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Thursday, May 29, 2008

To (Hopefully) Catch a Thief.

So some bastard/s broke into as many cars as he/they could in our neighborhood 3am on Wednesday, stole a bunch of stuff, including one lady's CD collection, a bunch of people's petty cash, our restaurant gift cards we keep in the car for outings, and one poor family's car itself. Normally our car is locked, but due to heavy rain and a bit of a crisis at the time, my poor husband neglected to lock the car. But, in the end, this worked entirely in our favor and I shall tell you why...

My husband had called to give me the news while I was at work on Wednesday, as I hadn't noticed anything was amiss when I left that morning. Cops had come by and unsuccessfully tried to lift prints of all the cars. They explained that the rain made it difficult to get anything substantial off of the exteriors and that the materials that made up the interiors were not very conducive to preserving usable prints. So they turned up with "zip". I was disheartened to say the least.

On my way home from work that day, I was annoyed thinking about how helpless we were in this situation and how irritating it was that the cops seems just as helpless given the circumstances. I drove to one of the restaurants we had gift certificates for and asked the bored looking employee if anyone had used any gift cards that day. Explaining my story seemed to perk her up and she excitedly brought out two gift cards that had been used that day. I stared at them and felt stupid not knowing how this would really help me. She pointed out that on each card is a unique serial number. Great! I'd go home and look into my e-mails for the receipts of my purchased gift cards and see if they gave serial numbers. They didn't, but my husband called the place I bought them from to see if they had the numbers. They did! I called all the restaurants we could remember buying gift certificates for and gave them our serial numbers, our phone number, and the cops' phone number.

Two hours later, we got a call from the one lady I had met in person. She told us excitedly that someone had come in and used one of our gift cards! He was on camera and they had called the cops to let them know! The detectives had left for the night, but we were told they would call us today to let us know what they find.

I so hope the camera footage isn't all grainy and useless like the ones you see on TV where you think that guy could be your neighbor or your own mother and you'd never be able to tell for certain.

Needless to say, I did a happy dance when I got the news, punched the air, and yelled various things like "YEAH BITCHES! THAT'S WHAT YOU GET! FUCKERS! HAHAHA!"

I look forward to hearing from the fuzz.


Cairogal said...

I had my car broken into a few months back. They didn't get in, actually, but they totally destroyed the driver-side lock. The police ONLY came out since technically it was breaking and entering to get into our semi-secured garage. The looked at the car, and said, "Well, a Honda Accord in West Seattle...that's to be expected." That's it. No prints. Nothing.

The same car was stolen when my brother owned it. He had left his mobile in the car. He also worked for the mobile service provider. He immediately saw the activity online-who the thief was calling, who was calling him, etc. My brother provided the police w/ this info who promptly informed him that they really didn't have the manpower to follow-up on this stuff. Infuriating.

Julie said...

My car got stolen a year ago this past weekend. It sucked, because, particularly when THE WHOLE CAR is gone, there's not much to go by. "Your car isn't there. You didn't take it anywhere. Uh. We'll look for it?" They never did find the car OR who stole it, so I will take quite a bit of satisfaction if they catch the asshole who broke into your car.

TeacherLady said...

Yeah, I'm get the distinct feeling that the cops don't really give a damn right now. Even when I hand them great evidence on a silver platter. They didn't even have to do anything! Just get the face of the dude and post his picture everywhere!
Sorry to hear about your bad luck. It's always frustrating with bad things happen to good people.

TeacherLady said...

The bastards, sorry to hear that Julie. I do really feel for how horrifying it must be to come out of your house (or wherever) and not see your car where you parked it. That would make me feel like my stomach was pulled out of my mouth. Such a violation.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this story!

Hani Obaid said...

Good thinking.

About a month ago someone had her MAC laptop stolen, and once the thief put it on the internet, she connected to it remotely used the built-in webcam to take his picture and sent it to the police, and it was used to find and convict the guy.