And Then Our Car Got Stolen

green honda crv stolen car andthenwesaved.com

It’s been a little quiet on the blog this week since it’s been super crazy/chaotic-ville over here on the other side. On Saturday night/early Sunday morning, our car got stolen right out of the parking spot we park in every night. Our parking spot is right behind our building, and we’ve always felt pretty safe parking it there. It is right off of an alleyway but we didn’t ever feel concerned about that since just about every parking spot in our neighborhood is either on a busy street or off of an alleyway. Plus, we don’t have a fancy car. It’s a very modest, used ’98 Honda CRV. It’s a solid car but nothing like a shiny Lexus or BMW that screams, “Hey, right here! Steal me!”… or so I thought.

Aaron went out Sunday morning to take the baby on a walk, and had to stop by the car to grab his sunglasses. I stayed back to work on some things, and that’s when I got the call… “Hey, did you move the car?”

“Noooo… why?”

“It’s not in the spot…”

“Huh?” “It’s not here. Come down.”

“What are you talking about?? …. You’re kidding, right?!”

I go down to see Aaron and the baby standing by our very empty parking spot. I still couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe Aaron was joking with me, and had just got me really freaking good. But, nope. He wasn’t joking.

Annnnndddd… cue ALL THE SURREAL FEELINGS.

Turns out, me and Aaron seem to have been the only people that had no idea that late-model Honda’s are PRIME targets for auto thefts (did you know?! Tell me we’re not the only ones?!). The insurance companies (both auto and home), the police officer who wrote up the report, neighbors, friends, and cab drivers (who all knew this, apparently) told us that old Honda’s are stolen for parts, and they are easy to get into. Also, they usually don’t have Onstar , GPS, or other types of tracking devices which makes them even better targets, I hear.

Also? We had a visible car seat which is apparently another major draw for thieves. I was told that sometimes when cars are recovered after thefts that if there is any baby stuff in the car then it will ALWAYS be taken and the other stuff might still be there but baby gear? Nope. Never there when cars get returned.

I learned quite a few things through this experience.

 

What I Learned From Having Our Car Stolen…

 

1. Don’t Ever Keep More than $200 worth of Items in Your Car.

Our auto insurance would only reimburse us up to $200 worth of items, and those things had to be tacked down/part of the car (like a car stereo).

2. Utilize Your Home Owner’s (or Renter’s) Insurance

Home Owner’s Insurance would reimburse us for items that should have been in the house, but weren’t. They would give us $200 for those items but we’d have to cover the $500 deductible first. Keep your policies updated and paid.

3. But, Why?

I kept wondering where the car was and what it was doing. (Like it was a person, or something. Strange, right?) I just kept wondering who took it and why they took it. I wondered if it was being torn apart in a garage, and if we’d ever see it again. I wondered if the thieves were having a wild night and stole it as part of that or if they were really hard up and needed it to get to work or to get their kids around. Somehow, if it was stolen for something like that… to get to work, or to help their kids get to school I wasn’t as upset about it getting stolen. I found myself thinking, “Maybe they need it more than we do. Who knows what they are going through to have to get to a place of stealing cars.”  I know being broke, and desperate can make people do things they don’t want to do. Though, even if I was trying to convince myself that it might have been for a less horrible reason (than just for greed), that I was surprised by how violated I was feeling. I started to not even feel safe in our home… even though the crime didn’t happen in our house.

4. Keep it in Perspective.

I started to feel really sorry for us, and for all the inconveniences we have been having to go through. All the calls. All the wasted time. I realized I could get really deep into that feeling sorry for myself business if I didn’t back it up, and realize that while it was a pretty big material item it was still just an object. Something that could be replaced even if it wasn’t ideal to do so. I had to remind myself that there are other people who are going through far more difficult things in their lives. I didn’t just find out I have cancer, I didn’t just lose my husband in an accident, and I didn’t just die. (Thank God.) These are horrible, devastating things that have recently happened to people I know. Having a stolen car is shitty but really, it can be replaced. I’ve heard it said before that if we were to throw all of the problems into the pot we’d want to pick our own back out. Morale of the story: someone else has always got it worse, so be grateful for the problems you have.

