When I unlocked my car to go to work last week, this is what I saw. I wondered if Ray had gotten into the car in desperate, paper-thrashing need of finding, uh, a stick of gum or something, so I went back inside and asked him if he’d been rifling through my car. And of course the answer was no, so I asked him to come look at the inside of my car, which was covered not only in rummaged-through papers, but also had half the back seat turned down with my coffee cup sitting on top. I don’t keep what you would call a clean car, but I certainly didn’t leave my car in that horrible shape the night before. I swear to you, I thought a raccoon had gotten in there or something. I am a naive, sheltered little country girl.
That’s when he noticed that my rear passenger stationary window was busted out and there was shattered glass inside and outside the car.
I dropped a few F-bombs and inspected the damage, and started to realize, slowly, what had happened. Six and a half years in Memphis and this is the first time I’ve been hit, so it took me a minute to get my head around it. Ray went inside to get the non-emergency police number while I tried to get a good idea of what, if anything, had been taken. Turns out my huge book of CDs and my iPhone charger had made an exit. Such coveted prizes, I guess. That should net the thief maybe $30. Half those CDs were scratched as shit and a good deal of them were homemade mixed CDs from friends. Those are the ones I’m most sore about, really, because I hadn’t ripped many of them since my iTunes refused to fetch the song names for me.
Fun fact: The thief left my galoshes and rain coat in the hatch. I paid more than $60 for the boots and the coat is easily worth $30. Dumbass. But thanks, dumbass, for leaving my rain gear. I suppose it’s good I left the BSMF mud on both as a deterrent.
We waited several minutes but a squad car finally showed up, and I was impressed that they dusted for prints. We had speculated about how the thief busted the window, and noticed a notch taken out of the metal surrounding the window, like he’d used a tool and needed leverage (thanks, CSI: Sunglasses City!). Sure enough, the officer said the thief had most likely used a screwdriver used to pop the window out. Then he unlocked the door and trawled around inside the car for a good while. I really hope he took a swig out of that coffee cup. It had been in there through three seasons.
I had gotten home at midnight the night before, and we were awake and staring at the TV until 3ish, so it surely must have happened after that. Or we didn’t hear it, despite the fact that it happened 20 feet from the front window. And our neighbor’s idiot dogs, who generally howl and raise hell any time I step outside to water my plants or walk across the yard, deigned to stay silent during an actual property violation.
The officer said he got some good prints but there was no telling whose they were or if they’d get a reliable hit on them. We asked if this sort of thing happened in the area very often, and he said that this was the first in a long time. My neighbor Peter came over and said my neighbor Lauren had a Jeep get broken into in her driveway (the one adjacent to mine) several years ago. Then, after the police left, another neighbor whose name I don’t know came by and said that on his walk, he’d seen a couple of cars around the corner with busted-out windows. I guess that means they hadn’t reported them yet?
Ray taped a bag over the busted window to keep out the rain that was forecasted that night, and we went about our business, daydreaming of ways to build a sniper tower in the tree and pick off hot-handed creeps intent on taking my shit again.
And now, I will move on to two PSAs.
1. Contact MLGW if you see any streetlights that are out. The streetlight closest to my house had been out for a few weeks and it was mildly annoying because it created a black spot on the street that was pretty creepy, but I lazily did nothing about it because I am an apathetic American who has cable. And then, bam. My super dark driveway became a crime hotspot and I became a statistic. So if you know of a street light that is out, the best thing to do is take a gander up close at it and write down the numbers embossed on the little metal plates. And then click here and file those numbers with MLGW. Your and your neighbors’ crappy CD collections could be at stake.
2. Jack Morris Auto Glass did an awesome job on my window. They had a one-day turnaround time, and the window plus labor was only $170. I’m sure someone out there will see that number and think I got ripped off, but they were so super nice to me AND they cleaned up all the broken glass in my car, which I was absolutely not expecting them to do. I am very happy I went there and will certainly go there again should some deviant jackbag decide to rifle through my car again without first asking my permission.