The dollar figure of goods stolen from cars is around 1.2 billion dollars.
It's my pleasure(? not really) to report that I was able to add a few hundred dollars to the pot the other day. On a sunny Memphis morning, I pulled into the parking lot of my children's school ten minutes after its official start. I'd be doing volunteer hours there that day, so I grabbed my bag and slung it over my shoulder. Go, Go, GO… we're late-late-LATE. This, by the way, never makes the children go faster. In fact, I suspect it makes them go slower.
What I failed to do amidst the grabbing of various small people and their accessories was to retrieve my cell phone from the inner console where it serves it's primary function which is to stream a Pandora station titled "Journey" that has been carefully managed to play twenty two specific songs that are not only stadium eighties rockingly awesome but are safe to listen to around my children. The first time you hear your under age six children belt out "Any way you want it/THAT'S the way you need it" in unison, it might be the coolest you'll ever feel in your LIFE.
The kids made it to the front door. I made it inside. I did my volunteer work.
A few minutes later, I was treated to a slow motion moment as I sat in my car, looked to my right and saw that the shatter proof window on my Prius was doing its damnedest not to shatter. I looked down. My cell phone was gone. The charger was still there. They took the auxiliary cable which I thought was funny for some reason.
Now, I know you're supposed to get upset when something like this happens, but I just got super calm. Like, okay, that's cool, someone broke into my car, now let's fix this calm. Now I'm thinking to myself, why shouldn't you, my friends, benefit from my super scary calmness?
What to Do When Someone Breaks Your Car Window & Steals Your Cell Phone in a School Parking Lot that Also Happens to be a Church Parking Lot - No, For Real. Seriously.
Look around. Someone committed a crime in your car. Go back to where there are (non-criminal type) people and reassess whether it's safe to go back.
Call the Police Department. Try not to call 9-1-1 because, I know you're not going to like this, but your car getting broken into just kind of sucks and is not really an actual emergency.
Retribution. Quickly e-mail and call all of your friends and ask them to text things like "Jerry wired the fifty large, the hit is on" to your cell phone. Alright. I didn't actually do this.
Cancel all of the phone things. Call your cell phone provider, suspend your service, report the phone stolen and ask them to give you its serial number.
File a police report. If you're planning on engaging in a farce that entails pretending your auto insurance provider/agent has a soul, you'll need to have this on hand.
Call your insurance company. Then hang up the phone and scream "What the hell do I pay you for ANYWAY?!" because your agent has just informed you that you have a deductible that is probably about $50 less than the repairs needed and you might as well just not file the claim.
Don't give up. Most people were good before someone broke your window (in a school/church parking lot, no, seriously, wth) and stole your cell phone and, my dear, most people are still good.
If you have any doubt about the last one, think about the principal who walked out of her office in the middle of the morning and helped you clean glass out of your car despite the fact that those pieces of glass drew blood.
Close your eyes and think of how the officer reminded you that, yes, you're right, maybe you did leave your phone in the car, but that doesn't mean that someone else being a thief is somehow your fault.
Remember the kindness of the woman that cradled your son in her arms for an extra hour so he would take a nap while you went to vacuum glass in the seats and buy plastic to cover your window.
Think of the sweet, helpful children who stood by your car in the parking lot when they could have been playing and instead helped you affix plastic to your car as you tried to fabricate a makeshift window.
So, yeah, 1.2 billion dollars in items were stolen from cars this year. According to my research, though, for every one person that steals something from someone's car, there's at least eight people who are there trying to make it right.
That's a statistic I can definitely live with.