Car Theft: Broken glass and I feel shattered

Shattered Glass on our 4Runner

“Of all the windows to break, why did they have to shatter the one next to the car seat?”

“By the time someone feels like they are entitled to break into your car, I don’t think they care or put any thought into whether they get broken glass all over some kid’s car seat.” Dave replied.

Yesterday, as Kyle and I drove away from his school, I noticed that I had missed a call from Dave. I called him twice before he answered and when he did, he asked me,

“I am guessing you are calling because you heard my message.”

“No. I saw that you called. What’s up?”

“Someone broke into both of our trucks last night and stole all of my tools.”


“Someone broke into our trucks last night and stole my tools.”

“Dave, how could you leave your tools in the car with all that’s been going on?”

“This conversation is over. I am hanging up now.”

I immediately called Dave back and over the next few phone calls, we worked through our frustrations. During the night someone broke into our trucks. Just yesterday Dave had picked up a bunch of DeWalt power tools from the repair shop. There were over $1,000.00 of tools in the trucks and it was as if the robbers somehow knew that those tools would be there.

“I don’t think they did know.” Dave would later say.

I spent the morning at Kyle’s school. It was my volunteer day. Because Kyle’s class was watching a play mid-way through the day, the other two volunteer parents left (one always leaves at 11:00AM) and I was on my own. Ironically, Kyle’s teacher was called into a last-minute meeting as well. The class was supposed to be able to stay in the lunchroom until her meeting was over, but instead the lunch ladies kicked us out. I was on my own with twenty-two kids. “What could we do?” When we got to class, I asked the kids what we should do. One little boy suggested we surprise their teacher. I suggested they clean off their desks and to show me they were done and as I demonstrated, I asked them to put their hands in a funny medatative pose. Kyle, who stayed in the lunchroom to help his friend clean the tables, came in mid-way through our desk cleaning and for the third time that day, he yelled at me.

“Mom, Mom, why do we have to do this?”

Luckily one of his classmates coaxed him along our cool, room-cleaing adventure as I sadly thought to myself,

“Are we already here? Have we already arrived at the place where I, the mom, am a public embarrassment to Kyle, the son? I hope not.”

Kyle’s teacher wasn’t back and with all the desks cleaned, I suggested that every kid pick up two things around the room. I reminded them that if they each pick up two things, well, that would be almost fifty things and then the room would probably be clean. They seem excited and after picking up each thing, they eagerly sought me out for some well-deserved praise. As we ran out of things to pick up, I was began to panic a bit. Kyle’s teacher still wasn’t back. Quickly, because you have to be quick with these kids or you will lose them, I asked the kids to gather around the circle area. I asked them if they knew any fun games, and when things started to get crazy, I asked them about spring break. I asked what they were doing and then, knowing that many of the kids were going back to their child care, I asked if any of them were going to “day care” next week.

[little blond boy raises his hand]

“Um, Kyle’s Mom, we don’t say “DAY CARE.” [pause] “DAY CARE is for babies.”

“Oh, thanks for helping me understand. I won’t say that any more.”

Feeling like and idiot and realizing that I am SO not an elementary school teacher, I shifted gears to safer, more politically correct topics.

“Hey, let’s practice some math.”

“No, no!” One girl shouted.

I ignored her as I saw the many excited and attentive arms fly up in the air.

“Math. Math. We love math. Kyle’s mom, we love math!”

“Ok, what is 70 plus 30?”

They could hardly contain themselves,

“Oh, Oh, Oh, Kyle’s mom, I know. I know. I know. Pick me.”

I picked the first boy to raise his hand.


“That is correct. Great.”

I continued with about two more math problems, when Kyle’s teacher walked back into the room. I was saved!

From Kyle’s school to Eli’s pre-school Dave and I went back and forth, calling each other (mostly me calling him). Every time I would think of another issue, I would call him back, talk for a minute and hang up.

“If only I knew who stole our stuff. If only I could talk to them. If only they could see how violated we feel.”

It won’t do any good.”

It wasn’t until I got home with both boys and went alone to the garage where I saw one of the trucks. Just last week, we got our 4Runner back from the shop. About a month ago, while parked on our street, someone backed into it and smashed the door in. As I stood in the garage I realized that it was the same door. As I looked in the window and saw all the glass piled into the car seat, I think I broke too.

In the last month, someone has broken into our garage and stolen Dave’s high-end mountain bike, the “hit and run” on the 4Runner I just mentioned, and now the tool thefts; a window was punched in on each truck. Dave, of course, called the police and no, they didn’t even bother coming over. The last time they came over, when the bike was stolen, they told me in a very matter-of-fact way that crime is on the rise.

