Understanding the mentality of a thief…

Life has a way of dealing an intersting hand of cards at times. It’s amazing how various events can spawn other events to occur. And my oh my did that happen to me. Last weekend Jennifer told me she thought the water heater wasn’t working, as our hot water was more luke warm. A couple of years ago we had the same problem with this four year old Whirlpool.

The pilot wouldn’t stay on and it needed a part replaced called a thermocouple. Don’t ask me what it is….all I know is that it has something to do with the pilot (it’s a gas water heater) and keeping the burner lit when heating the water. When it fails, the gas shuts down and thus, no fire, thus, no hot water. I was able to replace the thermocouple in ’07 and all was well….until last weekend.

Since it was around 8:30 Sunday night, I had no chance of getting another thermocouple to replace the apparent faulty one. Needing her hot water, Jennifer booked us a room through priceline for the night until I could get to Lowe’s and get a new thermocouple after work Monday. As has been our “luck” with priceline lately, we got a room at one of those extended stay hotels. This one was about 10 minutes away near the Indianapolis International Airport. All went well that night and a good night’s sleep was had. Monday morning I thought I’d leave early since I was going to take a different route into work and didn’t know what the traffic pattern might be for the morning rush. I gave Jennifer a kiss goodbye (we both drove) and out to my car I went. Then I saw it.

Sometime during our stay at the hotel, some kind soul tried to gain entry into my Civic to rummage through the empty Coke cups, window washer fluid, maps, Corvair club t-shirt and other assorted junk that I had in the back seat. It’s the same stuff everyone accumulates in their back seats this time of year when it’s too cold to clean out your car. Well, I don’t know if they got spooked or realized none of the items were worth going after or just couldn’t get in. However, the door was still in the locked position, so I know they never got in. That lock never did work right anyway. I always had to lock it with the key, as the interior lock wouldn’t work. I have my suspicions they were going after the thermometer that I have on my dashboard. It’s just about the same size & shape as a GPS unit, so maybe they realized at sometime during the attempted entry that the device was going to tell them the temperature and not directions.

I informed the front desk folks what happened and they called IMPD for me while I went back to the room and told Jennifer the bad news. Her car was fine, as she parked right next to the front entrance of the hotel. Upon leaving, I spoke with IMPD and made my report. It’s seldom they’ll send an officer for something like this…it’s usually all done over the phone these days. After the front desk guy came out to fill out his report for their corporate office…reminding me they’re not responsible for damages…I climbed in through the passenger side to leave, as the driver’s door would not open from the inside or outside. Uggh! Getting this butt over a console in a Civic is not the easiest of tasks, but I managed and off to work I went. After getting in touch with my insurance company, I then got in touch with Ben Hughes, the manager at Speedway Body Shop. We dealt with them last summer after Jennifer had her accident. The work they do is second to none. Her Corolla went from this…

to this….

The guys there at Speedway do a fantastic job. My oldest brother suggested them last summer after he had taken a couple of his cars there over the years. We weren’t disappointed. Due to the 12″ of snow we received Tuesday and Wednesday, I wasn’t able to get my Civic in until Friday morning. Ben called Friday afternoon, and this “little” job has an estimate of $774.17. Fortunately, it’s covered under my $0 deductible comprehensive, so I won’t have to fork over any of my own money. I’ll get a new coat of paint on the door as well as a handle, lock, etc, etc. They pried on it pretty hard around the handle and there’s a chance they might even have to replace the outer door skin if they aren’t able to get the handle to fit right.

So there it is…a product of poor scouting by a thief. Heck, I’d have been happy if they’d just have smashed the window to get what they wanted. I can’t think it was the car itself. Even though Hondas rank high on the theft list, I can’t believe anyone would want a ’98 with 183,000 miles on the odometer.  Then again, trying to figure out what a thief thinks is an exercise in futility anyway.

Oh yeah, and yes the water heater got fixed. I found out they no longer make thermocouples for that unit and due to a class action lawsuit, Whirlpool has to give out replacement kits to make them work right. So after contacting 9 different Lowe’s in the area, I finally found one that had the kit. It was installed Tuesday by one of my brothers who “plumbs” for a living and we’ve got hot water once again.

All of this just so I could get a new door lock for my car. :-)

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Understanding the mentality of a thief…

  1. Bummer! That’s one costly break-in. Glad you don’t have to pay for it. But it’s a big inconvenience anyway. I’m sorry it happened to you.

  2. Lulu

    Hey Pat,
    I am sorry that it happened to you. I had a car door lock that didn’t work. Don’t try to pry open a frozen door ;)
    My car was rummaged thru as I had change in the console. They took the whole thing, bad thing is my script sunglasses were in there and it cost about 200 dollars to replace them.
    I felt very violated as I were raped.
    hugs,
    Lulu

  3. Pingback: Back in my saddle… « Behind the Wheel

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