My car was burgled

I went out to the car (Ford Escape) to go to work this morning and noticed stuff from the console scattered all over the seats, the doors ajar, and a plastic bin I keep “car food” in on the ground behind the car. A quick check in back verified I had lost a bunch of stuff.

I called the police. They said someone would be there within an hour, I sent an email to work, and I sat down to wait.

The police officer was really nice and made a report of the things I had lost and was able to obtain a fingerprint off of the lift gate. It could be mine but there is a chance it was the bad guy. I went to work and was looking at the stuff on the seat. There were several things made of smooth plastic and metal that had been removed from the console. I sent the officer a email asking if he would like to attempt finding fingerprints on those items too. He came to the parking garage where I work and spent another 45 minutes or so with his fingerprint brush and making various things black with the dust. He found another print and took it for his report as well.

He told me that there were three car prowls in my neighborhood last night and eight a short distance away the night before. My hope is that with someone this active they will make a mistake or two and get caught soon. I’m been doing some things to increase the odds of a mistake leading to their apprehension. I want something or someone to trip them up.

My losses include:

There were some other things as well that brings the total loss up to about $1800. I didn’t realize how much stuff I kept in there. The back of the Escape was completely covered with a tarp too.

They didn’t break any windows but it’s possible it wasn’t locked. I always lock it when I leave but from my bedroom with my key in my pocket the remote key will sometimes lock (or unlock) the car when I bend over.

Miscellaneous stuff: The cop was wearing the same Surefire flashlight holster and a nearly identical flashlight to mine. He is part of the bomb squad and we talked about explosives some. I shot at the same match as someone he knows in his department a couple weeks ago in Marysville.


21 thoughts on “My car was burgled

  1. Interesting. Redmond PD just stuck a business card under John’s windshield wiper when his truck was broken into. They didn’t care (on any level) to investigate or even come back by later.

    Then again, he was one of a couple dozen in his complex to get ganked.

    If they took that much heavy stuff, they had a vehicle to unload it into.

    Hope your homeowners covers some of it.

  2. Consider yourself lucky you got an officer to A. show up and take a report and
    B. bother to even LOOK for prints. In a LOT of places such crimes are so
    unimportant to LEO ( nobody hurt and no chance to gain a bit of revenue) that
    they simply do not give a shit. You have to go to the department and make the report….they won’t come to you.

  3. I learned after 5 years in SF and 10 years in Oakland to never ever leave anything visible in the car period. No change on the dash. No shopping bags pushed partway under the seat. No pens. No cups. No blankets. Especially no zippered containers or boxes. Nothing. Don’t give them an excuse to come after your vehicle. Either put it in the trunk where it cannot be seen or take it inside.

    I had my Miata’s roof slashed 3 times, our Sentra’s window smashed 5 times before we learned that lesson fully. SFPD and OPD basically hung up on us when we called them. Told us to fill out a form on their website and that nothing would probably happen. They were right.

    It completely boggles my mind that people think that this is OK to do. It makes me sad. Anyways, I just wanted to put that in your mind. When you are in an urban environment, strip your car of everything. It’s much better than somebody else doing it.

    • Yeah. Barb told me several times I shouldn’t leave things in the car. But I don’t have a trunk and the big box of emergency supplies is not something you want to move in and out of the vehicle all the time. Maybe I should have a car alarm. But I hate all the false alarms.

      • Find a hard point in your vehicle that you can wrap a chain around and lock the chain. Then get a footlocker (metal or polymer/plastic) that you can put one or more padlocks on. Put your supplies in the box and lock it up. It may not stop them, but now they really have to work at it.

