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Living in America … (I feel not so good)

“But everyone is fat and carries a gun!” said a friend of mine to me in an eMail the other day. Yes J, thats things you know about America from TV and the movies. Along with other over-used crass stereotypes such as “Only 10% have passports, and it’s full of crime”. Again – no, not really … well I reckon it’s no worse than back home anyway.

Since I’ve been driving when I was 17 I’ve had my car broken into twice and stolen once. Would you like a list? Leigh thinks I’m going to make a list. I might make a list – as I can now bump that up to ‘Having the car broken into three times’.

The ‘TankMobile‘ it may be called as it handles like one, but it transpires that it’s just as easy to smash the window and break into just like a regular vehicle.

The cons:

They took the TomTom. (50 cents for a SatNav, anyone?) So it’s back to getting lost around Charleston again when I go out on my own.

The little shits also took my Sirius Radio. (Would it sound stupid if I said that not being able to listen to this is going to piss me off more than not knowing where I’m going?) No more BBC Radio 1 in the mornings. C*nts.

The pros:

The didn’t touch Leighs wallet or mobile (cell) phone that were in there! They also left behind my iTrip.

I dunno. I guess they didn’t take the car itself. Or break into the house. It’s just a stupid TomTom and Sirius Radio.

It is – as always – more the annoyance factor of i) Having to get the window repaired (and the cost of that), ii) Taking the time to do it, and iii) Worrying that it’s going to happen again at somepoint again in the future.

So, we’ve called the cops (mainly just to get a number for insurance) but now I’ll get the chance to take a picture of a “To protect and serve” Crown Vic pulled up outside our house.

Could be worse I know, but we reserve the right to be pissed off for a bit.


Update 1: Time it took for unit 518 from Team #1 to pull up outside our house: 9 minutes. You would have been lucky back in England if anyone had bothered to turn up at all.

We think that officer Barfield might have stepped in some dog poo on the grass verge, but no one said anything. He also gave us a crime reference for insurance, asked for the serial numbers of the stolen devices and actually acted concerned and helpful.

I also got a picture of me sitting in the front of his big black and white police car.

I’m kidding.

Have a happy Monday …


Update 2 : Insurers called, quote settled. Man from Autoglass dispatched and repairs window.

This is going to be like finding sand in shoes 3 months after going to the beach isn’t it? There are tiny fragments of glass everywhere – time (thx Chucker) to go down the Wash ‘n’ Vac and get some industrial strength suction going.

So – time to check out eBay for second hand TomTom’s then ….

28 responses to “Living in America … (I feel not so good)”

  1. Coco J. says:

    Geoff- I’ll give you $5 for a new TomTom!

  2. Heather says:

    That’s miserable and it makes me angry. Some jerk took a backpack out of the jeep a few months ago. I’m sorry.

  3. zuzula says:

    what a bummer. The cops in the US are amazing though – when I got mugged in Florida they were there in seconds.

    Can I have your satnav? 🙂

  4. So, 17 years in the national capital: 1 car break in per 8.5 years.
    6 months in Charleston: 1 car break in…

    Percentage of Americans with passports discussed http://www.gyford.com/phil/writing/2003/01/31/how_many_america.php Personally, I’m all in favour of restricting passport acquisition by weight and IQ.

  5. Malcolm says:

    I know how you feel. My car was broke into in April and all the took was a CD – yes just one CD (not even the CD cover!). It was a CD that I burned myself too!! The inconvienience is the worst thing!! You’re right, I reported it to the police and they weren’t interested. The said they would send a crime number in the post – I’m still waiting for it 6 months on!!

  6. Chucker says:

    When my back window was smashed, the thief reached in amd grabbed a handful of CDs…they were NOT music…they were motivational tapes from a business course I was taking.

    The police found them strewn along a path leading away from the theater parking lot.

    IF they had listened to the tapes, they would have improved their lives and probably become meaningful members of society. Or maybe not.

    The BEST advice the police gave me was to go to a nearby automated car wash, put 50 cents into the giant vacuum and suck up all the glass shards quickly and efficiently. Hope you did that!

  7. geofftech says:

    We haven’t cleaned it up yet – we’re waiting for Autoglass to come out and do their business, and hope they bring their portable vacuum cleaner with them.

    In the meantime I was tempted to stick up a sign that says ‘Don’t bother – we’ve been done’, but I’ve refrained so far…

  8. […] Of course, I should probably stop whingeing, because things could be worse. […]

  9. Stewart says:

    Shame! I’ll contribute $5 toward the SatNav fund…

  10. Paul Webb says:

    What you need is a glass or Ribena and a chocolate biscuit.

    re: the passport thing. The US is a pretty big place with all sorts of landscape, a bit like Europe, so why should Americans need passports if they have everything they need for a full variety of holidays in their own country. Plus, if you did not need passports to travel in Europe, I wonder how may Europeans would never have passports. How many of us use our passports to actually travel outside our own continent?

  11. geofftech says:

    So a new TomTomGO 510 is ‘just’ $600.

    And that’s 2 out 120 people. Which means 118 more to go…

    Obviously I’m still kidding.

    Sort of.

  12. $520 on Amazon.com.

