My car was stolen about a month ago. My husband had driven it down to Palm Springs to get it serviced where we bought it…and to play a little golf and visit with one of his best buddies. He stayed at a hotel in Indian Wells and when he got up in the morning, the car was gone from the lot. Security cameras showed a man trying the door of several cars and finding mine open, getting in and driving away.
Later that day, none the wiser, I called my husband to see how his day was going.
“Good,” he said. “Except for one thing.”
“Everyone okay?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah, everyone’s fine,” he said. I could hear his friend laughing in the background and I smiled.
“That’s the good news,” Moe continued.
“So what’s the bad news?”
“The bad news is your car got stolen.”
“Really?” I said, barely reacting. For some reason it didn’t faze me.
“Yeah. The police think it’s probably long gone,” he said.
But it wasn’t. Ten days later, the police saw the car parked along a street in Palm Springs and went to investigate. The driver jumped out of the car and sprinted down the street. The police gave chase and caught him.
When they called to notify us, they said the car was a mess but mostly intact. By then, I was looking at other cars—I wanted a small sedan and was narrowing my choice. (I must admit to being a little disappointed that the car hadn’t gone to a chop shop.)
One of the officers asked my husband if he used drugs.
“Why?” Moe asked.
“It’s just a formality, sir,” the man said. “We found a considerable amount of drug paraphernalia in the car.”
“Well, if you consider aspirin and ice creams to be drugs, then I do,” Moe said, laughing.
The car was taken to an impound lot and then towed to the dealership because the key was gone, (which is somewhat of a mystery. How was the guy driving the car if he had no key?) Several other parts of the car were gone, as well as all our personal belongings. For my husband, it was devastating. His new golf clubs were MIA.
Yesterday was the first time I’d seen my car since it was stolen. And the reality set in. On the surface, the car looked great. It had been detailed so it looked new. But for me, my car is like a second home. The center glove box contained a small pharmacy of dental products, acid reducers, eye drops, hand creams, etc. I had two of my best pairs of sunglasses in the regular glove compartment, with some cash hidden behind them. (You never know when you might get stranded without your wallet.)
I began to feel as if I’d been burglarized—violated—in some way, as if a stranger had pawed through my underwear.
I opened the trunk to see if the thief had truly taken all the bags I’ve collected in my travels that I use for the grocery store. Gone. The earthquake emergency kit was taken—even the license plate was stolen and the 20-year- old remote for the garage that barely worked. The bag with jackets and hats and gloves, flip-flops and umbrella—all the miscellanea I might need someday—was gone. And the golf towel that had been my dad’s, which no one knew I’d kept to remind me of him.
What was really disconcerting was that the thief had left a bundle of clothes, and his own miscellanea behind, including small sized clothing and Little Mermaid stickers.
There’s a t-shirt that must have been his—I can tell how big he is.
I began to wonder if he and his family had been living in the car? Using it as a drug den? I was totally creeped out.
Today is better. I still don’t feel like it’s my car, but I’m sure that will come with time. Meanwhile, the trunk of my car is clutter free!
p.s. Moe says I should write the thief a thank you note. Because of him I got around to installing the garage door remote feature in my car.