I became a crime victim last week. When I stepped off the light rail and walked to my car on Friday, I was greeted by the unpleasant sight of a carpet of shattered glass and a ripped up dashboard, courtesy of a local scumbag thief (apologies to all scumbags.) They managed to do probably a thousand bucks worth of damage to my car and in return for their efforts, got a crappy Sony aftermarket stereo that might net them $20 on Craigslist. Now, I’m just the kind of pollyanna to try to take something positive away from any situation, however negative it is. And what I took away from this was . . .
I was stupid. I admit it. This is an area of known car break-ins (I’ve seen the evidence before). I failed to remove the faceplate of my detachable faceplate radio, I failed to lock the glove compartment, and (stupidest of all) I actually had a spare key in the center console (why the thieves didn’t steal my car, I don’t know). I made the mistake of assuming an 11-year-old 4runner with a POS stereo would not be attractive to thieves. Apparently I overestimated their tastes.
In addition to ripping apart my dashboard to get that wonderful peice of high-end audio equipment, the thieves also rifled through my center console my (unlocked) glovebox, the tool compartment in the right rear quarter panel, and the plastic trunk in which I keep my jumper cables and other recovery gear. Everything was gone through, but nothing was taken, not even the 3-d-cell mag lite which, it seems to me, would be prized by any lowlife scumbag thief.
After contacting the police, the insurance company and my wife, I was able to drive home. As I was cleaning up the glass and taping plastic over the window, I took a good look at the back of my vehicle and noticed this:
Yup, the NRA sticker in the top left corner. Could it be the thieves saw the sticker as an indicator that there might be a valuable firearm in the car? Hard to say, but they sure went through a lot of effort to steal a lousy stereo and the change in my ashtray. The fact that they bypassed other valuable items (tools, flashlight, even the remote control for the stereo they took) tells me that maybe they were looking for something else, like a gun. (No other cars were broken into along this street on this particular day.)
Lessons learned for me:
1. No more parking at that station (when there are stations that have security less than a mile away)
2. “Security features” like detachable faces are there for a reason, and should be used.
3. Don’t store anything in your vehicle you aren’t prepared to lose, and finally,
4. As much as I like “showing the flag” with my NRA sticker, maybe I’ll break out the old razor knife and just leave that one off the car from now on.