    If I gave you $5, would I be able to specify a destination that you had to be navigated to?

  13. geofftech says:

    Ian – like it … 😉

    (But does $520 includes sales tax & shipping? if so, then that’s 104 people, 101 to go …)

  14. Ross says:

    Shaz and I will give you $10, BUT you MUST navigate using the device to our house to collect the cash….
    http://www.smaps.co.nz/nz/wellington/strathmore/beacon+hill+road/16/

  15. Lunalight says:

    That sucks.. I’ve fortunately never had my car broken into but I’ve had my house broken into and that was terrible so I can completely emphathize with you. So do you have insurance to cover the losses?

    I would hope that you have your TomTom covered, pretty expensive piece of equipment and I’ve heard that after using them, they’re indispensable. You could always go for the ONE for a cheaper price though.. still a great device!

  16. Fimb says:

    So far, since buying Bob at the begining of February, he ahs been broken into 4 times.. Yup. 4.

    And the only thing that has been taken (because I never leave anything in my car) was my TomTom mount..

    Its cost me 300 in lock repairs / windows.. All for one tomtom one holder.

    Interestingly, hasn’t been done since I finally told the police about the crack deal opposite and they raided him!

  17. Fimb says:

    Hng on though.. You seriously left all that stuff in the car?!!

    And glass comes out of places for months.. its been 4 months since a window was smashed, and it still appears out of now where!!

    (And, a tomtom one just isn’t really usable without its holder. I rarely use mine anymore at all as its V painful for me to get new holder on / off the window each time, and I’ve got through 3 non-tomtom ones as they break so easily. broke latest one at stonehenge this afternoon on way to cornwall, and you can’t buy them in shops. Joy, a week’s holiday where me and the husband will row about navigation all week!)

  18. geofftech says:

    Fimb: Yes.. YES! I left my TomTom in the car, i know. I’ve just realised too this means I can’t go Geocaching anymore. bugger.

    Ross: Will be there soon, stick the kettle on. Do they sell Ribena in NZ?

  19. Fimb, the opportunist thief may have noticed the TomTom mount in the car and assumed that the TomTom was hidden in the vehicle. So take the mount with you or stash it.

    http://www.tomtom.com/products/accessories/index.php?Lid=1&AccessoryCategory=5

  20. I just sent you an email of sympathy. It’s an f–ing bummer… It’s probably kids, stupid kids.

    About two months before I moved to Hawaii, I lived in Tustin, California (Orange County)..

    a. My car was broken into three times;
    b. My weekend home was burglarized, and they even stole the phone! I had to use a neighbor’s to call the cops.
    c. My bike was stolen; and
    d. My car was stolen and chopped to pieces!!

    Since I moved to Hawaii in 1992… I have not lost one item due to theft or burglary. But, I always lock the car while in town. No need to lock our cars or homes in this neighborhood.

    Sorry to hear of your loss. I hope the stooopid thieves are caught.

  21. Amy says:

    That completely sucks Geoff. Will insurance cover the items? Hope so.

    When we lived in Vancouver our car window was smashed in 3x for FUN. Bastards (teens?) would drive down the road smashing windows for sport from their car. We moved.

  22. jj says:

    that blows, man. sorry.

    the hamster’s been broken into like 3 times, and the Jag once, if that makes you feel any better.

    didn’t think so.

    the thing that pissed me off about the Jag was that it was just petty vandalism – they didn’t actually take anything or even open the doors after smashing a couple windows. at least if they had stolen something, it would have meant they had a reason, you know?

    sympathies.

    $5 towards a Sirius receiver. knowing where you are or where you’re going is overrated. but you’ve got to have the Beeb.

  23. geofftech says:

    Even out in Happy Summersbee-ville they crack your car too? Nowhere it safe! Goddamit.

    I think I really will miss the Beeb more than than a route, yes! ~chuckle~

  24. jj says:

    no, every time they hit the hamster it was in west ashtray. the Jag was up here in the ‘ville, though.

  25. AHD says:

    That is really unfortunate about your TomTom, those are really nice gadgets and not too cheap either. Well if you buy a new one…I would have to tell you to buy the ONE, they are awesome!!! Good luck with insurance and everything else.

  26. Garion says:

    Cheeky buggers….
    Wish I could say more. This family is prone to thefts.
    Anyway, how much you asking for this time?? lol
    I’ll be happy to contribute

  27. TowerBlock Tina says:

    You should add to your list you had your bike stolen (twice) at the train station, the second time they left just the back wheel! You were so pi**ed off you took driving lessons! Well of course it wasn’t the same bike as the first one wasn’t returned. I had my trusty Lambretta stolen twice(it was retrieved both times) and then the bu**er caught fire!
    So I went and got driving lessons. C’est la vie!

  28. Fimb says:

    Ian – yes, I’m not stupid. But, having a rather bad chornic pain condition meant that, one particular evening, I simply couldn’t get the mount off the windscreen. It was only in there about an hour before husband came home and could have done it for me.
    Apparently, theives are nw looking for the tell tale circular mark it leaves on the windscreen.
    And yes, I also know I can order them off the internet. But, like I said, not much help when on holiday in cornwall and in need of one NOW *L*

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