If you read my entry about my wedding, you’ll recall that my car got broken into. If you have read my weblog for a decent length of time you’ll know that this is the fourth time in just over a year that my car has been broken into. The first time, they broke a window. The second time, they broke a window and stole my stereo. The third time, they broke a window, bent the dividing bar between two paines of glass and stole my stereo. This last time, they jammed something in the lock, pushed down until the lock popped, then stole my tire gauge, a multi-tool and three packs of gum.
I have insurance. Sometimes I pay the monthly on it and I think to myself, “What a waste of money!” For many years I paid and got nothing out of it… well, my insurance has 100% break glass coverage, so maybe twice over the years I had my windshield replaced because of a crack caused by road junk. Each time my car was broken into my insurance has paid for it. Each broken window was replaced. Each stereo was upgraded. And when I get around to buying a new tire gauge and multi-tool, they’ll refund me for that too. All in all, as I’ve seen the bills for these pass through my hands, the amounts of damage have been fairly small. Even without insurance I’d have covered it just fine. This time that changed.
I wish I had a picture to show, but the damage to my car looked minor. The door panel around the lock looked bent, and the lock itself wouldn’t turn when the key was put in. However, the lock mechanism worked just fine from the inside, and did in fact lock the door. So when I dropped the car off to have it fixed, covered 100% for vandalism by my insurance, I figured they’d hammer out the door, maybe have to replace the lock cylinder. I was wrong.
In the end, they had to replace the lock (which also involved rekeying the lock to match my key), replace a bunch of stuff inside the door, hammer and repaint the door panel (repainting meant redoing the trim and decals as well), and a handfull of other things. $791. Anyway, I’m glad for my insurance.
There is, however, one thing that my insurance can’t replace, and its something I may never get back. I don’t like driving any more. Driving somewhere means parking, even at my own home (this last break in was literally right outside my front door), and parking means leaving my car unattended, which leads to anxiety upon returning to my car. As I approach my vehicle now I’m looking at the windows for breaks, checking the doors for damage, nervously looking in the window to see if my stereo is still there or if my glovebox has been rifled through. Its been suggested that I get an alarm, but even with the alarm my anxiety wouldn’t go away, it would just be a different anxiety… all the break in stuff plus a new “Is my alarm working?” anxiety. I don’t even want to own a car anymore. And I don’t think this feeling will go away until I catch someone trying to break into my car and I beat them soundly before calling the police.
Or perhaps witness a thief getting caught, because I think part of my issues stems from the lack of concern I get from police. I understand that they hear this stuff alot, and that there is so little evidence and statistically my missing objects will never be recovered, but they always take the report with such indifference, they never collect any evidence, they just fill out the form and leave. They never say if there have been a rash of break ins lately and their working the case or anything like that. In fact, the last two times my car was broken into they didn’t even come, instead just took my information over the phone. The is no compassion, no “bedside manner”. I’ve just bee violated, my car vandalized and items stolen and they don’t say a single thing to possibly help me get beyond it. Facts, forms and forgotten.
I guess, all that I really want, is when it happens, for someone in authority to tell me its going to be all right, even if it isn’t true.