Iron Gates Theft

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    A neighbor of mine in Park Slope had her gate stolen yesterday sometime between 8 & 10 p.m. Has anyone else had that happen recently? I know there was a rash of that kind of theft some years ago.

    12 Replies

    1. Somewhat off-topic because they don’t seem to be the culprits here (though I don’t think it would be unheard of either) those roving treasure hunter types are terrible. I love the idea of using salvage but it makes me nervous about where the stuff came from. Once in college my mother and I visited the tiny town in Georgia where she was born and wandered into an antique store in its desolate old downtown area. No shoppers to be seen anywhere so the owner was clearly a dealer to Atlanta buyers hiding out where his stock couldn’t be scrutinized. The place was packed full of architectural salvage. It made us sad and bitter to see it because just before that my mother’s great aunt’s rural plantation house in Alabama had been stripped clean by treasure hunters. She’d passed away and the family were trying to sell the house. They’d boarded up windows and doors to protect it but the treasure hunters tore the boards off, backed a truck up to the front porch and piled everything in. It’s like dude, just because you call yourself an antique dealer, “saving” these details doesn’t mean it’s not a crime. It’s no different or lowly than breaking into an apartment and stealing a television.

    2. I have heard that this is being done. Eddie Hibbert who owns the salvage place on Greene and Grand told me that that has been happening (also told me that people are removing railigs and gates to steal bikes).

      I remember someone from Bed Sty telling me about 5 years ago that she had her front doors stolen. Right off the hinges. That would have had to have been a killer.

    3. “do you think they are out of state treasure hunters”

      No way. People taking your gates are not cashing them at the local yards in Gowanus. They end up in fringe areas like Stillwell Ave, just North of CI, where vacant lots are used as scrap collection grounds. A lot of this type of heavy iron gets sold to the car junkyards, who look the other way.

    4. During the 90’s, when more upscale parts of Brooklyn were in a restoration craze, Bed Stuy was a salvage yard warehouse. On my block alone, one night, we had 5 or 6 gates stolen and some fencing removed. Some of it turned up in local salvage places. It may have been local knuckleheads stealing, but they were encouraged by the salvage dealers who were asking no questions, and asking for more. This still goes on today, just not as in your face as it used to be.

    5. Does anyone think it’s worth checking out all the usual suspects, or do you think they are out of state treasure hunters? What about checking the salvage yard on 6th street between 2nd and 3rd avenues?

    6. Last year someone tried to jimmy up the sidewalk door to our basement stair. I’m not sure if they were trying to break in on take the door. I also had guys smaashing some sinks we had just removed to take all the metal. Nothing’s happend really recently. This is on Sterling Place off 7th Ave.

      In Borough Park we were doing an ADA ramp and while he poured the contractor had removed and chained up all the 1920’s era iron railings from the proerty line and former stair. One weekend someone took all of them. Must have been about 50 linear feet.

    7. Hope it wasn’t an original wrought iron gate. Clearly, much harder to replace than the usual 60’s/70’s era garbage iron gates.

    8. It still happens all the time. If there’s some iron that can be easily detatched, and someone happens to come by on their way down to the scrap yards in gowanus, they will take it. Most houses now have a chain around the older types gates that easily detach.

      People steal weird things. We had our $5 rubber doormat taken from our stoop the other day.