11 Points

11 Things the Car Thieves Didn't Take
written by Sam Greenspan

Yesterday, I wrote about my car getting stolen, and all of the things the car thieves took. But there were some things they didn't take either. And here's that (much more fascinating) list.
  1. My glasses. I had left my glasses in the car because I was wearing my contacts. I was very upset when I believed they had stolen said glasses, because they were more than $300, and I'd have to replace them very quickly. But, no. Apparently, no one in South Central wants to look like they're in Weezer. But, as I pointed out yesterday, the thieves did steal my $15 sunglasses. I'm going to abandon this topic now before it turns into me climbing into an ivory tower and filibustering on the values being instilled, etc.

  2. The radio. This made me laugh out loud. Jeep is putting such shitty radios into their vehicles that while the car thieves were stealing my mirrors and interior lights, they looked at the radio, shook their heads and said, "Nope."

  3. My toothbrush. I had my travel bag of toiletries in the car. Yesterday, I mentioned that they took my cologne. Well... they left my toothbrush. And, once I put my hands on it, it went quickly into the garbage can.

  4. My tie and dress shoes. Apparently, my tie and (fairly nice) shiny dress shoes didn't appeal to any of the thieves. I could be offended by this... like, even when I think I'm dressing nice, my clothes aren't steal-worthy... but I won't be. Instead, I'm going to chalk it up to the thieves having poor, poor fashion taste.

  5. A Michael Vick football. It's rare you can find a cool Michael Vick football these days. But I had one in the car, left there from a football game about a month earlier. (And purchased a few years back, before he started eating puppies or whatever.)

    Well, they left it. So I guess we can ascertain that, no matter what kind of job you have... even felonious criminal... you still feel like Michael Vick is a worse human being than you.

  6. CDs with a certain racial slur written on them. About a year ago, a friend of mine, who happens to be black, gave me two rap mix CDs. One had "East Coast N*****" written on it, one had "West Coast N*****" written on it. The thieves did not steal those CDs.

    However... they were covered in fingerprinting dust. Leading me to believe that the cops just assumed that the thieves had left them behind. Classic.

  7. The key to JD's Honda. Last September, I moved from Hollywood to Venice. Back in Hollywood, my roommate JD and I shared a tandem parking spot (which is where one person is always blocking in the other). So we each had a copy of the other's car key in our glove boxes, in case one of us needed to get out but was blocked in.

    After we moved, we forgot to give each other the spare keys back. But, fortunately for JD, the car thieves decided NOT to take his key. Maybe they're just in their line of work for the fun of hot wiring.

    Regardless, if they had stolen his key and tracked his car down, I'm not sure what value a 1991 Honda Accord with 150,000 miles that hasn't been washed since the last Winter Olympics would have.

  8. The regular tires. The thieves stole the spare tire off the back of the Jeep... but left all four of the regular tires. Leading me to believe one of two things: (1) They stripped this thing in a giant hurry and didn't even have the 60 seconds to throw it up on some blocks or (2) They didn't want to take away the option of joyriding. I'm sure the latter is correct.


  9. More of the carcass of my Jeep.
    The strap to my laptop bag. They took my laptop bag and everything inside -- my laptop, digital camera, writing notebook, cords, all of it. But for some reason, they took the strap off the top of the bag and left that behind. That actually takes time. Probably more time than putting the car up on blocks to get at the tires. I've since believed that this was just them mindfucking me.

  10. My ankle brace. Since I messed up my ankle about four years ago, I've had to wear an ankle brace for jumping-intensive sports. It was in the car. They left it there. I just don't get that. I'm not going to stereotype and say at least one of the thieves MUST have experience turning ankles in basketball or soccer... so I will say this: At least one of the thieves MUST have experience turning ankles in croquet, waterskiing or lawn bowling.

  11. My license plates. This was a kind gesture. At least this way, the cops could ID the car as stolen quicker, contact me quicker and start the insurance process quicker. And two-and-a-half months later, it finally resolved! Just think, if they'd stolen the license plates, right now I'd still be on daily phone calls with the insurance people and Chrysler Financial trying to get someone to do something already.

If there's one thing I'd like to conclude my car theft lists with, it's this: Don't get your car stolen. It became almost a full time job. You make hundreds of phone calls, have to send dozens of letters and faxes and even have to get stuff notarized. You have to serve as the point man coordinating at least five giant bureaucracies (insurance, car company, finance company, police, police impound lot). And you have to beg people to drive you around until you can get a car again. It's just a giant, expensive pain in the ass.

And no, sadly, I didn't have a "Big Lebowski" moment and find one of the thieves' homework crumpled inside my front seat. I probably wouldn't have gone to his house anyways and smashed up what I thought was his car, while yelling the entire time, to quote the USA Network edited version of the movie, "This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps."


This post was originally published on Friday, June 20, 2008 at 11:55:11 AM under the category Personal.

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