“It seems to rise with all the meth use.” Officer so and so told me as he sat at my dining room table and continued, “The only way we have found to deter these people is with lighting.”

Our street light burnt out just the other day.

There I stood yesterday afternoon in the middle of our street talking to my neighbor, who had his planner and paycheck stolen out of his car the same day that Dave’s bike was stolen. He told me that his checkbook had twenty-five checks left.

“And can you believe they used every one of them? They even wrote a check to the gas company?” He told me.

“Are you serious?”

“Yes and when I talked to the detective, the detective told me that he couldn’t trace the check because it wasn’t over $500.00.”

“So someone can steal your checkbook, pay all their bills with it and there is nothing you can do?”

“It doesn’t seem like it.”

I walked away from my neighbor, both of us agreeing to get the word out and teasing one another about how we would beat the hell out of these people if we ever see them.

Yesterday, I was crabby and impatient with the boys. I was also very very quiet. I felt like a bad, bad mom. I felt violated. I was mad because I felt like this could have been prevented and I wanted to blame someone. I felt angry about having to deal with insurance companies, glass people, getting bids and having to live with just one car again. I felt selfish, no, very selfish for feeling this way. I have so much and I am guessing the person or people who have been victimizing my family is/are in a much worse place than I am.

With that said, I still can’t let go of this one thought.

“Of all they windows the could have broken, why did they have to break the window next to the car seat? Why?”

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39 thoughts on “Car Theft: Broken glass and I feel shattered

  1. My gosh, what a nightmare! I’m so sorry. You’re moving soon, no? Hopefully the new neighborhood will be better luck for you guys. 🙂

  2. Beth, I’m so sorry. Being robbed is SUCH a violation. My husband’s family, when he was a child, suffered several break-ins and to this day he remembers how awful it made him feel.
    I have been robbed at knife point and gunpoint in the pharmacy I work for. Somehow it was much more traumatic for me during the second one, because by then I had a child. These people were threatening my life for their drug addiction, and I’m someone’s mom. I think that’s why the window with the carseat being broken out is so bothersome. The shattered glass on your baby’s belonging is such a traumatic sight.
    I’m sending good e-vibes Beth!

  3. Beth, I’m so sorry. You must feel very violated right now with all that’s going on. I wish those dirtbags could see your photo, because it says it all.

    And great job improvising at Kyle’s school! I doubt I could have winged it as well in my son’s class. When his teacher is gone for training/meetings (more and more of those), the chaos that comes from having a substitute teacher (those kids learn young, I tell you!) just wipes me out for the rest of the day.

    Hang in there, because your Internet fans are thinking of you!

  4. I am so sorry to hear about the theft of the tools you’ve suffered. I don’t have the right words to express it, but I hope things get better.

  5. I’m so sorry. It’s such a feeling of violation when you’re robbed.

    On the brighter side, great job with the kids! A hungry pack of wild children can be a little intimidating!

  6. Guy’s truck got broken into a few years ago in the parking lot of a grocery store, for God’s sake, and it really is the WORST feeling. Especially because they stole his briefcase with all his checks. It was such a hassle getting it all taken care of and I felt the same way. So violated. And I was scared that these freaks had our home address. Of course, the police did nothing. Ugh.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you guys. 🙁

  7. oh sonofabitch, Beth, that blows. Someone tried to break in to our house earlier this year, and I felt that our house was tainted and totally violated, yes, and it was an awful feeling. I’m so sorry you’re going through it now.

  8. Trace (Sweetney) Thank you for the iTUNES Gift. And ASSHATS, yes, they are total ASSHATS for breaking into our car and our life.


    I love you, Trace! (Is that way too personal for my comments to say?)

  9. Gosh, I’m so sorry, Beth. I know that feeling of violation. It’s hard to explain unless something has been stolen from you. The value doesn’t even matter as much as the knowledge that someone broke something that belonged to you and touched your stuff and likely sold it to someone else.

    That said, have you called the pawn shops? I have several friends who’ve gotten their stuff back and even found the criminals just by checking in with the local pawn shops. Druggies will usually just go to the first convenient place to sell stolen items.

  10. Beth- I am so sorry. I had my purse stolen last year. Some scumbag disracted me and ran off with my beautiful purse and everything in it. My life, my kids pictures, id’s, credit cards, driver name it. I drove home that day from work with only a business card of the police officer who took the report. In the mean time-the creep was spending my money at Best Buy and buying cigarettes at all the gas stations. As each card was canceled by me, he would toss it onto the road. I was getting calls from the banks and talking to people who found my cards. It was like my life had taken a detour in the hands of a thief. It has taken a while but I am finally feeling a little be more trusting. I really threw me for a loop because I was a very trusting person and this was so depressing. Good luck and stay safe!