 

Have you had your car (or something bigger) stolen?  How’d it all turn out? Did you get your car back? Did insurance end up paying out? Did you ever feel safe again?

**Right after I hit Publish we got the call that the car has been recovered! More soon… 

54 comments

54 thoughts on “And Then Our Car Got Stolen

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  1. K

    Glad to hear they found it- now quick, paint it pink! Or a weird shade of orange! Cars that are odd colors almost never get stolen- as you learned, it’s those nice, nondescript, easy-blending-in cars that are at risk ;-)

    Reply
  2. Karen Newcombe

    Yes, my vintage Datsun 280Z was stolen one Easter weekend from what I also considered a safe parking space in an alley behind the house (in San Francisco.) A dozen cars were stolen in the neighborhood that weekend, all BMWs, Hondas, Toyotas, and my little old Z car. They found it three weeks later in a grocery store parking lot, and the police implied I had abandoned it there to get insurance money. I guess when you’ve been a cop a while everyone seems like a bad guy or a scammer – it’s a damned shame. Anyway, whoever stole it used it in street races for a couple weeks, tore up the clutch and transmission, and they kept a dog in it. It never ran quite right again in spite of being repaired, and I didn’t have the money to do a full-out restoration job, which it really deserved. These are the best cars and if I ever win the lottery I’m buying another one — that will be my one and only big splurge!

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  3. Marie

    I am sorry to hear about your car! My car has never been stolen, but I have had quite a few break ins… which suck, they stole my knife case (pastry chef), and other non-essentials. I have also had gas siphoned out of my tank, which again sucks. Unfortunately I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood. I didn’t report these incidents with my insurance or anything, but I just switch up where I park, and usually park in places where I can see my car. Again, sorry about your car and baby items! What a pain!

    Reply
  4. Breanna

    Both my parents and my brother have had their homes broken into. And while it wasn’t me who was directly impacted, it was a huge violation into their personal spaces and that just infuriated me! I can only image how you feel knowing that happened to you and your family. Thanks for sharing your story, and your wonderful reflections on your experience.

    Reply
  5. Marles

    I recall in high school, one of my friends bought a used Honda Civic and made the joke, “But, I mean, it’s a HONDA! It’ll probably get stolen within the week.” I hadn’t ever realized until much later how true that ‘joke’ was. (Civics are apparently the most popular model to steal, too. One of my friends has had his stolen TWICE; the second time, it was completely stripped and up on cinder blocks.)

    I had my old Toyota Avalon ‘broken into’ twice. The power lock on my passenger door stopped working, so I went out to my car to see the door wide open and everything in my car gone, thanks to friends who would forget to lock the door on the inside.

    Also, that’s very frightening that car seats are like a ‘cha ching!’ going off in a thief’s head! Very sad that some people must be so desperate nowadays (either to provide for their children or make a quick buck)

    Reply
  6. Kate@Money Propeller

    That was horrible and glad that it was recovered immediately! A few years ago, me and my hubs bought a brand new motorcycle and after 3 months it was stolen, unluckily the insurance didn’t pay us and until now we didn’t hear anything about it.

    Reply
  7. Hogie

    Oh! I’m so sorry to that happened to you. It’s an awful experience. Congratulations though, on the car being recovered! Hopefully there’s only mild damage (or better yet NO DAMAGE!)

    My car got stolen too! 98 Honda Civic – purchased used in 2003. I LOVED that car! 143k miles and was determined to have it for awhile longer. My previous Honda (87 Accord, also purchased used) – went for 239,000 miles!!!!
    I’ve lived here for over a decade, had it broken into about four (4) different times, but went to leave for work on January 3rd & car was just GONE. (Park in a very well lit carport.)

    I knew Honda’s were popular for theft, but thought I would be ok – so many miles, chipped paint, missing hubcaps, and lots of other aesthetic oddities. But, apparently it’s still a “prize” among thieves.

