Monday, February 20, 2012

Dude, where's my car?

So here is the scoop about our car getting stolen.
In a wordy fashion... as usual.
(I'll reward the readers with a post plentiful in pictures next)

Saturday evening Ryan met me at the store on his way home (the girls and I walked to the store) and we all drove back home. When we pulled up to our house we were so excited because the spot right in front was vacant, so we happily snagged it. 
Getting out the door can take forever, and so when the car is parked out front and not down in the basement where our garage is, it is sooo much easier to leave for places. 

Almost everyone parks on the street in our neighborhood because having a driveway (or garage) that is accessible is sort of a rarity. So when we parked there at about 8pm for the night, we thought nothing of it. I locked the doors manually, and then asked Ry to click the keyless lock (he had the keys) to get our lights to turn off.
Well... we realized a bit later that the iPad was in the car and went out and got it. 
So the only possible way the doors were unlocked were if we forgot to lock them after retrieving it.

Anyway. We went about our mostly usual night. Putting the girls to bed and then watching a show or two on the couch... which we were sitting by the window by our street.
We did however decide to be good and headed to bed at around 11pm to watch one more episode in bed, in case we fell asleep (which I did).

This is a part of the story that we connected the dots about later. But at about 11:30 or Midnight Abby came into our room really scared. I was out cold, and Ryan couldn't figure out why. He tried to put her back to bed several times. Now we are wondering if possibly she heard something that scared her. Did she hear our car alarm go off? Or maybe people talking? Or our cup holders getting pulverized? More on that later. Anyway. It could be coincidence... or maybe that is when it happened.

Well, luckily it was Stake Conference for us, so we didn't have to be to church until 10am, and we were planning on taking an elderly sister in the ward who can't drive, so we were heading out the door at 9:15am to get her a "soft" bench seat. (This was good because we we had plenty of time to arrange another ride for her to get to church). I looked out to see that our neighbor was parked in front of our house. Weirdest. feeling. ever. I knew we had parked out front... I remember doing so. But maybe Ryan did a late night run to the store? I don't know, so I asked him if we parked the car else where. Er, um... Ry ran down to the basement to our garage to find it empty. 
(jaw hitting floor here)

He came back upstairs and we both stared at each other in silence.

We were in shock.
Mean while the girls are bouncing around at our feet and that probably snapped us back into reality. 

Well... I guess we should call the cops. 
By the way... if you need to call and report a theft... don't bother looking up the Police Departments number, they'll just tell you to hang up and call 911. 
Meh. Whatever. 

So that is what they did. 
Came and did all of the official shinanagins and we were left to just pace around the house. 

Stress out.

Worry about how we'd replace our beloved minivan.

And Cry.


Call my mom and cry to her too.

Sarah was really bummed about not going to church. 
Although she did come up with a solution, 
"Mom, Dad I have a great idea! How about we walk. to. the church. :D" 

Well, luckily Ryan felt compelled to do something. So he and Sarah went for a long walk around the neighborhood (not to church... it was almost over by this time) and came home with no results (except rosy cheeks on Sarah).

We had some lunch and then our friend James came over to drive Ryan around the neighborhood to see if they could spot it. 
I'm so glad they did because they found it right off the bat. 
 It was down a very steep hill in our neighborhood. I talked about it HERE in this post. 
About a block away.
Lil' miffed the officer didn't patrol our neighborhood on his way back to the station.

So Ry called the police, and waited... and waited... and waited (two hours) for the police to come and document/close out the case and bring our van home. 
Safe and sound. 

Well almost.

Here is the only damage we discovered. 

Our poor, poor cup holder. Smashed to smithereens. 

Why? Why!!? WHY would anyone do this?
The criminal even left evidence behind... 
The weapon.
A dumbell... in the minivan... with Abe Lincoln? 
(Don't know why that penny is by it... maybe he left that too)

Anyway, it is what most likely smashed up the cup holder. 

In this big blank spot is where two large cup holders were.

Here is a piece to kind of give you the idea of how it once was...*sigh*

Ryan also found our valet key sitting on the driver's seat. I think it has been in our glove box ever since we bought the car. We've always meant to put it somewhere safe in the house, and kind of thought we had... but apparently we never did, and the thief found it in our car and that is how he drove off with it.
I feel really lucky that they didn't huck the key into the woods or something, or take it with them and leave us worrying. 

So... the big question everyone asks. 
Did they take anything?

Well... unfortunately yes.

But it is so bizarre. 
It is like we had a crazy, OCD freak thieve our minivan.
They went through the storage compartment between the chairs, the glovebox and the pockets in the doors. But I swear some of it is more organized than it was. Everything was put back, nice and tidy... except a few things were in different spots. 

