I never expected this call. In fact, around 3 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 23, I sent my insurance company the paperwork giving them permission to pronounce my ’95 Ford Escort officially gone. But six hours later, the phone rang: The Milwaukee police had found “Grandma’s car” about five miles from where it had been stolen 20 days earlier.
I’m not sure who locks a stolen car when they abandon it, but these folks did. I know there was more than one by the way the passenger seat was adjusted for its maladjusted occupant. Aside from a dead battery – I was just grateful it still had a battery – and a flat tire, it seemed fine. If you read my previous post, you know that car included an assortment of Christmas audio cassettes. They must have used them as an exchange gift for someone they didn’t like. As expected, the bags of aluminum cans were also taken, as was the loose change in the console and some assorted paperwork.
I’m not one of those CSI types, but if I were, it would be easy to conclude that the culprits were smokers and that the driver had long legs: The empty Newport pack, the cigarette butts and the driver’s seat pushed way back were good clues.
I still couldn’t believe someone would be so stupid or desperate to take that car, so I asked Eric, the tow truck with whom I’m on a first-name basis, why anyone would steal Grandma’s car.
“Because it was a free ride. Very easy,” Eric told me matter-of-factly, explaining how simple and quick it was to heist an Escort.
My future son-in-law, Aaron, confirmed it. While we were out retrieving the car, he was checking the Internet, where he learned it only takes about three minutes to heist that make and model.  
But the crooks must have been in the Christmas spirit. They left a warm-up jacket and a windbreaker in the backseat. I don’t have any quantitative evidence to support this, but I am one of the few people here in Badger Nation to regularly wear Purdue Boilermaker clothing. While the perpetrators didn’t know my size, they knew my team, for the Starter-brand windbreaker donned the colors and the logo of – yes, that’s right – the Purdue Boilermakers. Nothing says, “Merry Christmas,” like the discovery of your team’s gear in your stolen car. Oh, if you happen to be reading this to the thieves, let them know to contact me if they’d like me to return the contents from the jacket’s pocket.
Better yet, I’ll trade what I have of theirs for two other items they took from my car. You see, these folks are either Catholics who are devout Packer fans or Protestants who are misguided Bear fans. I’ll go with the latter; who else would stoop so low and steal somebody’s rosary and his Packer fuzzy dice?
May the following inspire them to change their ways: