Friday, November 23, 2012
Yep, I did steal a brand new Land Rover. What a beautiful ride. The things I do for money. Do not attempt this unless you have a lot of experience with law enforcement.
It's not my fault people can't get along...I just go where the market takes me. It was Christmas week 2008. A guy calls me from...ah, well, I am changing the state here, so let's say he called from Utah and his name is Gary. His attorney told him to call as he knows an attorney I work for in Sacramento.
Gary travels for business and recently came home to Roseville and found his rental house empty, his stuff gone including his brand new Land Rover. He just talk to his wife, Cindy, earlier that week and he had no idea she'd been planning on splitting. Now, she won't return his calls and he has no idea where she went. Her relatives won't talk to him either. She just did a bunk.
Since Gary traveled for work and was usually gone for one to two weeks, he figured she had plenty of time on her hands to plan this move. He had been suspecting she was having an affair for quite some time and this solidified it for him. Really dude?
Which reminds me people: If you think someone is having an affair, they are, they always are. No need to hire a PI, save your money and hire a divorce attorney.
Gary then returned to the house he actually owned in Utah and hired an attorney. He still could not reach his wife, he wanted to get his Land Rover back. He made several calls to the Roseville City Police, Placer County Sheriff's, the California Highway Patrol and called tons of Repossession Companies - Repo Guys.
Get this: the Repo Guys would not help him locate his Land Rover because they don't work for individuals - they only work for bank and financial companies.
Get this #2: The Placer City Police told him since the Land Rover was taken from his street that's in the County, he had to call the Sheriff's for help.
Get this #3: The Placer County Sheriff's would not help him, they do not get involved in domestic or family squabbles unless guns or beatings are involved. When he told the Sheriff's that the Land Rover was in his name only - they still said NO. Same for the CHP.
Gary found out from his attorney that I am somewhat of a Maverick. He asked if I'd be willing to take this on. I thought for a moment, then decided sure, let's test my skill and hell, I've never been arrested or incarcerated, well actually I have, that's for another story...stay tuned.
Gary was willing to pay me any amount to get his vehicle back and I needed Christmas money so it seemed a win-win. The first thing I had to do was find Cindy's whereabouts and find the Land Rover...how I found her is a trade secret - the silly chick made a simple mistake.
Here's where it gets tricky. What will the police or sheriff's do to me when Cindy reports the Land Rover stolen? Shoot me and ask questions later? Chase me down in the vehicle throwing nails on the freeway, then arrest me and take me to jail? I picture myself driving the Land Rover down Freeway 80, then all of a sudden looking up at the Amber Alert flashing sign - there I am...seeing the Land Rover's license plate and description, (they really don't use Amber Alert for this) but all of these senarios seemed a bit nerve racking as I had no idea what the police would do.
I had an extra car key, as well as a copy of the pink slip and insurance card from Gary, but still, once Cindy sees the vehicle driving off, or her new boyfriend sees me, they are gonna call and report it stolen. Cindy might be too dumb to realize maybe Gary came and got it. We'll see.
Then the simplest thing came to me, why don't I just call the police/sheriff's telling them I am going to take the Land Rover? It is not in Cindy's name anyway, how could this be illegal? I'll just give the 911 operators my name, my CDL number, what address I am taking the vehicle from, it's license plate number, the date and time I am going to take the Land Rover and the address I am taking the vehicle to for safe keeping. This way, when Cindy calls 911, the operators will have all the information on file, and they will tell her, "Sorry, the vehicle is not in your name and we don't get involved in domestic disputes".
The vehicle was located at a residence in Placer County and is under the Placer County Sheriff's jurisdiction. BUT first I visited all of agencies giving them copies of the registration, my CDL and business card. I went to the police, the Sheriff's and the CHP because I could not trust these agencies to be on the same page, thus stepping on each other's jurisdiction and I'd have three agencies on my ass.
Christmas Eve, in Roseville, while driving down the street, I spot the Land Rover from before when I did a drive by. It was just sitting there in front of the house, so I drive by the Land Rover two or three times getting a feel for my exit strategy after I steal the vehicle. In the front bay window of this house there she is, Cindy's on the treadmill and she will probably see me drive away...oh well.
My associate drops me off at the end of the street, I have the key in my hand and I start walking towards the Land Rover, just "meandering" down the street watching for neighbors or any activity that might distract me. As I am walking by the Land Rover on the drivers side, I notice out of the corner of my eye that Cindy is still running on the treadmill, looking down like she is reading something.
I stand still by the drivers door for a few seconds, to gain composure and make sure everything around me is quiet, no other vehicle noise, especially no one driving down the street like maybe Mr. Boyfriend.
I put the key in the door, open it just enough to get it, I am freaking out, this is a brand new vehicle, so many damn knobs, lights, gadgets and the seat was way back, how do I adjust this damn thing? I decided to screw it, just sit up, start the thing and drive, so off I go.
My associate is following me as I have to drive 5 miles on main roads through Roseville to the Sheriff' s substation. I have tons of traffic lights, most of them red of course, never fails huh?
I just concentrate on driving, not thinking about the possibility of copper's blaring their red lights or sirens. I swear two Sheriff's vehicles passed me going the other way on a side road and I almost needed an oxygen tank. I got my heart rate back to normal by taking slow deep breathes, then 10 minutes later pulled into the Sheriff's substation and parked. I got out of the vehicle, then walked next door to a Starbucks in the same shopping center, bought a mocha, sat outside and kept watch on the Land Rover.
After thirty or forty minutes, I then decided to find out if the Land Rover was reported stolen, so I walked back to the Sheriff's substation. Usually at these substations I find older people, in their 70's, who volunteer their time, taking police reports etc.
I told them my name, pointed towards the Land Rover that is sitting outside, right in front of their station window, and told them this is the vehicle I just stole. You should have seen their faces, I thought one of them was going to stroke out. They all get up from their desks and came to the counter to talk to me. I told them I had visited all the agencies earlier in the week giving them a heads-up, that on this date and time I was going to bring this vehicle here. I explained the whole scenario about the police not helping my client, and that he has every right to take his Land Rover back.
A couple of Sheriff volunteer's said they had to make phone calls to find out if the vehicle was reported stolen. I gave them my cell number, telling them I am right next door waiting at Starbucks. I also made it clear that I will wait 30 minutes, then take the vehicle home.
I had to find out if Cindy reported it stolen because I still had twenty miles of freeway to drive home, and I didn't want anyone chasing me down.
A few minutes later, one of the volunteer's found me saying one of the 911 operators wants to speak to me. I go back in the substation and speak with the woman on the phone. She stated Cindy did report the vehicle stolen, and two Sheriff's were dispatched, and what in the hell was I doing?????
I explained all over again about calling and visiting the Roseville police, the Sheriff's and CHP a week earlier giving all agencies a copy of the registration and a copy of my CDL, letting them know that my client is the only registered owner of the vehicle. She then put me on hold for god-knows-how-long, and when she returned she stated the Commander found the documents I dropped off and he called Cindy. The Commander told Cindy she is on her own, that this is a domestic (family) issue, that she is not the registered owner so therefore, Gary can take his vehicle back, and she had no rights except via the court system. Then the 911 operator told me she called off the Sheriff's dispatch.
I drove the Land Rover back to my place, kept it for a few days until the client returned from Utah to drive it back. And, I got to buy a lot of cool Christmas presents.
Moral of the Story:
Don't take things that don't belong to you.
Oh... and another Moral:
If you think your significant other is cheating, he or she is - don't go into denial, unless you're on PROSAC, then who knows what you're thinking.