Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How to get something out of no thing

As promised, lemonade, it's on the house.

You would think I’d know better, but you’d be wrong.

You would think I’d know better because I read about shattered car windows and stolen laptops every week, right here on Altadena Patch. In fact, I posted some of those reports to this very site just last month.

A few days ago, I left a laptop in the backseat of my car and in the morning there was no back window and no laptop. Which was only briefly shocking. In retrospect, it was an entirely logical outcome.

The thieves knew precisely what they wanted – the evidence weighs against impulse shopping and recreational vandalism. Only one window was shattered, the window closest to the laptop, leaving the rest of the car intact. Call it Stockholm syndrome, but I’m actually grateful for that.

They didn't take the other items in the car – a really nice scarf, a sweater, and a whole case of decent wine. They (or he or she, I don’t know if more than one is involved) didn’t rifle through the glove box or the console or the hatchback area. Nope, they knew what they wanted, and I was just the one to give it to them.

I like to picture their faces, though, when they realized what it was they actually got: Dude, it’s a Dell. A really old Dell. A really old, huge, ugly Dell. (More on Patch)

45 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Score 1 for you!. Bet the look was priceless..sadly, you would of thought that since it was an old Dell they would of just left it and moved on. BTW I have no clue about the other laptop articles... Are the stolen ones being hocked off? or?

Mister Earl said...

Thieves love laptops sitting in cars. They also love GPS devices. They love small electronics that they can dispose of easily. Your Dell may have thrown them for a loop once they saw what they had. Somewhere a fence is chewing out a thief: "WTF is this?"

Brenda's Arizona said...

Oh yes, you made lemonade out of this lemon of a Dell!

Terri said...

Cautionary tale indeed. Now I know I must find another insurance company...one that isn't afraid to get their hands dirty on occasion.

altadenahiker said...

Yeah, and you should have seen MY face when Allstate told me I had a "Glass deductible."

Paula said...

You're in good hands on one front!

Marjie said...

"glass deductible", huh? Cute. Way to rip off already overbilled customers. I'm really sorry to learn about the loss of your book, in any event. I'm sure it would have been delightful. Maybe the replacement will be better.

Tash said...

I am so upset about you losing your work!!!!! Those cretins. Awful hassle and financial loss but your work -- priceless.
(You do make lovely lemonade though.)
So, I'm getting you a back-up hard drive...which you WILL use (won't you please).

dbdubya said...

I would have left the laptop and taken the case of wine. What were they thinking?

Ken Mac said...

serves them right for ignoring the vino. Suckers!

Bellis said...

And I bet the case of wine was lighter than the laptop. Maybe there aren't any wine fences?

Have you looked at Craig' list? maybe someone's trying to sell it. What worries me about this incident is the thought of people wanerign round the small streets of upper Altadena at night looking for loot. They're much worse than coyotes.

As for insurance. it's all about the deductible. Ours is $250. I must say, Mercury Car insurance were brilliant when our cars were damaged in the windstorm. They gave us generous amounts, and paid for the tree to be removed. Even the Mercury house insurance people gave my neighbor $500 as a goodwill gesture for the damage our tree branch did to her gutter and BBQ.

altadenahiker said...

Tash, Tash! That's the nicest offer I've ever had. Yes, I'll use it -- promise.(Is yours the friendly hand Paula already knew about?)

As for DB and Kenny Mac, I must say, that shocked me, too. Maybe they're on a 10 (12? whatever) step program that doesn't include theft? Or they felt sorry for me? Because the case of wine was right next to Nellie.

Bellis, I'm sure about it; people wandering our streets looking for the most specific electronic items lazy people have left in cars. Regarding your insurance agent, let's talk.

Margaret said...

No matter how you slice this lemon, it is a big pain and disappointment. Drown your sorrows in the wine.

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

I'm really, really, really, really sorry this happened, Karin. Forget that it was Dell. There's the whole violation aspect that's worse than the loss. Dang.

Ms M said...

You've done well making lemonade out of these lemons! (Lemons also including all the extra stuff you have to do, insurance companies, etc.)

sonia a. mascaro said...

Karin,
Ever I read about your laptop stolen, I am so really sorry this happened, mainly because you losing your work!

Young at Heart said...

agh..... and oh .....and thank goodness for the wine!!

Rob said...

Wow, that is one tale of woe...I think. Afterall it was a Dell. You lost your Dell, but saved your wine. Let me know the next time you leave a case of wine in your backseat.

Trish said...

On the plus side, they left the wine so you can drink your pain away.

USAA has always been good for those of us who have had it.

Glass deductible? Really?

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Whats wrong with Dells?

Paula said...

I just meant that at least this one time they came through for you. Nice.

Mister Earl said...

Then there was the accordion player who left his accordion in the back seat. When he returned, his window was smashed and there were two accordions in the back seat.

altadenahiker said...

Oh my god, that wasn't a second accordion, that was my laptop. Someone is trying to play "Ach, Du Lieber Augustin" on Nellie Belle.

