Wednesday, April 15, tax day no less, would turn out to be a bummer event.
Sometime after 8pm and before 7am my truck was ransacked without my permission. This occurred in a condo visitor parking lot in the 3400 block of Russell next to the Compton Heights Water Tower Park. The passenger window was smashed out and judging from the scraped paint caused by a jacket zipper and sagging pants the thief or thieves crawled through the window to prevent the stock alarm from sounding.
The center console and glove compartment were raided with the contents strewn all over the seats, floor and parking lot. There was a breadcrumb trail of personal effects leading from my truck all the way to the sidewalk - this is about 300 feet. Missing and thoroughly missed is a 160gig Ipod Lisa got me last Christmas (funny sidenote: my previous 16 gig had been stolen in Creve Coeur along with her phone), my awesome GPS unit my dad had purchased for me for the HVAC biz, my older Polar Heart Rate watch ($300 five years ago), and close to $100.00 in small bills and change. I had at least 4 solid inches of change in the bottom of the center console from QuikTrip hits.
Despite all this, I consider myself lucky.
I keep** about $2k worth of goodies inside the truck (**make that past-tense. Now that I fear for another hit to finish the job it's all removed at night). Electronic gadgets for the HVAC trade, gauges, a complete toolbox. Then there's my truck repair stuff like power inverters and such. Then there's the must-have duffel bag of riding gear. Glasses, shoes, helmet, clothing accessories, tools, tire and shock pumps, and way more. You know, just like the bag you have, the $500+ you-wouldn't-think-so-but-add-it-up-in-your-head-holy-crap-this-bag-has-over-$500-worth-of-stuff-in-it bag.
If it got stolen it would really, really hurt. That duffel.
Thankfully, a bike wasn't in there. Or Lisa's digital camera. The Garmin Edge 305 - BY CHANCE - had been left at home because of the impending rain this weekend. It normally lives in the center console with the Polar watch (which is now available on the street for $4 - it's hot man, weird lookin' purply, blue with a pink go button, man, hey, $4 dolla' man).
My truck is/was such a goldmine that they left the bigger things - the gear bags, boots, jackets, toolboxes. Thankfully, I was allowed to keep those items.
There is a lesson to be learned from this blog. Take it as a public service announcement.
Keep your vehicle as empty as possible. Yes, it sucks to haul junk in and out, up and down, but you get to KEEP said junk. You work hard for your stuff - keep it or the city may/will*** take if off your hands (***it's when, buddy, not if).
This is true for trailheads. Look at Lost Valley.
Busted. Take Chubb.
How about Klondike?
Keep it stowed and out of view. I'm convinced I finally got hit because my GPS mount was in view on the dash. They even took the charger and mount - they really wanted it. Funny, they left the satellite subscription-based unique IDed radio unit. They're not complete idiots.
Here are some key tips:
- If you don't/can't bring it in: hide it.
- Don't stow bulk money in the car. Don't let it build up. It hurts worse when it's taken. Dammit.
- Never, ever, ever leave your favorite, multi-thousand dollar mountain or road bike in the backseat, trunk or truck bed. Ever. Must I explain why the carbon uberwunder gone missing from your hands would crush your soul? Thank you.
- Laptops go inside your domain. Duh. This would be a non-post had I been a complete moron and forgotten to bring the laptop inside.
- Expensive gadgets go inside. Make a bag to keep the GPS, Garmin, watches, ipods, phones, whatever and take it in. Don't be lazy or forgetful like me. It only takes a brief moment on a moonless night during the witching hour to lose ownership. Upon discovery you will find that this tends to piss you off.
- Police reports are a joke. Barring some mystical crime ring bust, your items are gone. Sold for a street holler. As in just buy replacements, you'll never see the originals again. Well, maybe in a pawn shop or broken behind an alley dumpster.
- City theft is so common the police prefer to have the report taken over the phone. JOKE!
- Your insurance will not help. The window is car insured. The belongings are homeowner. Add the deductibles up and buy a case of your favorite micro. Wallow in rage. Be pissy. This will not help but may make you feel better for a while. Beat the crap out of a NEXT frame. This will help; don't get hurt.
- Keep a shop-vac handy. Buy the small attachments. You will be cleaning glass out of some very tight areas for a very long time. Take the day off. Between the cleaning and the passing rage you will not be very focused on your work. Do not get online. Stay away from public forms of communication.