I got back to my desk around 12:30 from lunch and started working. My colleague, Kurt, mentioned that he just went down to the garage to check to see if his car was broken into. Hmm… I thought, “that’s something odd to say.” I asked Kurt what he was talking about, and he mentioned that an email went out that said there were some cars in the garage that got broken into.
In a panic, I opened my email, and saw that listed among the cars that got broken into was a silver Honda Accord on the lobby level. That was my car. I wouldn’t normally be too worried because I don’t keep anything valuable in my car, but on that day I happened to forget my wallet in the center console of the car. My wallet had all my credit cards and ID of course. A pain to deal with when lost as everyone knows.
I go down to my car, and sure enough the window is broken, but my car is still locked and it doesn’t look like the thief made it into my car. I run around to the passenger side, open the door and then the center console and see that my wallet is still there and filled with all my stuff.
After counting my blessings, it was time to practice some wisdom that I learned over the years from having crimes committed against you. First step is to always leave the crime scene alone, because… you just never know. That’s why I ran to my passenger side door instead of opening the driver’s side that was broken, and the only reason why I went into my car in the first place is because it looked like it wasn’t gone through. Next step is to call the police and to fill out a police report.
Police are extremely helpful in these situations, at least the good police are. Police want to catch bad guys, and they can only do that with the data that’s collected. Government and police resources are diverted to what’s needed and they make those decisions based on data. Contributing to the data is important. Always get a police report. This also benefits you. If you need a police report for insurance or to prove anything in the future. Get the report number or the case number and the name of the officer that took it and keep it for your records.
I also think it’s a great idea to call your insurance. Even if you think your insurance will not help you, you should call because they may give useful information or advice. I knew my coverage with Geico wouldn’t cover my damage, but I filed a claim anyways and they ended up referring me to a recommended and warrantied glass repair company with a discount and it turned out to be half the price of any other quote I got. There’s also the added benefit of covering your ass again in case something else happens as a result of the accident. Imagine someone asking you in the near future “well why didn’t you file a claim with your insurance?”
I once got my motorcycle stolen and waited a month to report it because of some mis-understanding I had. That delay really messed things up and let bad guys commit even more crimes. When I got around to reporting my motorcycle stolen a month later, my motorcycle had been registered under someone else’s name using a fake title.
So when something bad like this happens, time is of the essence. Report it stolen and file a claim immediately after you know what happened, and believe it or not bureaucracy will slowly go to work to help and protect you and others.
“Rehearse them in your mind: exile, torture, war, shipwreck. All the terms of our human lot should be before our eyes.” – Seneca
Having your car window broken is not close to the worst of tragedies one will experience in his lifetime, but we know people who have had sleepless nights over less.
It’s easy to think we have a lot more control of our luck than we do in modern society. The truth is we’re still living in the world and we will encounter bad things and people. Expect bad things to happen, and be prepared for what you will do when it does.