The only items that I know are missing are our portable DVD player we had in our passenger door. 
We never use it because our car has a factory installed one in it, but my friend borrowed it and returned it to me while I was in my car... and I never brought it into the house. Just left it in the door. Honestly, I was intending to give it away to someone or goodwill it. So I wasn't surprised or heartbroken that it was missing.

Our window shade is also missing. I had one that folded up into two circles, you know the kind that pop open and about take you out every time you put them up. Well... they are gone. Kind of a bummer because I use them when I have to feed Zak on the go. Put them up in the windows for a little more privacy. Oh, and when it is hot and sunny... they are good for that too.

And... the oddest thing missing... 

My JoAnn's coupons. 
I know I had them in the door because I was planning on using them today.
I'm sure they just fell out and blew away... but I'm going to pretend they took 'em. Complete the crazy, OCD, freak crafter thief profile that I've created in my head. 

Of course we feel violated. 
And will never park our car on the street over night again.
But mostly we are just confused.
Really confused.

Why did they break our sweet lil' cup holders?
It wasn't doing anything wrong. 

I guess it was holding an empty can of Dr. Pepper TEN...
Ooo... maybe it was an irate feminist, who was mad about this product being advertised solely to men, and so took out her agression on the cup holders. And the can, totally crumpled it up.

Or maybe it was a drug addict who the voices in his head 
convinced him that drugs were stashed under there.

Or maybe they were trying to take the whole middle compartment, 
but once they couldn't figure out how to take it out just decided to violate it a little before they left. 

I haven't the slightest what the reason why.

But I am grateful that it was the only damage on our car we've found.
And that we found our car.
And that nothing of real value was missing from it. 

What an answer to prayer.

So what's the lesson to be learned from this.
Lock your doors.
And make your cup holders wear protective gear when being left unattended for several hours.


Joan said...

Wow. What a story! I love the details and the pictures...I'm just so sorry it happened.

Alisha said...

I'm just shaking my head right now. That is a weird story! I'm so glad that you guys found it though, and I loved all your theories about the "crafty-OCD-feminist" car thief!

Kelly said...

So crazy! Sorry that happened to you. Marion Wolfe (who is married to Dixie Thielet's son, Dave) once warned me that it was possible my car could get stolen while living in Pittsburgh because teens like to break into cars and take them on joy rides. It's gives them some sort of stupid rush. When they are done driving around they will abandon the car somewhere random for the cops or owners to find it. I don't know why they think it's fun to do. Hopefully that's what happened with you and that's why nothing major is missing. But seriously, I'm so sorry that happened to you. I would cry my eyes out. Why do people do stuff like that??

Annie Goodwin said...

Oh my gosh Liz! When I rob people it's usually for coupons. Those things are valuable. So glad you found it. I've often thought our car was stolen only to realize that I'm an airhead and walked past my car several times. I can't imagine the pit they left in your stomachs. So glad you have it back. Honda dealerships can replace the cup holders soon so you can get rid of that constant reminder. So happy for ya!

Momma Twitch said...

CRAZY!!! How weird!! Did they finger print the barbell? I'm glad you guys got it back safe and sound.

Deb said...

That is so weird! And lame! I hope those JoAnn's coupons are expired and they have to pay full price! Glad you got the van back!!

Tom said...

So they didn't break a window?

Ash said...

That weirds me out! I'm gonna have to go with the dumb teenage kids theory or crack head, they're the only ones lame enough to do something as pointless as that. Makes me so mad tho that they put you guys through all Taft stress and it really disturbs me that Abby may have heard them. I'd feel so violated! Glad you got the van back hope it didn't make you feel unsafe in that cute nieghborhood you live in. :(

Em said...

So exhausting. Did they check your van for fingerprints? When our car got broken into in Philly the police did more permanent damage to our car than the thief (who only took $3 and a cell phone charger) - we have fingerprint powder stains all over the place, though we did have to replace a window. Superfun.

Give yourself permission to have some post-traumatic stress here. Severely violated, yes. And you will probably need to properly grieve this whole experience. Do it properly, then carry on.

Brittany said...

Goodness gracious! You'd almost think they were trying to be polite thieves by leaving the key on the driver's seat. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I can't imagine the stress and feeling of violation you must have felt. I am glad they, RYAN rather, found it though.

Karah said...

Wow, that sucks! Glad it turned out mostly okay though. Hope it doesn't cause you to stress out every time Abby wakes up in the middle of the night :( If you need replacement Joann coupons I'd be happy to give you mine :)