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I just ordered a set of factory crossbars (E361SFL400) for my 2018 Crosstrek, and my one concern about them is that they're held on with torx screws, with no apparent way to secure them beyond hoping thieves only have flat and phillips drivers.

Of course, I know it's not a good idea to leave anything valuable unattended, but difficulty begets deterrence. If I attach a locking cargo box to the crossbars, the weak point will be the attachment of the crossbars themselves. I know as well that I could have spent more money on a tower and crossbar system that attaches with lock and key. But I didn't. So I am trying to think of good ways to make the crossbars more secure.

So far, all I've come up with is intentionally stripping the screws (obvious disadvantages), or perhaps finding an even more unusual screw head type that would make security through obscurity a more realistic hope. Any other ideas?
 

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I just ordered a set of factory crossbars (E361SFL400) for my 2018 Crosstrek, and my one concern about them is that they're held on with torx screws, with no apparent way to secure them beyond hoping thieves only have flat and phillips drivers. ...
First; hello and welcome!

People generally don't carry a selection of torx/star drivers in their pocket. That means if your bars have been stolen:
  1. someone happened to have them and took it as an opportunity for some reason; e.g., to be a jerk, for their own/friend's XV or to sell;
  2. someone was going out with a purpose to steal random crossbars and happened to find yours; or
  3. you were sepcifically targted.
Options 1 and 2:

I'm assumming that if they bought a 18-20 XV, they probably aren't going to steal a set of crossbars or want/need a friend to steal them. However, that risk could increase 10 years from now when they might not be found as easily.

These options scream a quick pawn turnover in which case you probably haven't got much to worry about. There isn't much value to crossbars at a pawn shop and a thief would be looking for smaller, higher valued and less awkward things such as those inside the locked box, in view of a car window, small merchendise near a shop's door/sidewalk/mall hallway or in a backyard. They'd also be looking for less obvious things than removing and walking away with a set of crossbars and/or box in public.

Option 3:

This means they'd hit in public or seclusion but with a purpose and plan becasue they want YOUR crossbars and they'll take the box just becasue they can. If they're doing that, they'll have scoped you out, have the correct tool(s), selected the best time/location and there isn't a thing you can do about it. I don't know whay they'd target you; we just met and you seem alright to me.

Speaking to the crossbars specifically and estimating with a standard risk matrix:

  1. Number 1 and 2 are Low Risk. They're an unlikely occurance with a couple hundred bucks and inconvenience being a negligible concequence.
  2. Number 3 is also a Low Risk. Unless you play pokey chest with a lot of people, its easily a rare occurance and the concequence remains the same.
It's worth noting that it's unlikely that someone will scope you out just to steal your crossbars as they'd probably have other things in mind.

Black pajammas in a new/used Subaru lot would be a much easier win than than finding and shadowing a random XV that happens to have crossbars, then planning and executing the event.
A smart thief would visit the lot during the day, find the target vehicle and maybe be able to loosen the screws with a mini driver for a quick nightime operation.
A smarter thief would include a friend of a different description making it harder to identify the culprits if caught on camera; one to discretely loosen, the other to take it at night.

Moving on to what you could do about it. My best suggestion is to relax.

Like I argued many months ago regarding wheel lock nuts; people don't randomly carry tools but if someone wants it, they'll get the tool and take it.
If I didn't already have them, I can get a 33 piece security bit set at a local shop for $10 and it's about the same for a cheap bolt/cable cutter.

Remember, your home window/door locks only keep the people that don't want to be in your house, out of your house.
 

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Red Loctite.

Unless you park outdoors or overnight in suspect locations, it's not really a big worry. But, I agree that replacing the hardware with a security Torx (the kind with the pin in the center) may be the best route if it's necessary.
 
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