Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Latest Car Chronicle

On Wednesday morning, I went out to my car to find that it had been
broken into, and the ECU had been stolen. The ECU is the car's
computer that controls fuel, air, etc. It also is coded to match my
key and will not start unless the codes match.

We start dealing with insurance on Wednesday night, and get the rental
car. We were told to wait until the appraiser checked out the car to
tow it, so it stayed in the spot. I re-enabled the alarm that had
been disabled because of problems with it. And it sat there.

Friday night, the insurance company tells us that we should get it
towed to the dealership, but the dealership is already closed, so we
plan to do that Saturday. Get up on Saturday, go out to the car, and
it is gone. (Like, GONE)

We call the insurance company to make sure nobody towed it, and make
sure it isn't at the dealership already. Wishful thinking, I know.
We ask the people that live upstairs from where the car is parked if
they heard anything, and they described the alarm going off at 3:15am,
and lasting for about two hours. They sound as if the alarm was
annoying enough that somebody may have called the cops and had it

We get some hope, and head to the police department in Brighton. Tell
the officer at the desk that our car was either stolen or towed, and
give him our plate number. The car was towed. WHOO-HOO!

It was towed from a street in ROXBURY! What?!?! It is now in a lot
in Charlestown listed as "Possible Stolen / Safe Keeping".

Okay. Okay. The car is not GONE. The officer does not have info on
the state of the car, and really can't help us any further. We need
to contact the tow lot, and go to the District 4 Police Station. We
get the numbers and go home.

Once home, we collect the camera and city maps. Knowing that we need
to actually physically go to the police station, we call the tow lot
to ask about the condition of the car and what we need from the police
before going to the lot.

The tow lot has the car. We ask the condition, and he responds "I
don't think it's drivable" . Okay, but is it totally stripped? He
yells over his shoulder "Hey, that Acura we brought in? How is it?"
I hear someone in the back ground yell back "It's not driveable".
"Yeah, but is it terrible?". "Nah."

Great! The car is not TOTALLED.

We ask why it was towed, and he says that some guys were caught trying
to steal it.


We say thank you and head down to the police station. At this point
we notice that it is impossible to find parking around police
stations. Both the Brighton and Roxbury police stations have ZERO
parking near them. Whatever...

We tell the officer on duty that our car was stolen, and upon getting
the plate number, he prints out the police report. Turns out a
witness called the police when she saw a couple guys doing what looked
like breaking into a car. The police responded with EIGHT OFFICERS
and FIVE POLICE CARS! The guys fled in their BMW and were surrounded
by cop cars a little down the road. The witness was taken to the
scene, and positively ID'd the guys as the ones that had been
stripping my car. All three guys were arrested.

I love this woman. We will be sending her a thank you card and a
Dunkin Donuts gift card.

So we head down to the tow lot, and find the car. The tow lot guys
were very nice. This was shocking to us, and it deserves mentioning.
They were nice and helpful, and very appropriate and considerate of
our situation. They point us to our car, and off we go.

The car interior is destroyed. The front seats are really the only
parts that aren't damaged in some way. However, everything is still in the car. The steering wheel column is destroyed. The alarm has been ripped from where it was. The back seat was pulled out and sitting in the trunk. Even the rear view mirror was ripped out. But everything is still actually IN the car.
I pop the hood.

No damage. Zero damage. Nothing under the hood was taken, except one
thing. The siren for my alarm was not there. Now this goes back to
the people that live upstairs from the parking spot.

Recall they said the alarm was going off for a couple hours. Well,
the siren for my alarm has a battery back up. If it is disconnected
from the battery of my car, it will go off. And it will keep blaring
until the battery back up is drained. It appears as though the
theives found the siren, ripped it out, and threw it someplace that I
haven't found yet. So it was going off for a couple hours after the
car was already gone.

So, now we're at the tow lot. Going through the car, taking pictures,
etc. As we are going through our car, a bunch of guys enter the lot,
and go over to a BMW that is nearby. Recalling that there was also a
BMW that was stolen, I shout over to them asking if theirs was stolen,
too. They give a murmurring response of how it cost a lot to get the
car outta there, or something, and I go back to checking out my car.

After the guys left, the tow truck driver comes over in his truck. He
asked if the guys in the BMW said anything. It dawns on us.

Those were the guys that stole our car. We saw all three of them.
According to the police report that we checked again later, they were
wearing the same clothes that they were arrested in.

We were taking pictures of our destroyed car, and going to drive home
in a rented Accord. These guys just drove out of here in a 2001 BMW

So now, I'm going to make certain that the police will add the
original ECU incident to the charges. I want them arrested again.
The ECU that was stolen on Wednesday was found in the car in their
possession on Saturday. That should mean that they get charged for
breaking into my car TWICE.

We now have to get the car back to the dealership and repaired. The
last (couple of) time(s) this kind of damage was done to my car, it
took just around a month to get it repaired. We are going to be
certain that the insurance company reimburses us for the alarm that
has been destroyed. And we're going to beef up the alarm system. We
will be finding a new parking spot, and hopefully finding one in a

And that should conclude this episode of my car's chronicles...