This morning my wife woke me up by saying, "They stole our car from in front of my parent's house!" Not a nice way to start the day.
Angela was going to drive to Lake Tahoe today to check on a conference center/hotel her company is using for a meeting next month. She wanted to scout the place and meet the people she will be dealing with from the hotel to make sure that all her ducks were in a row for the meeting. Since we only have small, fuel efficient, two-wheel drive cars, our in-laws graciously gave their big bad four wheel drive to Angela, so she could drive to the mountains. We all felt safer knowing that she had a big hunk of Detroit steel to back her up if she ran into bad weather. Turns out it was a good idea, it was snowing in the pass and Angela had to eventually turn around.
Now, a word about my in-laws. They happily gave Angela their truck to use because that is the type of people they are. Whatever they have is yours if they know it will help you out. They even let Angela and I stay at their house for a year when we moved out here. They would gladly loan you money they do not have, or give you a car if you need it. Whatever. It does not matter, if you need it and they have it, it's yours. Angela and I are eternally grateful for all that they have done for us, and all that they continue to do for us.
OK, back to the car.
Since Bud and Dot loaned us their truck for Angela to use, we gave them our 94 Honda Civic to tool around in if they needed it. The car was parked in front of their house, in their driveway last night. Sometime between 10 PM and 7:15 AM the car was taken. We think it was around 3 AM because their dogs went nuts around then. When Bud opened the garage door to put air in the Civic's tires at 7:15, he saw that it was gone.
At this point he changed from being Bud to our superhero, Grandpa Badass. Grandpa Badass is a relatively new creation. He was just plain Mr. Badass until our baby was born two years ago. At that point he graduated to Grandpa Badass status. In Grandpa Badass' career he has kicked in doors, saved people from burning buildings, been shot at (more than once), rescued drowning children, and served two tours in Korea. He is an avid bow hunter and has a plan to shoot any intruder that crosses his threshold. Just ask him and he will tell you which gun he will use at which door or window the intruder chooses to breach.
When Grandpa Badass sees the car is gone, what is the first thing he does? Does he call the cops? NOOOOOOOOOO. Grandpa Badass grabs his .22 pistol and a cell phone and jumps in the car to LOOK FOR THE STOLEN CIVIC.
Bud walks his two dogs every day. He has noticed on their route that there was some suspicious activity going on at a certain house next to the neighborhood park. He saw that lots of different cars were coming and going with the same drivers parking the cars in the backyard or the garage. He has always suspected that there are one or two stolen vehicle fences or chop shops in the area and he has kept his eye on them.
Well, Grandpa Badass immediately goes to the house that he suspects of being the base of a nefarious car theft ring. Surprise, surprise he sees my Civic parked outside the house next to the park. He then calls the cops and tells them his story. His story goes something like this:
- A car was stolen in front of my house
- I found the car.
- I'm looking at the car right now.
- I am going to stay here until you arrive.
- Oh yeah, I HAVE A GUN.
Grandpa Badass backs off to the end of the block and sits and waits for the cops to come. The car thieves start to get suspicious of this dude sitting in a car at the end of the block. They send a car to scout him out. The car drives by a few times and they stare at him. While this is happening, the thieves take a new Toyota from their garage and speed away.
Bud decides that discretion is the better part of valor and drives home instead of confronting these jerks with such limited firepower. I met him at his house at 8:45 AM. The police still had not shown up. As I was calling the police to check up on the status of our original call, they called Bud's cell phone and alerted him that they had arrived at the scene and the car was still there. By the way, total waiting time from the first call until the police's arrival on scene, one hour and 20 minutes.
Bud and I hopped in the car and met the police. The Civic was in decent shape. It was hotwired so the steering column was trashed. The radio was gone (there was no faceplate on it) and the speakers were stolen. Other than that it was no worse for wear. I am just glad to have it back. Oh yeah, the most interesting thing about this part of the story was that the car was running when the police found it. I'm not sure if the thieves ever turned it off or were just about to make a getaway when Grandpa Badass was staking out their operation.
The rest of the day dealt with the mundane tasks of calling the insurance company, renting a car, and getting estimates to fix the damage.
All of this of course, was made possible by the efforts of our hero Grandpa Badass. Grandpa Badass, a man who did all this to fulfill his role as patriarch and protector of the family. But mostly he did it because he was pissed that someone would dare steal a car from in front of his house.
A guy at the car dealership asked Bud if he was worried that the thieves knew where he lived since they had stolen the car from his house. He just chuckled and smiled and said, "No, they should be worried that I know where they live!"
You said it Grandpa Badass.