August 2017


Thoughts on Grand Theft Auto


A few weeks ago, I walked my dog, then went to my parking lot to get to my car and head to the office for another day of work. Clicking the remote, I quickly realized that i didn’t have my car honking back at me, playing the normal game of sonar I would play in the morning to find my car. After checking with both private and public tow companies, I confirmed nobody had my car, and went about filing a police report.

I still was hoping for the best, even saying “reported missing or stolen” on my initial call with the local police department, as it had to be somewhere! No way my car would have been stolen! While getting a bite to eat after all these phone calls, I got a call from my apartment complex, they wanted me to take a look at some security camera footage.

Looking at the footage, it was indeed confirmed that my car was stolen, driven right out of the parking lot to possible never be seen from again. Calling my insurance, I Was relieved to find out that I had rental car coverage as part of my policy, so at least would not have to worry about being out of pocket in that regard, as I still had to go to work. As an aside, this is not exactly the way I had ever planned on spending several of my vacation days…

To my surprise, at the time I had dealt pretty well with my car being gone. I could still get to work, and I am lucky to be in a position where this becomes an inconvenience versus something that completely stops me in my tracks. It still hurt, having had my first new car taken from me, but I was still getting by.

Insurance said after around 14 days, if my car was not found, it would be treated like a total loss. I think this is why I was doing okay, because I figured I’d get the payout for the car and move on. I actually didn’t want the car to come back, because in my mind, this was no longer my car. That car was not mine the moment it left the parking lot, at least in my mind it wasn’t. The process would also be easier, just getting a check towards my next vehicle and no worries of repair or resell.

To my chagrin, I got a call 5 days later from a local tow shop, saying my car was there for pickup. Apparently the thieves just ran it until it ran out of gas, and left it in a private parking lot where it ended up getting towed.

While it was still drivable, quite a bit of damage was done to the interior and exterior. On the outside, several scratches, dents, and scuffs as well as cracked front bumper. Inside, the car reeked of smoke with tobacco piled all around and Black and Mild wrappers in the car cup holders. Clearly the people who took it had a good time with it…

Thus began my search for a new vehicle. I’ve always tried to be very frugal minded, sometimes to my disadvantage. I didn’t want to spend more initially for a new car, but with the value my stolen car was now worth, theres no way I’d be able to get a car of the same quality without putting some money down myself. I eventually decided to just go for what I wanted and get past this incident.

Was this the most financially responsible call? Absolutely not! There are many more options I could have taken that would have cost less, but I am in a position where this car purchase will not affect my bottom line, and I’m able to get a vehicle that will grow with me through the next stage of my life.

On paper this is a bad money move all around. This case is not all about the money, theres more than that here. This was my way of making lemonade out of life giving me lemons, and luckily I’m privileged enough to be able to bring the sweetener myself.

I’m able to say goodbye to my Fusion and move on now

As for the people who took my car, I hope they find peace with whatever demons they have that brought them to do this. I hope they find empathy later in life to see what their actions cause others, it’s way to easy to just focus inward on what pleases oneself in the moment.


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