The case of the missing car… Part 1
As some of you probably already knew, Honda Civics are exceptionally easy cars to steal. Celeste and I experienced that firsthand on Tuesday.
We both drove to TRAX together Tuesday morning, on the way into work (Celeste) and school (myself). We left the car at 6:30 am and jumped on the train. I specifically remember having locked the car… my auto locking key fob has been dead for the last month and so I’ve just been using the key to manually lock it and I specifically remember locking it that morning. I had a super stellar day at school. I met with a career counselor to discuss my after graduation plans and things are really looking good. I was excited and enthused about all the projects I’m working on now (a digital signage solution for DigitalSignage.com, setting up a computer training course, other super sweet ventures, etc.) and so when I got off the TRAX train to go back home I was really ready to jump into the rest of the day and getting cracking on my projects.
I walked all around the TRAX park and ride lot looking for our car and didn’t see it where we left it… I walked to the other side of the lot… not there either. Thinking that maybe Celeste had come home early and taken it herself I called her and she answered from work. After she ensured me she wasn’t playing a joke it started to sink in that our car had been stolen. I noticed another Honda Civic was parked about 10 stalls over from where we had parked and they had their drivers side window bashed in. Now I knew for sure that the car had been stolen. I asked Celeste to look up the Murray Police Department phone number (its best to call your local police department directly and not put added taxation on the 911 number) and then I tried to give them a call. All I got was a message, though, that says their office closes at 5 pm. Lameness… when I was working for BYU police (which gets a lot less trafficking then the Murray PD, I’m sure) we had it set up so that all after hour calls were directed to the stations dispatcher. Oh well. So, I had to call 911. The phone quality was horrible! It probably has something to do with the fact that I was being recorded on their end, but there was a loud echo of everything I said! Maybe if I’d have called 911 from a land line (vs. my cell phone) it wouldn’t have been so echoey. Anyway, now I’m rambling. 911 dispatched an officer who came out about 5 minutes later. She was very friendly, asked a ton of questions, and opened a case for me. She then let me go (I took the bus home and didn’t get home till 1.5 hours later than normal) and she called the lady who owned the green Honda Civic with the bashed in window.
The police officer told me that most often the cars are found, and they have usually been totally striped down and beaten up… sometimes not even salvageable. She also said that Honda Civics are extremely easy to steal, especially pre-2000 models. Our car was a ‘99 model and the one with the broken window that they couldn’t steal was a 2000. In 2000 Honda wisened up and changed the ignition mechanism so it was more theft proof. Since there was no broken glass on the ground around where we had parked the Officer said that the car had probably been slim jimmed. That at least gave me some hope that our window wouldn’t be broken.
When I got home I called our insurance agent, Mr. Geko at GEICO, but the person that answered the phone said he was actually just a spokesperson for the company and that he was now living in Hawaii and couldn’t be reached. Darn. So, instead I just talked to a normal customer service rep. She was very friendly and had me on the phone for about 5 minutes while she asked me some questions to ensure that the car actually was stolen and hadn’t just been misplaced. Since it was after business hours she explained that the theft claims adjusters wouldn’t be in the office but that she’d transfer me to the voicemail of Janet, the adjuster who would be working on our claim. Her voicemail message was very impressive… Janet said that if we didn’t get a response to our inquiry within 2 business hours to call her superviser directly. GEICO had excelent customer service so far. Sure enough, early the next morning I got an email with all the information I needed to get the claim going. Thankfully Celeste and I ponied up and paid the extra $6 a month to get comprehensive. This means that GEICO should cover the replacement cost. However… to be continued in part 2 (above).