Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Question to Never, Ever Ask

Everyone knows this is the Question to Never, Ever Ask: "Could things get any worse?"  I want to go on record to say that I most certainly am not dumb or brazen enough to say that and I definitely did NOT utter those words anytime recently.  However, I am starting to wonder what the HELL is going on!

I drove to a neighboring suburb Saturday morning and parked my car in a parking lot on a busy street  near the trailhead.  I locked my purse in the trunk and took off on my run around the lake.  It was already hot, and so I only ran for about 40 minutes.  When I rounded the last corner on the trail and saw the car, I thought about how great it was going to be to have already gotten the run in and how I was looking forward to having some down-time that day.  I decided I would stop to get a drink on the way home, and so I took the car keys out of my shorts pocket and popped the trunk to get my purse.  

Except it wasn't there.  The trunk was empty.

For a few seconds I was confused, and then it hit me.  Some asshole had stolen my purse!  At first glance, the car looked untouched though - no broken glass.  I actually wondered if I'd had a lapse in thinking and didn't lock the car doors earlier, but when I thought back to before the run I distinctly remembered doing that.  I called the police and then called my husband.  While talking to him, I paced around, which is how I noticed the passenger-side door lock had been pushed in so that there weren't "key teeth" in the edges of the lock anymore.  Ah-ha.  And damn.

Of course I felt violated, but mostly what I felt was stupid and MAD.  It was a safe part of town!  And it was broad daylight!  And I HAD locked the damn car!  I told all of this to the officer who chucked a little and said, "Oh, it happens all the time around here.  They watch as people get out of their cars, and the ones who look like they are going to run, walk, or bike on the trails always leave their purses or wallets behind, so they know who to target."  WAIT A FREAKING MINUTE!  For some reason it seemed like he was bragging when he said this!  If my job is to "serve and protect," though, I certainly wouldn't be spilling the beans so easily about a crime that happens "all the time"!  How about stepping up the patrol and/or installing video surveillance and/or at least posting signs warning people about the frequent break-ins???  

So Officer #1 calls for the Fingerprint Officer, who does a little precursory fingerprinting in slow motion while discussing his Saturday night plans with Officer #1.  In the meantime, my husband calls to tell me that he logged in to our online banking account and sees that my debit card is being used repeatedly at a gas station just around the corner.  I relay the info to both officers, they discuss it for a good 5 minutes, and finally I ask if they are going to check it out or if I should (heh!).  Fingerprint heads over to the gas station while #1 sticks with me so he can ask me for every number I have ever had to memorize - social, date of birth, checking, phone numbers, any other credit card numbers, etc. etc.  I kept waiting for him to ask for my IQ, my annual income, and my bra size, too.  It felt like another violation and made me feel even dumber and madder.

I tell him I am getting a migraine and very unfortunately all of my migraine medicine was IN MY EFFING PURSE.  My insurance only covers a few of those pills per month (a whole 'nother topic!) so I am going to have to pay full price for more or take something else that may or may not work and will probably knock me out.  Not that the latter sounds too bad at this moment in time.  #1 tells me all about how his wife gets migraines too.  Thanks for sharing, now GET TO FREAKING WORK!

Fingerprint comes back about 15 minutes later and says he got a DVD with footage of Asshole Thief using my card to fill up his gas tank (they got the model/make/color of the vehicle but no license plate) and then casually trying on sunglasses, picking himself out some treats inside the gas station store, and making those purchases also.  Dude had on a white linen shirt and pants.  (I'm so glad he dressed up for his day of crime!)  The two cops shared some laughs over how dumb the guy is, wrote down my "case number" on one of the tiniest scraps of paper I've ever seen, and advised me to call the station with that number on Monday morning to get an update. 

I got in the car and drove away so I could try to make it home before my head split in two, and then it hit me:  in the little zipper pocket of my purse were a couple of sentimental things of my dad's, and they are now GONE.  Damn.  It's everything I can do to keep myself from asking the Question to Never, Ever Ask.

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