It's been a little quiet on the blog this week since it's been super crazy/chaotic-ville over here on the other side. On Saturday night/early Sunday morning, our car got stolen right out of the parking spot we park in every night. Our parking spot is right behind our building, and we've always felt pretty safe parking it there. It is right off of an alleyway but we didn't ever feel concerned about that since just about every parking spot in our neighborhood is either on a busy street or off of an alleyway. Plus, we don't have a fancy car. It's a very modest, used '98 Honda CRV. It's a solid car but nothing like a shiny Lexus or BMW that screams, “Hey, right here! Steal me!”… or so I thought.
Aaron went out Sunday morning to take the baby on a walk, and had to stop by the car to grab his sunglasses. I stayed back to work on some things, and that's when I got the call… “Hey, did you move the car?”
“It's not in the spot…”
“Huh?” “It's not here. Come down.”
“What are you talking about?? …. You're kidding, right?!”
I go down to see Aaron and the baby standing by our very empty parking spot. I still couldn't shake the feeling that maybe Aaron was joking with me, and had just got me really freaking good. But, nope. He wasn't joking.
Annnnndddd… cue ALL THE SURREAL FEELINGS.
Turns out, me and Aaron seem to have been the only people that had no idea that late-model Honda's are PRIME targets for auto thefts (did you know?! Tell me we're not the only ones?!). The insurance companies (both auto and home), the police officer who wrote up the report, neighbors, friends, and cab drivers (who all knew this, apparently) told us that old Honda's are stolen for parts, and they are easy to get into. Also, they usually don't have Onstar , GPS, or other types of tracking devices which makes them even better targets, I hear.
Also? We had a visible car seat which is apparently another major draw for thieves. I was told that sometimes when cars are recovered after thefts that if there is any baby stuff in the car then it will ALWAYS be taken and the other stuff might still be there but baby gear? Nope. Never there when cars get returned.
I learned quite a few things through this experience.
What I Learned From Having Our Car Stolen…
1. Don't Ever Keep More than $200 worth of Items in Your Car.
Our auto insurance would only reimburse us up to $200 worth of items, and those things had to be tacked down/part of the car (like a car stereo).
2. Utilize Your Home Owner's (or Renter's) Insurance
Home Owner's Insurance would reimburse us for items that should have been in the house, but weren't. They would give us $200 for those items but we'd have to cover the $500 deductible first. Keep your policies updated and paid.
3. But, Why?
I kept wondering where the car was and what it was doing. (Like it was a person, or something. Strange, right?) I just kept wondering who took it and why they took it. I wondered if it was being torn apart in a garage, and if we'd ever see it again. I wondered if the thieves were having a wild night and stole it as part of that or if they were really hard up and needed it to get to work or to get their kids around. Somehow, if it was stolen for something like that… to get to work, or to help their kids get to school I wasn't as upset about it getting stolen. I found myself thinking, “Maybe they need it more than we do. Who knows what they are going through to have to get to a place of stealing cars.” I know being broke, and desperate can make people do things they don't want to do. Though, even if I was trying to convince myself that it might have been for a less horrible reason (than just for greed), that I was surprised by how violated I was feeling. I started to not even feel safe in our home… even though the crime didn't happen in our house.
4. Keep it in Perspective.
I started to feel really sorry for us, and for all the inconveniences we have been having to go through. All the calls. All the wasted time. I realized I could get really deep into that feeling sorry for myself business if I didn't back it up, and realize that while it was a pretty big material item it was still just an object. Something that could be replaced even if it wasn't ideal to do so. I had to remind myself that there are other people who are going through far more difficult things in their lives. I didn't just find out I have cancer, I didn't just lose my husband in an accident, and I didn't just die. (Thank God.) These are horrible, devastating things that have recently happened to people I know. Having a stolen car is shitty but really, it can be replaced. I've heard it said before that if we were to throw all of the problems into the pot we'd want to pick our own back out. Morale of the story: someone else has always got it worse, so be grateful for the problems you have.
Have you had your car (or something bigger) stolen? How'd it all turn out? Did you get your car back? Did insurance end up paying out? Did you ever feel safe again?
**Right after I hit Publish we got the call that the car has been recovered! More soon…