This evening my wife went over to her brother’s house to work on some financial matters for the Montessori school our kids attend. It’s a small organization and all the parents help in some capacity. As the summer winds down for the kids, we’ve been trying to get them back onto a school year schedule regarding bed time. So I, loving Daddy that I am, stayed in with the kids and let them watch a movie! It was Puss in Boots. I especially love when the one cat raises his paw over his mouth and says “oooohhhh…”. If you’ve seen it, then you know. In any event, around 10:15 or so my sister-in-law called my phone. I answered to a frantic sound. She was actually being quite calm but I could tell something was wrong. She had gone to dinner with a friend for that friend’s birthday and as they left the restaurant they realized that her car had been broken into. Some
person evil bastard has smashed the back window and stolen her laptop and several other items. I summoned my wife back home and headed up to see her sister and offer any support I could.
As I arrived on scene, I saw Kris (SIL) and her friend Joan. They were talking with the manager and waiting for the police. Long story short, the manager said that this happens all the time and that her car was just “in a bad part of the parking lot, out of range of their security cameras.” My initial thought at hearing these two things was that it was time to open the Yelp app on my phone and write a nasty review. The officer showed up and, in a most professional manner (even if Joan and I were convinced he was hitting on Kris), took Kris’ statement and explained that this was the seventh such hit in the past two hours. Apparently, the thieves go into parking lots of the restaurants and shopping centers along this particular stretch of the Stemmons Freeway about fifteen miles north of Downtown Dallas, search quickly for cars that might have something in them, get the goods, and race down I-35 to the pawn shops. According to the cop “they’re most likely looking to get money for a quick drug fix. Or, you know, it’s also back to school time and they need supplies for their kids or something.” Joan and I looked at each other and in unison said to Officer Drippy “I have kids too and I would never think of pawning stolen goods to buy crayons.” Boy, talk about a leap in logic.
But the real highlight of the evening came when the officer went inside the now-closed-for-the-night restaurant. Apparently, for the police, this place does have surveillance video of Kris’ car. Joan and I were talking about a few things and noticed that Kris wasn’t anywhere in sight. We walked over to and then into the restaurant. No sign of her anywhere. We texted. “I’m in the office with the manager and the cop. Come on back.” We found our way to a tiny corner office where the manager was cueing up some footage. It was actually kind of cool. The unfortunate thing was that the break-in apparently occurred at 8:37 and the tape started at 6:30 and only went as fast as two seconds to each real-time second. I’m sure there was a better way to say that and I used to work in television. Basically, it took a while to get to the good part. And then, as we were expecting (and yet soooooo not as we were expecting) a car pulled into view. This car pulled into a space next to what turned out to be the managers car. A man got out and shone a flashlight into the vehicle.” At this point the manager interjected: “Lucky for me the only thing a thief would find is a car seat.” Wonderful, sir. Real comforting. Turning back to the tape, the thief, not wanting the car seat in the manager’s car, hopped back into his vehicle and quickly backed across the aisle, backing right into the space next to Kris. I gotta’ tell you, it’s demoralizing to watch this happen. It’s so weird because we knew that the stuff had been taken and the damage done. We knew Kris was going to have to pay almost $500 to get her glass replaced. We knew that there was so much she would never be able to recover (least of all her sense of security). But watching it actually take place was strange. He hopped out of his car and looked into hers with a flashlight. And the BAM! he smashed the back window, reached in, grabbed his take, and took off.
Joan and I asked the manager to enlarge the frame. “Do what now?” he said. “You know, enlarge the frame so we can get his plates and all.” The manager didn’t even look up. “The resolution on this thing is so bad you wouldn’t see anything.” We were stunned. Apparently all that technological garbage they use on SVU is phony! Apparently they can’t just click and zoom in on the thief’s face and get a DNA trace from a hair at the scene and drop it into a mobile database and then seize the thief’s accounts. I feel even more betrayed by Law & Order right now than I do by the thief. And by the way, Mr. Thief, I want you to remember two things. 1) There is a God and He is all-just. You will be rewarded for your deeds. 2) This is Texas and we all own guns. If God doesn’t get you, you’ll eventually cross paths with the wrong “victim”. Think about it.