Broken Car #1: Stolen

The 1992 Miata lived and died in the times of the 1994 Civic.  So after that epic fail we were back to Broken Car #1.  Tuesday morning I leave the apartment and walk across the parking lot to the bus stop to go to class.  I checked and my car wasn’t where I left it.  So I look some more, making several passes along the lot.  I didn’t see any broken glass but it wasn’t anywhere to be found.  So I got on the bus (still have to go to class/work) and call my parents, insurance company, and once I get on campus I call the cops.

“My car was stolen last night.”

What time was it stolen sir?

“I don’t know, after 10pm but before 7am.”

Ok we’ll send an officer there to take your report.  Are you at the apartment now?

“No, I’m on campus, I had to get to class.”

Well we can’t take a report over the phone, you’ll have to call back once you’re there.

So I figured out some bus routes and how to get my grocery shopping done without a car.  That afternoon I call the cops again and they send an officer out to take my report.  A bit later the cop knocks on the door and asks why I didn’t report this as soon as I noticed the car was gone, why did I wait all day to call it in, was the car even stolen?  After taking offense and then remembering that this guy is a cop and I probably shouldn’t say anything foolish I respond:

“I tried to report it this morning but your department wouldn’t take a report over the phone.”

But why did it take you all day?

“I had to go to class and then work, this is as soon as I could get back here.”

…Ok then… So what kind of car was it?

“1994 Civic sedan, blue/rust colored”

*quiet laugh*

The cop then goes on to explain that with a car like that they wouldn’t need to break any glass, all you need is a flat-head screwdriver.  Punch that into the door lock and you’re in, punch it into the ignition and you’ve got it.  Come to find out, older Honda Civics are among the most stolen cars since it’s so easy.  So that was comforting.  He then held up a small booklet detailing my rights as a victim and how the process would go.  He said that he could give that to me if I really wanted it, but it was the only one he had left so… (I didn’t take it since I imagine it just says “LOL!  Sucks for you!”)

2 or 3 weeks later once I had gotten used to carrying a weeks worth of groceries back from the store and waiting at bus stops like a pro, the cops called.  They found my car in a shopping center parking lot about 15 minutes away from where it was taken.  It would be at the impound lot waiting for me to pick it up.  So I have to get my Dad down to College Park, MD since it was titled in his name for insurance purposes.  We get to the lot and everyone there treats me like a criminal that got his car impounded.  “No no no, I’m the victim here” is what I would have said if I was a bit more gutsy.  Then they asked for $270 cash before I can see the car and get it back.  Apparently even if the car was stolen and the cops recover it there is still a $90/day impound fee.  So (still not knowing if the car was fine or not) I pay up and we head over to the impound lot.

The car was in bad shape.  It wasn’t crashed or anything but so many things were gone, stripped of anything quick and easy.  The battery, starter, tachometer, shift knob, burned CDs, oil bottle, floor mats, alternator, radio, and lots else I’m too traumatized to remember were all gone.  The door lock and ignition were broken as well (of course).  So it wouldn’t start, we pushed it out into the street and got it towed back to the apartment.  I looked up some parts prices and considering the $270 I was already out to get my stripped car back (should have just left it there) it would be about another $750 to get it working again.  Now as you may remember, this car was kind of broken initially, so I determined it wasn’t worth any more of my money to fix it (just to get stolen again).  I put it on craigslist for $500 disclosing all that was missing and broken.  Only one buyer was interested and he only paid $250.

So that was that, the car I had just put a new windshield on was stolen, then the cops robbed me for another $270 to get my broken car back which in turn only sold for $250.  I still feel like I was robbed twice here.  Thus began about 8 months with no car before I bought a cheap mk3 Jetta.

Broken Car #1: Stolen

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