The Surprising Conclusion to Victor’s Insider Scoop on My Stolen Car
February 15th, 2011 | top of page

Flashback: Catherine and I get our autos serviced at a local shop about a mile from our house. On Sunday night the alarm went off in the shop. The owner, thinking it was a false alarm and wanting to avoid the false alarm fine, told the alarm company that he would drive to his shop and turn off the alarm.

When the owner arrived he found his shop had been broken into and the thief was sitting in a car in one of the garage bays. Surprised by the owner, the thief started the car (the keys were in the ignition) and proceeded to gun the engine and blasted right through the roll up garage door. Just like in the movies! Now the car is in the shop’s back parking area. A half–inch thick wire rope strung between two bollards is all that is separating the thief from his getaway. The thief rams the car into the wire rope, runs it into the street, spins out and blows a tire.

The owner, who is armed with a handgun, gets the thief out of the car and has him on the ground while nervously calling 9-1-1 on his cell phone. He explains his situation to the 9-1-1 dispatcher. The dispatcher tells the owner to put away his gun and wait for the police to arrive! He reluctantly complies. The thief has a carpe diem moment and bolts on foot towards my street.

By now police cruisers, K-9 units, and a helicopter are swarming my neighborhood looking for this guy. He makes his way into the back yard of one of my neighbors and is hiding under a large tree out of sight from the helicopter’s searchlight. My neighbor, curious about the all commotion, looks into her back yard and sees the thief hiding under the tree canopy. She confronts him with her large dog and he leaps over the back yard fence onto the golf course adjacent to our back yards. He runs in the direction of my yard and finds he has two choices: escape through the golf course clubhouse and pool area or look for shelter in my yard. He makes the more prudent choice and leaps the fence into my yard.

With only my two cats guarding my unoccupied house he breaks in and takes refuge. I now speculate that he remains in my house, quiet and out of sight until the police give up their manhunt and leave the area. With the car key from my dresser in hand he vacates my house, gets into my Volvo and quietly drives away. It’s his lucky night

Flash forward: The police finish swabbing our house for DNA—fingerprints are a thing of the past I find out—and leave us with a brochure, their phone numbers, and little hope.

After doing some minor cleanup work in our closet Catherine begins driving over to Robert’s house to pick up Elliot.

Elliot and Robert are doing what they always do when Elliot is at Robert’s house: they are outside playing street hockey in the driveway. Robert looks up from stick handling the puck and exclaims: “Hey, there goes your dad’s car!” My Volvo, which is a distinctive station wagon model with a bike rack on the roof, is hard to miss. It had been driven by right in front of them. Robert’s mom immediately called Catherine who called 9-1-1 and alerted the police our car was still in the area

Within 5 minutes I received a call from the police telling me my car had been recovered a couple of miles from Robert’s house. The thief had run out of gas and was apprehended pushing my car into a convenience store lot. Another irony is that this convenience store, though it has gas pumps, no longer sells gas. The thief’s luck had now taken a 180 degree turn!

I called my neighbor Nick and asked him to drive me to the convenience store. It was easy to spot with 4 police cruisers on site. I had to wait for about an hour while my car was processed, swabbed for DNA and, most importantly, removed from the police database of stolen cars

My car is now back in my driveway and, save for some minor cosmetic damage that will soon be repaired by my mechanic, is doing fine.

Felony charges have been filed.

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