Really sorry to hear of your parents misfortune. Hope they get it safely back home. And the thieves come down with a reoccurring case of systemic poison ivy!
There have been discussions in the past on securing trailers. Generally speaking it comes down to how difficult can you make it. A battery
operated 4 inch grinder with a cut off wheel can go through pretty much any lock or chain in a minute.
The options I recall are:
- fenced back yard, garage etc. can't get to it easily makes it harder to steal. Harder it appears to be to get to less interesting it is to a dishonest person.
- deters casual or impulse snatch and grab. Helps but won't stop a thief prepared with cutting tools or prevent flat bed winch.
- Cable or chain rims to axle
or springs so they won't turn. Slows them down and if the thief is using a flat bed they may not have a grinder to cut the lock. There are also commercial tire locking devices.
Anchor to fixed object
- Chain or cable axle
to sunken concrete, fence post or other fixed object. Do not leave enough slack that the trailer can pick up speed and "yank" on the chain. That can pull off your axle
. Slows them down, prevents winching onto flat bed without cutting tools.
- cable lock a bunch of tin cans or other items to the axle with enough slack that they drag behind the trailer making noise.
Lo-Jack or other GPS tracking
- won't prevent but may help recover.
My own thinking is making it so there is defense in layers is best. Thieves may get frustrated and leave if they keep running into an obstacle that is taking more time. Or it may increase the chances of someone spotting them.
I have had success putting a 100 yrd. target up full of bullet holes with "think honest" written on it with black magic marker. Don't know if it was the sign or just lucky but ....
This is also the time of year to be copying trailer for sale
ads with prices on our older eggs as documentation of the real value for insurance if our camper is stolen. Insurance company may not want to pay what 20 year old trailer is worth without some documentation of market value.