  4. Yeah, I forgot to lock the SUV one night(I think) and got hit. They got $30-40 worth of quarters I kept for doing laundry, a couple of flashlights in the glove box, an SOG knife I had under the front mat(didn’t take the assisted folder beside the driver’s seat), Left a case of .38 spl ammo in the back, didn’t take any tools or such or anything big or heavy. Figure it was a bunch of “kids” that I had seen pushing a bike in the neighborhood early(0430) in the morning a couple of days before. What really pissed me was they took two sets of keys out of the glove box. They were for a couple of places I own a 100 miles away. So no use here at all. It’ll cost me $350-450 to replace the locks up there. For that I would cheerfully bust a cap full of rock salt in their sorry little asses.

  5. It’s interesting to me that they left two flashlights, including a Surefire 6P, a brand new in the box Spyderco Delica, and several hundred rounds of .22LR.

    They also took a car key with remote for a car which is several hundred miles from here, the plastic tray which sits inside the console, and one of my two deer whistles which mount on the top of the car.

  6. joe:

    5 years as a juvenile prosecutor, 20+ years as a public defender, a good deal of it in juvenile court. i mention this, because in my experience juveniles do the majority of car prowls.

    unless the perps are particularly maladroit, you can probably rest assured that they will not be apprehended unless & until they commit a large number of offenses before being apprehended. say 20 or 30 episodes of entry into the car and theft of contents. if caught and convicted you will receive “restitution” orders from the court. you can hold your breath until you are paid any money as “restitution” while a juvenile is under supervision or on probation. if you are paid any restitution after a kid becomes an adult, you let me know about it.

    john jay

    p.s. hint, do not leave valuables in your car. lock your car. leave the seats and the back clean. especially do not leave your kids cd’s and dvd’s in the front seat, which is begging for a car prowl.

    i have no words of encouragement.

  7. p.s. it is like this, as juvenile offenses are mainly “freebies,” and do not hurt the kid at all, in any sense that he is aware of. later, they may tumble to the offense, and understand that they have done themselves harm. maybe.

  8. When I first moved to LA (1982), we watched a guy (daytime) going car to car, breaking windows and removing stereo systems. We called the LAPD. They asked “Is anyone hurt?” We said no. They said “We’re not coming.” (This was the Rampart division which was very busy back in those days. This is also why I made a decision then to never live in LAPD territory.)

    I’ve seen people in the early morning hours going car to car looking for open doors. These are usually not kids.

    • That would last about ten seconds in our neighborhood. The perp would be unlikely to make it past the first car.

    • This is what happens when Progressives have had their way with a city. People know in advance that crime is unlikely to be prosecuted and most people aren’t armed, so it’s “party time”. As Defens said, that sort of thing would not last more than a few seconds here in North Idaho either unless it were 3:00 AM and there were no witnesses or dogs to alert people. You do that out in the counties and you’ll never make it out. Therefore it is extremely rare, or only happens when some newbies come here from Leftist-held territories and don’t know the rules here yet.

      And don’t think federal law will protect the criminal here either, as happens elsewhere. Our pretty young bankers pack heat. Don’t even think about it.

      Thanks, ubu, for bringing up an important point. Joe works in enemy-held territory, in which such crimes are therefore no doubt relatively common and relatively unlikely to be solved.

  9. I had my Jeep slashed into in a Microsoft parking garage – stole my car stereo the one time I forgot to remove the faceplate. Redmond PD arrived and dusted for prints, and said they had a pretty good idea of who was doing the break-ins in the area, but didn’t have sufficient cause yet to bust his door in. He smiled when I suggested that he just provide the victims with that info.

    Of course what pissed me off is he could have simply unzipped the window for entry – didn’t have to slash the window. Probably didn’t feel as badass to do that though.

  10. <> THEY DIDN’T TAKE THE .22?????
    Well then we know they aren’t serious shooters!

    Seriously though, sorry for your loss, inconvenience, and the inevitable loss of peace of mind.

  11. Consider getting a car alarm that does a remote alert. New ones might work with a cell phone, I think. The original Page Alert(?) was patented in the early 80’s, IIRC.

    BTW, those deer whistles don’t work. Some years ago, back east, a test was run to evaluate how effective they were. One of the states was considering mandating them. Had no effect on deer.

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