Just what I needed.
I left my office about 4:40 last night, excited about some evening plans (the nature of which will be revealed in a future post) and ready to head to shul for mincha. However, what I saw when I approached my car led to several perplexing and even disappointing observations.
The first thing I noticed was that one of my windows was shattered.
Crap, I thought. Someone has broken into my beautiful car.
But as I got a little closer, I saw that someone was actually sitting in the passenger seat. This could have elicited many reactions. Like maybe I should yell, or run back in the building, or whip out my phone and call 911, or call Mama and Papa Bear.
But the thought that actually emerged was this:
Oh, this is not my beautiful car. That guy is just waiting for someone.
I know, I know. Disappointing is an understatement. I am apparently not the guy you want to have around when quick and decisive thinking is called for.
Of course, that assessment didn't last more than a fraction of a second as I realized, S***! That IS my car! And there's a guy in it!
By then, the guy apparently noticed me coming, and opened the door to get out. To which I said:
"HEY! What the frak are you doing in my car!!"
Intimidating, isn't it? I'm surprised the guy didn't pee his pants. What he did was get into his car and calmly drive away.
In retrospect, it has been pointed out to me that I had a cell-phone camera on my belt and there was plenty of time to snap a picture, but naturally that didn't occur to me as I stared intently at his license plate quickly receding from view.
So, I went back in and called the cops. They came, eventually, but while I waited I got more and more pissed off. First, because I realized that I was going to miss what would probably be the last weekday mincha I could make before the clocks change. Second, because I was now trapped at work at the mercy of the Milwaukee Police response time, which in my experience for this type of crime, has not been very good. And third, my plans for the night, which relied heavily on swapping cars with Mrs. B, were most likely ruined.
While I waited I served myself an additional dose of aggravation, as I discussed repairing the glass with an auto glass specialist, and with my insurance company, the net gist of which was that although it would be expensive to replace the window, it wouldn't be expensive enough for my insurance to pay for it. It would in fact be just a few dollars short of the deductible. Meanwhile rain was pouring into my car as I waited for Milwaukee's Finest to take my report.
Eventually a bright young officer showed up and took a statement from me. And to his credit, he showed significantly more interest that I would have expected.
I, of course, in my vast knowledge of police procedure and crime investigation, was putting a lot of stock in having the perpetrator's (that's what they call the criminal in Police parlance) license plate number. The officer, not so much. He called it in, and confirmed that it was registered to the owner of a '95 Geo. That, unfortunately, was not the car that drove off with the perp. How do you know, he asked me. Because I drive a '94 Geo and, to paraphrase the famous quote on pornography, I know one when I see one (as a side note, a '94 Geo Prizm was apparently stolen from the parking lot of the VA later that night).
So then he asked me to describe the guy. Were you ever in one of those classes where a guy randomly runs through the room, and then somebody comes in and asks you to describe him exactly? I have to confess I never did well in those situations. I would usually write something like Did somebody run throught the room? When?
Some details I had down, like his race, hair (skin head type), approximate size and age. It got fuzzy when he asked me to describe the clothes. Sweat suit...maybe? What color...? Uh...grey...maybe? Possibly some green in there...I mean blue...could have been yellow...hood...? I think...so...Shoes...? Ye....no. Sneakers. Maybe.
He took down the info. He promised he would investigate the stolen plates and file a report.
"So will you call me if you catch him," I asked. He smiled.
As Bill Cosby would say, "Riiiiiiigggghhhht."