Another Masonic Temple Vandalized

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by News Feeder, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. News Feeder

    News Feeder Registered User

    It's getting to be a monthly occurrence.

    The Masonic Temple in Manteca, California, home of Tyrian Lodge No. 439, was broken into over the New Years weekend, with approximately $7,00 in damage.

    From the Manteca Bulletin on January 7th:

    Tyrian Lodge #439 Master John Shaughnessy said an antique organ that had been donated by the family of the late Bill Eichner, honoring his past service, was left smashed beyond repair. Eichner, a respected member of the business community in the 1960s, was remembered with a brass plate that had been mounted on the organ.

    Shaughnessy said he had gone to the lodge for a Sunday evening meeting and found the door had been pried open with the building left in shambles.

    “They broke the door that goes into the lodge room – it looked like they were focused against Masonry. I don’t know what we could have done to make somebody so upset,†the Master said.

    The break-in was believed to have happened either Friday night or Saturday night. The clock mounted on the wall had been damaged with its hands stopped at 12:05, Shaughnessy added. Also destroyed in the vandalism were emblems representing the DeMolay for boys and the Order of Rainbow Girls that were kept in the building.

    “It is very uncomfortable that somebody would do that kind of harm to our fraternity,†he said. “They had jimmied the front door open and left a foot print in the middle of the outside of the door.â€

    The Masonic Lodge was constructed in 1957. The organization dates back to its 1913 formation in Manteca. It previously met upstairs in the Odd Fellows Hall in the 100 block of West Yosemite Avenue. Members will celebrate their 100th anniversary in two years.

    The globes on the pillars in the West were also damaged, along with a custom stained glass panel. The story reports that a new alarm and surveillance system has been installed since the break in.

    I say this every single time these stories arise: With new interest in the fraternity also comes interest from less than virtuous jackasses and full-throttle criminals. If your lodge doesn't have a working alarm system, that everyone knows how to use, you need to get one. Vote on it at your very next business meeting.[​IMG]

  2. mark!

    mark! Guest

    Though I'm in favor of alarm systems, this kind of stuff can be stopped with a more secured point of entry. Older, wooden doors, or metal doors with single door handle locks or thin metal door plates don't stop those wanting to force entry. We put up large, thick solid metal doors with 3 dead bolts that go in to a steel door jamb, imbedded deeply in to the wall. I believe more lodges need to read this, and take notice that things like this are going to occur more frequently, as the story ready, with new interest in our fraternity, will also bring more negative attention from those who do not wish to learn.
  3. robert leachman

    robert leachman Registered User

    Brother Mark! Is correct!
    You need security in layers. Even with an alarm, someone can still break in and steal /destroy as they please and get away long before the police arrive. Target hardening with better locks and doors will encourage crooks to go on to easier pickings.
  4. mark!

    mark! Guest

    Many people see the commercials for alarm companies and think they notify us as soon as the alarm is triggered, they don't unless you notate to bypass notifications and had the police notified first. Usually, they try a contact list that could be 2-3 numbers to call to see if it's a good alarm or not. That's about 5 minutes at least there. Then they call the police to dispatch to the alarm. It's just not quite as quick as it seems. Best things are reinforced entry points, and a loud, large alarm system that's gonna make em go deaf.
  5. AAJ

    AAJ Registered User

    I used to work in the alarm industry, and would like to whisper some advice to those brothers thinking of installing one. When properly designed and installed, an alarm system can save lives. However, there are some unscrupulous characters selling product that can be inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst.

    Most national alarm monitoring companies have both a sales and installation departments, but they also often use dealers. These companies hire their own technicians and salesmen, who often go door to door. They have no incentive to keep their customers in the long term - they make their money by signing customers then selling the contracts to the alarm company. As a result, dealers are known to engage in shady tactics. There are good ones out there, but be careful.

    Most alarm salesmen will offer to install a basic system for free. This is no big deal - all national companies offer this sort of thing. They can still make money because the cost of the equipment and installation are spread over the two year contract. The contract you sign says they will monitor their phone lines in case your alarm system calls in to report an emergency. You will owe the money even if you didn't use the alarm once.

    DO NOT install a system where the keypad (where you enter your code) and the circuit board are the same thing. On these "wireless" systems , one good hit by a baseball bat and the bell/siren, as well as the communications hub, will fail. If your keypad is separate from the main system, they can smash it all they want, they will still be reported. This is especially important when your main threat is vandalism.

    The salesman will tell you that it is smaller, it won't take up room in your closet, and is faster to install. This is true. It is also very easy for the dealer, and is a veritable cash cow. A hardwired system is, in my opinion, the only safe option.

    Above all, GET A SIGN. GET SEVERAL. A sign advertising a monitored alarm system will prevent 80% of break in attempts.

    Make sure you know how to use it. Instruction is part of the technician's job.

    False alarms happen. Something like 99.8% of the alarms that a major company receives are false. Often your police department will give you a ticket if they are called to the scene and there isn't any emergency.

    That is all I can think of. If anybody has a question, just message me and I will help out if I can. Again, I worked in customer service and installation for two separate dealers, for a total of about 4 years. Hope this helps,

  6. mark!

    mark! Guest

    We're subjective as far as giving someone a ticket for false alarms go, and that's usually more along the lines of a business alarm system, which a lodge would be. It takes a lot of alarms over a week period for the alarms officer to get a nasty gram from our sargent to investigate the alarms. And usually it's just a phone call at first wondering why we have to respond so often to faulty equipment or false alarm calls. We've been to one business 8 times in a two hour period, that's just not called for in my opinion. But there are some agencies out there that are really strict about alarm calls and false alarms.

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