple times

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