Besides the Prius we also have a 1994 Dodge Caravan, a big old hard-working vehicle that seats 8. Take the seats out and you can haul an even ton of gardening supplies, or enough camping gear for a family for a week, or a set of bedroom furniture. I drive her only once a month or so now, but over the years she's seen some hard use. This car has 180,000 miles on it. It's nobody's idea of a hot ride.
So a few weeks ago, some idiot stole her off the street in front of our house. Bwa?
And what with the bad weather not enticing us to linger outside, neither one of us even noticed it was missing for a couple of days. The police found the vehicle on the morning of the day we reported the theft; we are liable for all the parking tickets it collected in the meantime. And we had to pay the police for towing it to their impound lot in a seedy industrial zone at the far north edge of the city. And then there were the impound lot fees for a couple of days until I could get find the title and arrange for a ride there, and the 20-mile tow back south to the mechanic I use, and we hadn't even looked at the damage they did to the car yet.
Replacing a steering column and door lock is a little less than $400. I decided to forego repairing the dents and scratches in the door. But My Woof did buy me a bright yellow Club for the steering wheel!
Anyway, I took off a little early from work today to go pick up the Caravan and take her home. Only to find my road home blocked by police cars. I drove around a few blocks to approach the neighborhood from the other side -- the main entrance there was blocked as well. I could see a red fire-department ambulance, and assumed there had been a fire. My street was blocked at one end but not the other, so I was able to take a side street and get home.
And why were those streets blocked? It turns out that somebody with a gun had barricaded himself in his apartment around the corner. The police were trying to get him out without anyone getting hurt.
The story changed several times -- neighbors said the man was being evicted, and shot at the movers his landlord had hired to empty the apartment. The first news reports referred to five shots, nobody injured, but a hostage situation. Finally, the gunman called a local news station to say it had all been a mistake, nobody was shot, would the police just go away please? The other man in the apartment wasn't a hostage, it was just his friend who had recently been released from jail and didn't want no trouble.
Still the whole thing went on for hours longer, until the police finally fired tear gas into the apartment, entered and arrested them.
I'm mildly angry.
Sure, it's kind of neat to see newscopter film of my neighborhood. (See? I promised you there would be film at 11.) I'm glad no one was hurt.
But I really hate it that these guys were living in my neighborhood. In the '20s it was a solidly middle class area. It went downhill a bit but it is coming back. There's a lot of rehabbing going on, and prices are going up. As a new home-owner, I now approve of high rents! But stupid car thieves and ex-con jerks with guns don't encourage quiet, clean people with good credit to move in.