...and observant people.
On March 12 when our car was stolen out of our garage, another couple in our neighborhood had their car stolen the same night. They too left the garage door open by mistake and left a spare set of keys in their car. This young couple in their twenties came to see us the afternoon after our cars were stolen to compare notes and find out if we knew anything they didn't about the situations. I think their names are Tiffany and J-something, so I will call him Jeff for sake of this story.
Tiffany and Jeff live around the corner from us. In fact you can see their house when you stand in our back yard. They were very sweet and we really enjoyed talking to them. We have seen them a few times around the neighborhood since the theft, and always stop to say hi and find out if the sheriff has ever contacted them again. We were both told that once your car gets stolen in this county, you probably won't see it again. The only way they usually find stolen cars around here is to get a tip, or to stumble upon it abandoned on one of the over 500 miles of country road that make up the county. So yeah, neither one of us were expecting to ever see our vehicles again.
Today, Tiffany and Jeff were out in their yard when they looked up to see a lady drive by in a Lincoln that looked surprisingly like theirs. Jeff remarked to his wife, 'Honey, that looks like our car.' The lady had a few kids in the back seat and was driving very slowly through the neighborhood, looking carefully at houses. It was only about a minute later that Jeff realized that it was in fact their car the lady was driving! T and J hopped in their car and followed the lady while contacting the police. The lady realized she was being followed and floored it, losing our amateur crimefighters. Due to their quick thinking, the lady was soon surrounded by about five sheriffs vehicles and was soon made a guest of the county.
After recovering their car, T and J made their way to our house to notify us that we could probably expect to hear about our car too. At the same time that was happening, I was driving and received a call from a captain with the sheriff's office that went something like this:
Captian: Did you folks recently report your car stolen?
Me: Yes, sir, we did.
Captain: Well, I am standing right here looking at it!
Me: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!! YAY!!!!
Captain: I now need hearing aids....
Okay, just kidding on that last sentence. But seriously, how cool is that? Our car was abandoned in a apartment complex parking lot in the north side of town far far from where we live. Apparently, the "lady" who was driving the Lincoln? She first proclaimed that she had no idea the car she was driving was stolen, it must have been the work of her son! (nice way to throw your kid under the bus, sister.) But after further questioning, she admitted that she knew where our car was, that the battery had been taken out of it so that another car could be stolen, and oh by the way, here's the keys that go to that car. The woman was driving around with my keys in her purse! What a moron! And who cruises the neighborhood you stole a car from...in the stolen car?! In broad daylight?! I would so make a better criminal than that.
So we loaded the kids into our new used car and warp-speeded it over to the apt complex to pick up our old used car. It has some scratches in the paint that look like they drove it through a field and there is slight dent in the door. Alison's carseat is missing, as are our CDs. But you know what? I don't really care. We have our car back. We did not lose $5700 like we thought we did. A stolen car ring has been busted, thanks to the quick actions of our neighbors. Who sooo will be getting a nice gift certificate from us soon.
So at last, a happy ending to one chapter in the drama of our lives since moving to Missouri. How wonderful. Thank you, Lord for answering prayers and watching out for your children, even when we whine.
Now we don't have to depend upon Buzz to give us a lift in his spaceship.