Katie said...

I still feel bad that you lost not only your dear Nellie but your work. Small victory that they left the wine though. I do hope your Patch piece makes other think before leaving anything of value in their car no matter where they live. My 92 Honda was stolen a few months ago, and then found up the street. The police officer mentioned that old Hondas are easy to get into with any Honda key and that I needed a club. (Who knew? Cautionary tale for old Honda owners.) Luckily they didn't need to break a window to get in, and only took the car to a different location to look through it for valuables. Since they found only cassette tapes and AAA maps nothing was stolen. Score one for Luddites I guess.

Pierre said...

Sorry and angered for you.
Are you gittin a Dell agin?

Anonymos2 said...

What’s wrong with an old Honda?
My GF has an old Honda and she’s happy when it’s not stolen.
I don’t understand her since I have to do all the work with this old Honda.
Every time there are some broken parts on this old Honda, I have to fix it.

Banjo52 said...

I think you sound a bit less upset about it this time--or maybe a lot less. For what it's worth, I'm fairly moronical about tech stuff and I've managed to use the back-up, detached hard drive (though not as often as I should).

Also, for what it's worth, I've had good luck with Liberty Mutual insurance, though I think they're somewhat expensive.

I've never understood why so many businesses don't see that good service, cooperation, user-friendliness, reliability and such desserts do pay off. Ask Apple. Ask Volvo (when it was Swedish). And so forth. (Of course, I also had a '74 Volvo lemon, so nothing's certain. [Now there's an original lesson]).

Banjo52 said...

P.S. Earl, love the accordion gag.

altadenahiker said...

And I can imagine their faces as well, Katie.

I'm buying a younger, skinnier version of Nellie today.

Trish said...

"Second place prize is not just one, but TWO weeks in Cincinnati!"

Please don't play the accordion! I like it as an addition to a GOOD song (I don't mind it in "Ach, Du Lieber Augustin", but no, I grew up listening to one...no, please!

Dells are fine, but like my old Apple 540c luggable, old ones are heavy and slow. It just is fact. Most *smart* thieves...(wait for it, waiiiiit for it), wouldn't bother taking it.

Then again, we have a friend insured with the "good hands" folks who insists that her insurance company has told her they won't pay a dime if someone breaks into her house if she doesn't always double-lock her Baldwin front door lock. Well, first problem, no pro (and most amateurs) wants to try pick a Baldwin (I'd rather try breaking down solid oak or steel doors). Second, the upper portion of her front door (and side lights) are stained-glass. Any pro would break the glass over messing with the Baldwin. Any amateur would do the same without consideration of the kind of lock. Yet there she goes, double-locking the front door because the company says so...

Next laptop ONLY goes in the trunk and maybe you need a sleeve for it that states "Only used for volunteer activities for children with cancer at City of Hope, please don't steal this!"?

Wait, I guess that would assume thieves could read...

Desiree said...

May I ask what was the nice wine?

Jean Spitzer said...

We had our car broken into to take the portable gps unit a few years ago. Same method--window broken and glass mess left. Really sorry for the laptop loss.

Petrea Burchard said...

The case of wine was too big and heavy. A laptop tucks under a jacket and is easy to sell.

I've got an old Mac G4 and I could use a down payment on a Macbook Air. I think I'll leave the G4 down at the curb and see if anyone steals it.

Trish said...

actually Petrea, the thieves had no taste, so they left the wine. If they'd have had a brain, they'd have taken the wine, most likely could have gotten more out of it than the laptop! But again, back to the brains thing...

Cafe Pasadena said...

Now if they had gotten some thing out of nothing, that wood've been something indeed. Well, u were gonna buy another PC anyway. It's funny the way life helps us out sometimes.

Did u say this all went down in, Altadena??

BaysideLife said...

Oh dear. They took so very much more than the dell. I am so sorry about your novel.

BaysideLife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheChieftess said...

Be glad they didn't take the wine...not only do you still have it to soothe the pain...you avoided the lawsuit the thieves would've hit you with if they'd hurt their backs pulling the carton of wine out through the window...

Virginia said...

Thank you Jesus........ an old Dell! :)
V

Susan Campisi said...

I still mourn the loss of a really nice scarf I lost a few years ago. I'm glad you still have yours.

Birdman said...

Outta sight, outta mind... that's my motto.

Shell Sherree said...

{Heh, love Mister Earl's accordion comment.} It's good that you can be philosophical about it, KB. But I wish they'd returned it once they got over their shock at what they'd scored.

Kaori said...

That really hurts how they got your PC, despite how old it was. It was yours. My hard drive with all my pictures once died on me and I cried for days. But at least I knew what happened and was able to properly bury it.

My thoughts are with you.

amy said...

dicks.
i'm sorry they stole your dell.

i would never steal your dell.

i would have taken the wine.

maybe the scarf too.

xxa

Carolynn said...

Well, that sucks! Maybe it's a blessing in disguise. You'll have to replace it now and you'll get a much newer, faster, sleeker, shinier model.