An Expensive Mistake: Having Hundreds Of Dollars Worth Of Stuff Stolen From My Car

This past weekend was an expensive one for me.  And it didn’t have to be.

Friday night was going to be a fun evening.  I had a company softball game that I was taking part in, and we were all leaving work early to partake in this company game.  Our company has two sub-companies, and the two divisions were having a grudge match of sorts.  And to top it all off our parent company was going to foot the bill for an all you could eat and drink picnic dinner afterwords at a local bar. What could be better?

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I was really looking forward to the game.  I hadn’t played last year, but this year I wanted to be a big part of my group taking home the winner’s trophy, and the bragging rights.

the hit

I left work around 3pm so I could get to the field on time to take some batting practice, and field a few grounders.  I pulled up to the softball fields at about 3:15 or so, and got out of my car.  After talking to a co-worker I went around to the back door of my car to grab my cleats, baseball glove and my bag.

And that’s when I made my fatal mistake.   I forgot to lock the back door to my car.   Boy was I going to regret that.

I met up with my colleagues at the field, and we had a wonderful time as my team ended up winning the game in an exciting 7th inning defensive stand.  The final score of the game was 11-9.

Doors Unlocked, Valuables Stolen

We were all excited, jumping up and down and rubbing it in with our losing co-workers as we got ready to head over to the neighborhood bar for dinner and drinks.  I met up with my wife and some friends who had showed up at the game, and we headed to our cars to leave.

I got into my car, and looked around.  Something didn’t feel quite right.  Why was my center console wide open, and papers strewn all over the floor?  Where were the walkie talkies that had been sitting in that center console?  And wait, where was my Ipod,  my Twins jersey and my digital camera? All had either been under the back seat or in the glove compartment, and now were nowhere to be seen?  They were all gone!

I started to panic. I got up and started looking frantically around the car, trying to figure out where they might be.  And then it dawned on me. I had been robbed.  Some jerk had probably gone walking down the row of parked cars there for the softball games, trying all the door handles until he found one that was open.  When he got mine open he hit the jackpot because like an idiot I had left all my valuables in my car – with the door unlocked.

I called the police, but apparently there were no squad cars available to come and take a report. They suggested that I fill out an “theft from a motor vehicle” report on the city’s website. Self service law enforcement!

A Total Loss

When I got home I checked my insurance policies for both auto and home to find out if any of my stuff would be covered under those contracts. They might have been covered under our homeowner’s policy, but only the amount that was over our $1000 deductible. I had only lost about $700 worth of electronics and other valuables. So basically everything was a total loss. So, what did I lose this weekend through my carelessness?

  • Justin Morneau Twins Jersey given to me by my wife – $100
  • Brand New GPS – $150
  • Ipod with case, headphones, wireless remote – $300+
  • Canon S400 Digital Camera and case $100+
  • 1 pair of shorts, and 1 tshirt $50 (did they really need these clothes?)
  • $2-3 in change
  • peace of mind

So this weekend I learned a valuable lesson (and an expensive one at that!). Always lock your car, and never leave any valuables in plain site. If you do you’ll regret it like I did.

I also learned that when you lose things, they can be replaced, and they are not as important as some other things in life like family, friends and faith.   Those are the things that keep you going, and that lift you up when you go through hard times like this.

So I woke up this morning, and my eye is swollen shut – so that just tops off my horrible no good weekend.

So I’m off to the doctor’s office this morning.  Anyone else have something bad (or good) happen this weekend?

UPDATE: Apparently I had an infection in my eyelid. I ended up having to get my eyelid sliced open and drained.  Tons of fun! Here’s a good verse for today:

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

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Last Edited: 3rd April 2014

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  1. says

    When it rains it pours! Sorry to hear about the bad weekend. I had a situation like that years back where I forgot to check if the door was locked. Not only did I lose all of my CD’s and such but a friend lost his bag and valuables too! Positive side: your car is still intact and you’re right that it’s only “stuff” (and you won right?).

    It’s really a shame that we have to lock down everything we own!

    FFBs last blog post..Do You Have Frugal Tips For Your City?

  2. says

    I’m sorry to hear about your things being stolen, but like you said, it’s just stuff.

    Having parked at a Baltimore Metro station for a number of years, I don’t even keep change in my center console anymore (a friend of mine had her window smashed in for about $2 in change). I even locked the car doors when we were camping this weekend – it’s just habit now.

    I do hope your digital camera didn’t have any pictures that had not been uploaded, and that your eye is ok!

  3. says

    @FFB – yeah – we did win. Not sure if the price was worth it though ;)

    @moneyloveandchange – my camera did have some pictures on it -but I think they were downloaded already. I will definitely change my habits now – and probably never forget to lock the doors again.

    @ Christina Thanks, it does stink. I still think I’ll keep my $1000 deductible – unless hey – can i lower it retroactively for just one day so i can get paid for my stuff?

  4. says

    Just wanted to note that for the camera stuff at least (and possibly some of the other stuff?), you can add a no-deductible rider to your homeowner’s policy for practically nothing. To insure over $6,000 in camera gear, it costs me like $50/yr.

    Sucks that you can’t trust people these days. ;(

  5. says

    I am so sorry. When something like that happens you just feel sick in the pit of your stomach. I could say, “at least it is only things, and not a family member,” but I know that does not really help that much.

    I pray you are feeling better. We too have had our car gone through right in our driveway.

  6. says

    @NC – geez, I wish I had known that sooner – why wasn’t that in the Dave Ramsey class on insurance? heh. p.s. how much are you selling your old camera for?

    @PT – I hope so, i could use some good luck – it has not been a good year!

    UPDATE: just got back from the doctor – i may have an abscess in my eyelid. Wow, this keeps getting better and better. Now i have to to to an opthamologist this afternoon.

  7. says

    Sorry to hear it man, that’s a drag. It’s a real bummer, but like you said it’s just stuff and you can replace it. Best of luck with the doctor and I hope you get some good news soon. :)

  8. says

    Ugh – isn’t a crock too? You don’t realize you need insurance until it is too late. They prey on that bit too, which sucks. They know that your deductible is at $1000 and saving you money, but also know that you don’t have $1000 in your car. I had the same thing happen about 3 months ago, same exact setup but they broke a window to get to the goods, which coincidentally were about 700$ to my $1000 deductible… grrr….

    hanks last blog post..Welcome to the Rebrand! Hanks Weekly Hangouts #41 (August 4, 2008)

  9. Sam says

    Just think you’re still lucky you’ve just been robbed of material things that you could easily buy in the future.

    A friend was robbed of her mobile phone and when she refused to give her phone, she was stabbed by 2 robbers. Life is more precious.

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