  11. I sometimes day dream about catching a theif red-handed and it usually ends with me working them over with a pair of dogs, a pair of plyers, some barbed wire and a blowtorch.

    My experience with crime in your neighborhood:

    $150 broken car window
    $50 stolen cell phone
    $? stolen planner
    $650 stolen snow blower
    $30,000 stolen SUV (later found, damaged of course)
    $600 Callaway Golf Clubs
    $??? golf tags from Cascata and Shadow Creek

    So I am terribly sorry about this. I know how bad it hurts. It makes you want to live in the mountains of Park City.

  12. I am so sorry about all that’s happened to you… if it had just been one thing maybe life would go on, but getting hit again and again… I can’t imagine.

    I just got an offer accepted on a house near SLC the other day… I hope it’s not a bad neighborhood.

  13. That sucks! I’m sorry you’re having to deal with crime at your own home. I can only imagine how vulnerable it would make you feel, that and totally pissed.
    Enjoyed your story about being in the classroom alone with 22 kids – I work in Lauren’s kindergarten class once a week and the kids just crack me up, I love getting to know them at this young age.
    Wishing you and your family a peaceful Easter weekend-

  14. I’m so sorry Beth. I hate that you have to put up with all of this.
    My dad was a highway patrolman when I was in school. I can remember several cases of walking outside in the morning to broken windows due to my dad catching some stupid kid for drinking or drugs. And we were always out the couple hundred it took to replace the windows.
    Last month, my brother in-law accidentaly left his garage door up in the middle of the night. A bad mistake, but one I’m sure we’ve all made. We were staying with them at the time. Well, at about 1 a.m. I heard some rattling around but just thought someone was in the kitchen. We woke up the next morning, and about $2,000 dollars worth of Dewalt tools had been stolen. Luckily, he got about half that amount back from the insurance. I guess I’m just telling you this to let you know that you aren’t alone. It’s easy to feel picked on in this situation, but the fact of the matter is that these people are just SCUM! Plain and simple.

  15. How can we turn your anger and fear around? There are some people out there who are very mixed up and we don’t know half of what has led them to where they are in their lives. So thankful that it was just stuff …

  16. Beth, this is Susan (my mom lives over on the next street). I had my checkbook and my purse stolen a couple of years ago out of my car. It was a horrible experience. I am so sorry your family is going through this. In my case the guy signing my name was caught on video at Mervyn’s and a police officer recognized him and they caught him! It took tons of calls from me to every business where my stolen checks were used, but finally the security guy at Mervyn’s helped me. It’s worth a try. Hang in there.

  17. its ok, we love Tracey/sweetney too. and we hate asshats!

    i am so sorry. it is horrible. the cat seat window thing would really stick in my craw as well.

    many hugs and kisses for safety.


  18. Of course you have every right to feel violated and mad and selfish. And it’s unfourtunate that law enforcement aren’t able to do much about it. And, oh, the irony of that damn street light going out. Just try and remember that all the good and kind people like yourself far outnumber all the asshats out there.

  19. Beth — I read about this in the comments on SJ’s site and had to come read the story. I am so sorry that happened to you. Asshats, indeed.

    Our car was broken into when I was in the hospital on bedrest and I told my husband that made it 20x worse.

    I think anyone who breaks into a car with a CARSEAT in it is just bad people. Payback’s a bitch!

  20. I’m so sorry that happened to you guys. I wouldn’t be too surprise if it turns out to be a teenager in your neighborhood or something along the lines. What’s more important though is that you guys are safe. I hope the thiefs are caught … hopefully.

  21. Oh, babe, I’m so sorry to hear this. We’ve had our own heartbreaking incident of senseless theft this week: someone stole Kieran’s wagon off our front porch. And they did it while I was home and awake in the house. I understand that theft happens, particularly in a downtown neighbourhood of a big city, but to steal something that so obviously belongs to a little child? There are fewer things as flatout despicable as crimes against children.

  22. What an amazing job you did with the kids, Beth–and big hugs to you. I don’t know why, but there seems to be some universal law in place about this: when it rains, it always pours. Why? I have no idea. Chin up, you’ll get through it–and then it will make a good story (oh, I guess it already did! :))

  23. You did such a great job with the kids, Beth! Really thinking on your feet — no small feat. ;^)

    What a violation your family has experienced. I’m so sorry. My car was broken into years ago on an L.A. street. The thieves cut the wire to the battery and stole my shoes (purple Converse All-Stars). The inconvenience of not being able to drive to work went away, of course, but that feeling of violation still lingers.

    So the police think lighting will help. Maybe you could put up a couple of motion sensor lights by your garage? That way you don’t have to rely on the street light; besides, motion sensor lights are startling when they go on. The fact that the police seem to have given up is a grim statement in itself. I wish you luck with whatever you decide to do. *hugs*

  24. Beth, that SUCKS! (Must make you feel better about moving!)

    I know something of how you feel. I had a mountain bike stolen in Utah, too, right out of my apartment! And it was my only mode of transportation. We’ve also had a bike stolen here, and my wallet was ripped off at the Farmer’s Market right before I needed to pay for some mesclun! One does feel so violated.

    All of this is so much more poignant when you have kids, and you feel like you want to keep them far, far away from this kind of thing. The broken glass all over the car seat sickens me.

    Take care, Beth!

  25. So sorry 🙁

    We had our car stolen with the baby seat inside, it was such a violation. It made me feel sick to my stomach for weeks just thinking about it.

  26. Well, that just really sucks. I know that feeling of violation too. My purse was stolen on my birthday when we first moved to this city and I’ve gone through years of attempted identity theft because of it. Just when I think everything is fine, I’ll see something on my credit report or get a call from a fraud dept of an old credit card and it starts all over again. GAH…

  27. I am so frustrated after reading your post. I live in Los Angeles in an area that could seriously be called “the hood”. We moved to this area after real estate prices in Southern California went insane and this was the area we could still afford to live in.

    When we moved into the area 3 years ago there was a lot of petty theft. The attitude from the police was even though you got robbed, no one was murdered. I’m sure they had seen much worse things and having over $1000 worth of power tools stolen from our garage didn’t seem like a big deal to them.

    They did tell us to engrage all our personal property, tools and such with the last 4 digits of one of our social security numbers. There is a tool you can buy for that purpose. We were told that theives usually take these items to pawn shops in order to get money for drugs. Pawn shops generally won’t take merchandise that is marked or branded. If the police did recover your items they would be able to return them. Or you could check a few pawn shops on your own if this ever should happen again.

    We got a new police chief recently who does take petty theft very seriously. They now believe that petty theft if not addressed can lead to more violent acts of crime. meaning the criminals are allowed to develop their skills and advance into deeper drug addiction and more violence. We had a string of car radios being stolen out of vehicles and the police, under the new chief, took it very seriously.

    Your neighbor should insist on getting copies of the forged checks from his bank. Take those copies directly to the chief of police or a detective at the police station and insist that they follow up on it. Perhaps your neighbor could call the gas company and get the address for the account that was paid by his check and also take that to the police. At the very least your neighbor should insist that they write a police report. If the police see that you take this seriously and are not going to back down, they might take it more seriously. Your neighborhood needs to band together, maybe even forming a neighborhood watch group.

    Desperate people do desperate things. If they are so desperate and stupid to write a check to the gas compnay, they are trying to get caught or maybe they have already gotten away with this before. The more they get away with the bolder they will become.

    Your neighbor is in the best position to insist the poice department do more.

  28. Beth, I know this post is a few weeks old now; however it really hits home.

    My car was broken into on Tuesday and my laptop and digital camera (our vacation pictures not yet downloaded) were stolen. My locked car was parked for 10 minutes in a busy area where at least a dozen people saw the theft, but no one responded. This was only 5 days after my car was in a hit and run.

    Your written words are exactly what I feel, but can’t formulate. I thank you for writing your blog through the good and bad. It really helps people feel like they are not alone.

  29. last night someone broke into my truck and took everything. They even took the remote garage opener to my house and to my parents house. I called the police and she told me “people dont take garage remotes for any other reason than to come back”. It took me over 3 hours to get in my own truck. I flet and still feel so violated. All my personal stuff was touched and taken, someone sat in MY truck and went through MY stuff. Then to find out they had the garage door opener and most likey tried to get into my house, and might come back? Oh great so now I have to worry about someone coming back?!?! I tried so hard to hold it together but I fell apart. I dont want anyone to touch me, to look at me, to be near me. I am trying so hard to be able to look at my own truck (which is my dream truck, and only one year old). I dont understand how someone can knowingly make someone feel like this and still do it. They even took the birthday card I had written to my dad. What the hell do they need that for??? I have never felt like this in my life and I can only imagine how people feel who are raped or attacked. Does this feeling go away? How long does it take? Will I feel safe again in my own house? In my own truck? Will I stop crying? What gives someone the right to violate someone like this? Who the hell do they think they are????

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