Stolen CarThere were a few minor challenges that came up for me in February of 2008 that got me to thinking more about challenges and complacency. So, I started this series. As I already did a rambling tale about challenges, I decided to name this series for problems. First up is a tale about having my car stolen and you can see where it goes from there. So, Saturday morning (Feb 23, 2008) I was headed to a breakfast and went out to get in my car and it wasn't there. Oddly enough I was quite sure where I had left my car as the evening when I parked it I had been returning from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore BeerNite and I had forgotten to put my car in park. It wasn't because I had been drinking very heavily as many of the people there (myself included) hadn't been drinking. Well there was a very minor slope out to the center of the road and about half an hour after I parked my car, my neighbor knocked on my door and mentioned that my car had rolled into the center of the road. Doh! I thanked him and quickly (and sheepishly) parked it properly and put it into park. I was completely thrown off by my missing car and finally walked all through the local parking areas and verified that my car wasn't there. When the community center opened for their Saturday morning brunch at 10AM, I went over and asked Matt to check if they had had my car towed. Of course it had not, so then I checked how to report my car stolen. As it was a stolen vehicle, the on-line reporting was not available and the local numbers were only Monday through Friday, so I called 911. They took my report and within 20 minutes a police officer took my report. Fortunately I had nothing planned for the weekend other than the breakfast (after verifying that my car was gone I called Leone and told her I wouldn't be able to make it). So, then I started fretting about what to do. When older cars are stolen, they are usually stolen to drive, not to strip and sell for parts. There is a great likelihood that they will be recovered, though not necessarily in good condition. In the past when I was carless (as my car had broken down), I was so dependent on having a car to get to work that I would immediately rent a car until my car was working (just part of the expense of owning a car). However, I only use my car a couple or three times a week and it is pretty expensive to keep a rental car for that little use. There was also the question of how long do I wait in a sort of carless limbo until my car is recovered and I know how bad the damage is. And when I do decide to replace it, how do I find a new or used car without a car (all my previous car shopping had depended on easy transportation to find a car that I liked and to get a good price). Well I really didn't have that long to fret. Less than 24 hours after I had reported my car stolen I got a call from the Vancouver Police. Earlier that morning my car had been found at Jantsen Beach (a Portland shopping cneter) and been towed in apparently good condition. I called the tow place (21st Century Towing) and learned that it would be cheaper to pick up my car on Monday morning after 8AM but before 9AM (no weekend gate access fee and still within 24 hours of them storing my car). Further, it would be on my way in to work and during a time when the normal commuter buses are running. Cool! So, I left for work 45 minutes early at 6:30AM and took four buses to get me to the tow place just after 8AM. The car was cleaner and neater than when I left it (I still don't leave anything of value in my car as it is so easy to steal). I lost my collection of tools (all from the Dollar Store, so only about six dollars worth), my cell phone charger (now replaced at the Dollar Store), my foot (air) pump, ice scapers, and air guage. All have now been replaced (except the tools which may not be such a good idea to leave in the car). As I use my car so seldom I will probably go back to taking my steering wheel in with me when I park my car. Not too much of a bother. Oddly enough I found some papers from another person (Shannon). There were his insurance papers, CDL (Commerical Driver's License) medical examine card, pay stub, hunting license, and CDL road test card (from an employeer). Yikes! I considered that the theifs may have pilfered these from his car, but I called the police in three counties and he hadn't reported any theft (I would have mailed them to him if he had reported them stolen). What to do? I knew virtually everything about him except his phone number. There was also some possibility that he was one of the perpetuators (who is to know). Anyway, Officer Schull who had found the car came offered to pick up the papers and contact Shannon, allowing him to pick up the papers from evidence if appropriate. How strange! Anyway, that gave me the chance to thank Officer Schull directly. On reflection, I considered how minor this experience was. It was hardly any inconvenience at all (as opposed to people who have their car stolen and it turns up stripped many weeks later, or worse yet, people who are in car accidents with serious injuries and having their car totaled). Also, when I was in jail for three days (circumstances with pictures) that was quite a bother, but there are people who are in prison for years and years. I am truly blessed to have such minor inconveniences. Click here to see the next rambling tale.
This page was last updated on March 8, 2008