Fighting a Citation

My car was broken into last night; multiple things ran through my head at that moment.

You might be thinking how did I found out this happened to which my response will be an embarrassing “I left my car unlocked.” How I came to find my car this morning seemed strangely normal. Except for the fact that there were a few things that normally stay in my center console now scattered on my front seats. It was then that I realized that I don’t remember ever performing such a task. To my surprise, there was no vehicle damage and all that was taken were the valuable contents of my center console. The thief left my insurance card, my nice sunglasses, and my vehicle registration. what was taken of suspected value were my past five or six payroll checks from work and my checkbook with a handful of blank checks left (the majority of the book had been used.

One of the first feelings I had was a sigh of relief that there was no vehicle damage, and that my car was physically still there. Second, I couldn’t help but cling to a feeling of excitement. My naivete lead me to thoughts of, “This is what it feels like to have your car broken in to. Wonder what he/ she took. Weird.” No immediate sense of panic or fear came about. Judging by what was missing, I came to the conclusion that the perp didn’t want my car, and was looking for valuables and cash to either: feed a drug habit (everyone’s favorite first choice) or to possibly feed hungry children ( my first choice.) Since they were able to get into my car, they could have possessed the knowledge on how to hijack the car too. Once the crime scene had been investigated (by I, the investigator) I then realized I wasn’t going to be able to make the check out to the courts after being cited a few months ago with my checkbook missing. So I went back into the house, got another checkbook, and proceeded on with my day.

During my drive into court, I was thinking what the consequences would be for someone to try and deposit/ cash a payroll check that had already been deposited in a bank. The physical copies had stayed in my center console after I had taken photos of them and digitally uploaded them to my bank through their web app. I figured they wouldn’t  be able to receive money for money that has already been received. That’s why payroll checks have all those security stamps and logos on them, right? I couldn’t imagine a situation of this being made possible and having it fall back on me. People have tried to cash bad checks before, it never falls on the person who originally endorsed the check. Then again, I am no accountant and decided to drive to the bank for clarification after getting my citation taken care of.

Then came the issue of the checkbook. I could easily prevent any further checks from clearing through my bank, except I needed to write one to the court to pay my dues. More questions to ask my banker.

My court visit went by smoothly and I will be participating in my first trial by written declaration over the next month(s) to come. My traffic violation is of no importance, since the officer showed  much grace and understanding (plus he said he wasn’t going to appear in court or write a defending argument when the time came to do so.)

Once I made it to the bank, they ensured me that whoever took the checks would be, under any circumstance, unable to get any money from those paychecks since they had been deposited already. As far as the checkbook checks go, I will have to watch my account to see if any fishy purchases were made that I need to clear up.

The perp had opened up a few neighbor’s vehicles including my dad’s car. They are all filing police reports, but the logical and cynical side of me sees no use in such a task. I can see the argument that when the checks finally attempt to be cleared, they can be reported stolen and the thief could and should be arrested on site. We could also see an increase in police surveillance and patrol in my neighborhood. All of this would leave some with a sense of content and relief, but not me. First of all, I nor my vehicle was harmed in this event. I am very thankful for this, but this shows me that the person didn’t want to physically harm those nearby. I refuse to let the potential fears consume and inhibit the way I live my life. People may feel violated and helpless, which is a very understandable reaction to have but I just can’t see myself turning into a shut-in as a result of this less-than-severe case. Had my car been stolen, or badly damaged, or other valuables been taken that I would physically need to track down, I would have filed a report to the authorities and my insurance.

I will be more aware of leaving my car unlocked when I exit it now and that is about all the extra safety precautions I feel that I need to take. Since this is the reason for all of this happening, I see it as the only preventative measures that need to be taken. Not everyone may have the same views as me, and I respect and sympathize with those views, but just know that this is all I plan to do. I can see this how this may be a sign of being a pushover on my behalf, but my mind has been made up.

This has been an unfortunate experience that I had learned and gained wisdom from. I now feel as though I have gained all that I need to, and have invested as much energy as I have deemed necessary from it. I will be continuing about my life catching up on some reading (which I hope to write about soon) my new coffee experiences and toys, and preparing for the 2014 race season.

-dfj

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