What Not To Do After Your Car Gets Broken Into

So Susan and I were walking Ranger this morning, as we usually do. And we were at a point in the 1.3-mile route where we’re about midway up the long block of the street to the west of the one we live on. About 100 feet away we saw a black vehicle with the driver inside double-parked next to a silver SUV and a guy between the two who looked like he was transferring stuff from the latter to the former. My first impression was that he was just moving something from his car to the black one… maybe carpooling to work or something, or heading out for a July 4 trip.

Susan figured out that there was something more nefarious afoot when the guy saw us, slammed the backdoor of the black vehicle shut, dove into the passenger seat and the car sped off. I wasn’t functioning at capacity to grasp what had happened, but Susan had the presence of mind to figure it out and to get most of the license plate of the fleeing vehicle. And sure enough when we came around to the back of the silver SUV the rear window was smashed in (as badly pictured above).

Susan was also sharp enough to get a MUCH more detailed description than me of the thief and what he was wearing. I saw a bald guy. She saw a bald guy wearing a plaid button-up shirt with the sleeves missing. I relayed all this to the dispatcher after dialing 911 to report the crime.

I looked in through the hole in the glass and saw there were still a large duffel bag and backpack left inside, so if nothing else our presence prevented the scum from making off with a larger haul. But before we left I looked into the passenger compartment and was dismayed to find an iPod cable in plain site plugged into the dash and left sitting across the passenger seat. Seriously: who does that anymore? Answer: Only honey badger motorists who don’t give a shnitz. That and clueless people who leave bait exposed like that in such a predatory environment and still fully expect all their windows to be intact and it to be there in the morning.

But wait. It gets better.

After Susan and I made the report and got home my cellphone rang and it was an officer at the scene who wanted me to describe what happened. So I did, noting that I didn’t actually witness the guy breaking the glass.

“That’s because he probably didn’t,” the officer said.


The officer explained that this was the second call regarding this vehicle. It had been broken into initially a few hours earlier and the police had come out and taken a report. But the owner felt perfectly confident in the decision to leave the remaining bags so readily accessible in the now broken-windowed car throughout the remainder of the night and morning rather than secure them inside a residence.

Thus the vehicle’s owner basically enabled this second opportunistic crime and forced our limited law enforcement resources to return to write up another report. To me that should be a crime. But fortunately for the victims, such disregard of common sense isn’t against the law.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."