A couple months back, my car was broken into at Runyon. This was annoying on so many fronts, not least of which being I think I should have been rewarded for working out, not criminalized.
From this experience, I not only had the aha moment of where all that thick glass on the street comes from, but I also picked up some solid advice for theft victims. Not wanting to discriminate, I also have some advice for the folks breaking into cars, because I could do it so much better myself.
Advice for the car thief:
Look beyond the wallet:
I had about $50 in cash in my wallet. Congrats, car thief, you get $50. Had you known anything about fashion, however, you’d really be rolling in some prime Ebay cash. Brand. New. Louboutins. Two pairs!! In the boxes! I’d break into a car for those! I had JUST picked them up form getting the soles enforced - you really, really missed out. And all the dry cleaning. Maybe used dresses don’t sell as well as new shoes, but I think the lady in your life would have been super pumped about some free designer goods that were just cleaned.
Use your resources, silly:
Mister criminal (or misses criminal - whoever has a strong enough arm to throw a rock through my car window) tried to use my credit card at the gas station. I would have spent my new credit line on something more exciting, but I guess we’re different people. Anyway, the card was rejected at the pump because the criminal couldn’t guess my zip code.
Silly criminal! All you had to do was look at my license, which was in the same compartment of my wallet (PS - hope you didn’t ditch that because, again, the Chanel wallet was worth wayyyyy more than the $50). Then you could have had as much free gas as you wanted.
Be more selective with your target audience:
Perhaps I didn’t mention this, but this particular theft happened on a Tuesday afternoon. Middle of the day, parked up on Mulholland with no businesses for miles.
Do I seem like an employed person to you?
No, I am not. Had you thought about that, you probably would have scored a car with some more cash resources. But weekday at Runyon? Home of out of work actresses, unsuccessful freelancers and people who work night jobs? Come on, dude. You can do better than that.
Advice for the theft-ed:
Don’t leave your purse in your car comma idiot:
I know, this is super obvious advice, and I’m a total moron for not following it. But look me in the eye and tell me you haven’t put a purse or wallet in your trunk when you worked out after errands. Or any other valuable. The trunk is the safe place, right?
Hey, genius: When someone breaks into the car, they also have access to the button that pops the trunk. Why that thought didn’t occur to me before this experience is beyond me.
Don’t go directly to the police:
Being that this was my first time as a crime victim, I falsely assumed the police would be happy to help. Oh no, girl, no.
I walked into the police station holding my little puppy to file a report (the car windows were broken - couldn’t leave my little prince in the car!). To start with, Bravo’s Million Dollar Matchmaker was on, which is, perhaps, the last show I would expect to be on in the police station. How small-minded of me. I was told I couldn’t file a report, because I didn’t have ID. Because it was stolen. In the crime I was reporting. Yes, really.
I watch a lot of Law & Order (I mean, a LOT), so in my expert opinion, I don’t think that can be a real rule. Perhaps the officer just wanted to see who the millionaire picked, which I totally respect and would have happily waited for. But if it is a rule, apparently the secret to becoming a successful criminal is to do whatever you want, just make sure to steal your victim’s ID after. You heard it here first, criminals of Los Angeles.
Cancel your credit cards immediately:
And while your canceling them, push for very specific information on where the criminals used or tried to use your cards. When the police finally do take your report (after you have located a passport), it will help them trail and eventually not find the thieves.
Make an appointment for the DMV:
Replace that ID, and don’t wait in line doing it. Make the first available appointment, and bring your checkbook with you (correct, the one you use once a month for rent is now your only line of funds).
The bank closes at 6PM on weekdays, 2PM on Saturdays, and isn’t open on Sundays:
First time without an ATM card in awhile, huh? And no credit card either - oof! Yeah - you have to go INTO the bank for money. Like the olden days. And it’s not a 24-hour sort of thing. File that under things we haven’t worried about in this millennium.
Just chill out: what happened, happened:
So your car is a little effed. So your stuff is a little gone. So you feel violated and mad.
Get over it. No one was hurt, and stuff can be replaced. And you’ve picked up some great observations if you ever need to resort to a life of crime.