I like my stuff. And I don’t mean that to sound materialistic, but if I’ve purchased something there’s an inherent sense of attachment. With that said, my car has been broken into and I’ve been ripped off three times in the last year and a half. The car was at my apartment each time, in an okay part of Tempe..near schools…and a police substation.
With the last break-in this past Saturday (Dec 15) I began to realize I have been gradually changing my demeanor. Changes that resemble closely the Kubler-Ross stages of Grief.
First came Denial…
…of course this was a fluke, my car couldn’t have been ripped off. “Maybe I just misplaced my stereo last time I ripped it out of the dash.” I didn’t buy a new stereo for months in hopes it would just reappear one day.
Next came Anger. I began an intense workout regime to somehow make the thieves pay for their transgressions through techno-thumping music (NATS techno), and squeaky exercise bikes.
Then…the stage of bargaining. When thieves took a backpack from my trunk I thought it was an offering to them, and they’d stop breaking in. The backpack was full of food, and helpful items for homeless people…maybe these thieves really needed the food, but were too shy to ask for it.
But at this point my stages of grief veer from the traditional Kubler-Ross symptoms. After my bargaining stage I skipped to resignation. The thieves had won, and they helped me realize I don’t need to keep jumper cables, a first aid kit, two gloves (the thieves only took the left glove) and tools in the trunk, right? And I’m sure, with all the thieves and I have been through together, they’ll come to my aid both near and far…like the triple-A with lock picking skills..
My next stage was rooting for the other team. It takes a certain level of marketable skill to break into a Dodge Neon. Though I use a club that locks my break pedal, I kind of wanted the thieves to take my car. I really wanted to be wowed by their thieving prowess…show me what it takes to become the best thief of them all. They’ll get the car, and I’ll get blue book value. That’s more than I paid for the car anyway.
My stages continued escalating until Saturday. Robbed again. They took some burned cd’s from the console, but thankfully they left the “My stuff got stoled” mix I made after the last theft. I sulked back to my apartment…dialed the non-emergency line for Tempe police, and repeated my familiar routine. The police officer pulled up a while later and even pulled decent fingerprints. But the damage was done…no techno music or apathy would help me. This third time needs to be the last.
My final stage…the stage I’m at now…is called upgrading. I’m ready to purchase a quote unquote safer vehicle…one with good locks, loud alarms, lights, flame throwers, and the other high-tech items available today. I’m sure these efforts are futile—because better deterrents will bring better thieves. I hope my cycle of theft and coping will not start again…but rest assured, if it does, my mp3’s stand ready.