    Reply
  8. Jess

    I’m sorry you and your family had to experience that but I’m glad your car has been found! It’s insane you’re sharing this now because I just read on the news that there’s been about 1,000 Hondas being stolen/broken into here in Vancouver, BC – I guess Honda is a fairly popular choice for thieves. I’ve had my car broken into before and stolen my DSLR and sadly, nothing came up on Craigslist either.

    Reply
  9. Rachel

    Our family have had 2 cars stolen, my dad’s and mine, both old cars, easy to get into and simple to hotwire. Both times ‘joy riders’ – kids taking for fun. Both times they have been recovered but were insurance write offs, able to recover some random personal items but cars trashed – one was pushed over a cliff and found on a ledge, the other was driven over speed bumps and pavement edges while being chased by police and wrecked the undercarriage.

    Reply
  10. Mrs. Frugalwoods

    Oh how awful! What a pain. But, how wise you are to keep it all in perspective. We have a ’96 Honda Odyssey and we put the Club on the steering wheel every night. Who knows if that actually works as a theft deterrent, but it does make me feel better :). Glad to hear the car was recovered!

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      I bet it works as a deterrent. I like to think that the theives would think it was too much of a pain in the ass to mess with the car if it had that on the steering wheel. I have no idea though. We need a thief’s input on this one! lol!;)

      Reply
  11. Moe

    We had the tires from our vehicle stolen while it was parked in our outdoor university housing parkade. I went out to get groceries and called my husband to report that the wheels were missing. I was giggling so hard that he thought I was kidding. I wish!

    Reply
  12. Tanya

    My son and his wife had their vintage (fixer upper) Mercedes stolen right from there front driveway! The car wasn’t even running but they towed it! Crazy stuff. They thankfully did recover it in one piece, a few weeks later. Now they have to go to court to testify about the robbery. That will probably be coming next for you too.
    So glad they found your car. In the grand perspective a lot worse could happen. But still very upsetting!

    Reply
  13. Slater

    Welcome to the club! Late model Honda stolen right outside my window! Driven until it ran out of gas, and then it was recovered.

    Reply
  14. Jill

    I had no idea that Honda’s were prime targets for thieves so don’t feel you were the only one. And funnily enough, when I bought my current car (a Ford Escape) , a Honda CRV was my dream car – I just couldn’t find one at the price I wanted. Glad to hear they found it and sorry you had to go through that.

    Reply
  15. Caitlyn

    I actually did know that older Hondas were prime targets – you are 100% right – they are usually stolen for the parts – they’re so common that their parts are highly desirable. I drive a ’94 Honda Accord – which is actually the #1 most commonly stolen car. My Stepdad works in car security – he installs a device called a RavelCo – which is a really amazing anti-theft device – it has a little plug that you must insert in order to start the car – the company has been around for decades and has NEVER had a car stolen that had their device installed. They are relatively affordable so you might consider getting one. My Stepdad owns a franchise in the Metro DC area, but I am sure you have someone who installs them near you – http://ravelco.com/. Some insurance companies even give discounts if you have one. Don’t mean to sound like a sales pitch – they are just really a great idea. So sorry you had to go through this!!

    Reply
  16. Richard

    Wow that’s horrid. I’ve never had my car stolen (touch wood) but I have had a break-in so I know personally just how terrible it feels for a while afterwards. Hope you’re able to return to normality soon.

    Reply
  17. Ellen

    I’m so sorry to hear this! But your good attitude is exactly what I needed this morning. I got out of work yesterday to find that someone had smashed into the front of my car. It had been a long day in general, then for someone to do this and just leave was icing on the cake. (Actually the 1.5 hour traffic jam I got stuck in on the way home was the real icing). I’ve had worse things happen to me in the past (including getting robbed) but I’ve just been oscillating between feeling angry and sorry for myself. It’s good to remember that my problem is really not so bad. Mostly inconvenient. And expensive.

    I’m glad they found your car, and I’m glad for the reminder to keep it all in perspective.

    Reply
  18. Adrian Williams

    I stay in Detroit. Cars get stolen all the time. It’s a shame. Mines was stolen TWICE. I honestly wasn’t mad because it’s just something that happens. Gotta role with the punches. I drove a 02′ dodge intrepid. It took me a while and now I own a 11′ Mustang. Couldn’t be happier. I still stay in Detroit. Why in the world did I buy a Mustang and I’m staying in the hood? Because that’s what I wanted. Lol. I’m moving soon tho. Eff it. I can honestly say I wasn’t prepared financial at first. I now know to be prepared for almost any emergency now.

    Reply
  19. Michelle

    My friend had her Jeep stolen FIVE times!! To be fair (?) it had no back window and you could start it with a screw driving. After the second time she spray painted a unicorn on the hood. The police found it every time.

    Also I had no idea about the Honda CRV thing and especially the baby products!

    Reply
  20. Fitness Saver

    The psychological impact can be the worst when it comes to getting things stolen more so than the monetary loss.

    I never leave any valuable items on display in a car. My dad once had his GPS grabbed through an open window in his car when he was waiting at a traffic light! Whenever he does his white van man job he always removes the GPS from view when he parks and makes sure there is no visible marks on the windshield from where the GPS was stuck on.

    Reply
  21. Rebecca @ Stapler Co

    That really really sucks. I’m sorry :(

    I had no clue about the baby stuff, but I’m not surprised. Every thief probably knows a mom who knows a mom who needs some baby gear.

    I’m cleaning out my car tonight!

    Reply
  22. Stephanie Volkmer

    I never had my car stolen, but I did have my car broken into and they took my stereo. Out of my car. The one that came with it. It was messy and really made me angry (mainly because it was a 95 Geo Metro, which really had no selling point to the car except for the stereo) thankfully the cops found it and I got it back, but since then I am very picky about where I park my car and always have to lock it twice (or more) glad to hear that you got it back! :)

    Reply
  23. Charlotte

    I just read your post about getting your car back and replacing the items, so came to the original post. Glad it worked out ok! It is odd that I had my 8 day old brand new Samsung S5 cell phone stolen last week, partly due to my carelessness, but nevertheless, taken and not returned and probably sold overseas. I have never had a brand new phone except for my very first one years ago, so didn’t have the sense to have insurance. Anyway, I can really identify with your emotions and realizing it is a thing not a person that I lost, or a bad accident, disease, etc. Fortunately I have a phone to use that is fine, but I understand many of your responses to the situation! I have much to be grateful for!

    Reply
  24. Tiffani

    Hi, I know this is an older post, but I was just googling stuff and came across this….well, I have a 2003 Honda Pilot, fully loaded with a double jogging stroller, two infant car seats, two umbrella strollers…etc, lots of baby stuff….and it was stolen about a month ago. It was recovered about 10 days later, with lots of dents and a busted out back window in the lift gate. I was told the same thing, that older Honda’s are easy to steal…by the way, this is the 2nd time it’s been stolen in 6 years. I feel super violated and just want to get rid of the car, but having no car note, brings me back down to reality….*sign*

    Reply
  25. Ben

    My beloved 2000 crv was just stolen last week. I just moved to this san jose ca neighborhood 3 weeks ago. I researched the area before deciding to move in. I thought it was safe. I only had liability insurance on it. Its just tough getting thru the ordeal. I am still hoping and prayig to recover it. I really want to just get it back. I have a few personal items since i was still moving in some stuff to my new place. Wish me luck that it will be recovered soon and not stripped out. Dont the thieves realize that the reason i have an old crv is because i cannot afford to buy a brandnew car?

    Reply
  26. Ben

    I am in the same boat as you are when it happened to you. All the emotions and feelings you mentioned iam going thru right now. Im having anxiety attacks as to when will i get that phone call and what condition will it be in. A year ago my brand new cannondale bike was stolen inside our garage and was never seen again.

    Reply
  27. JO

    My daughters 99 Honda CRV just got stole a couple of days ago from our apartment parking. she has only had it less than 5 months. she is so down

    Reply

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