April 29, 2009

Remember My Stolen Car?

I sure do. It was a sweet ride; a '97 Honda Accord Special Edition. Custom wheels, sunroof, dual airbags, ABS, power everything.

It looked exactly like this:

Sweet, huh?

As you may recall, I discovered the theft the day before Thanksgiving, 2007. I walked out to discover an empty space.

The reason I bring this up is that this morning the Miami-Dade Police called to tell me that my car has been found.

All I could get out of them is that it had been called in by a security guard who found it "on the property." That it "appeared abandoned" and "had been stripped of VIN and tag." What kind of condition is it in? "We don't know."

I called the towing company that had the car, and asked the same question. "You'll have to come down and see, I dunno."

So I drove to Hialeah, to see what kind of condition it was in. I figured that the wheels had been stripped, and of course the stereo, but held a dim hope that maybe it was salvageable and I could get rid of the Last Chevy I Will Ever Own.

I was sorting through scenarios in my head:
- if they'd taken the wheels, I'd probably have to have brake work done, too, and maybe an exhaust system if it had been dragged onto a flat bed. But that would be totally worth the investment.
- if they'd stripped the seats, I'd have to make some calls to see what replacements would cost, but if the drive train was intact, it might still be worth it.
- of course, if the thing had been picked clean, I'd just scrap it. It's probably been picked over pretty good, I figure.

So, this is what I found:

Ouch! I walked to the other side:


I can't decide if they played "destruction derby" with it, or if they just rammed into something as hard as they could.

But the fuckers probably walked away from it:


Other than the radio and the spare/jack, every part of the car appeared to be there, more or less. The trunk and glove compartment were spotless. But from the rust, they probably wrecked it shortly after they took it from me.

If you'll recall, I was only insured for liability, so I had to replace the car out of my pocket.

So I asked the guy behind the window if I could just sign it over for scrap, since it's never going to be a car again.

"Well, ya still have to pay what you owe on it."

Insult on top of my injury; I owe $265 to the towing company. For a car that's a total loss.

I sigh, and pull out my wallet.

"You'll need the title."

The title was in the glove compartment, so before I can even do that, I have to get a duplicate title.

I have to spend money to get a duplicate title so I can pay them $265 to scrap my stolen car.


Here's the thing: the bastards who stole it could have sold it to a chop shop, and I'd have ended up with carcass, but at least these fuckers would have made money off the deal. I'd still be totally screwed, but it would have made some kind of sense.

They just trashed the damned thing for kicks.

And if that weren't bad enough, I'm left driving a fucking Chevrolet.


  1. If the VIN and tag are gone how can they positively ID the car as yours? Sounds like some one else owes the towing company.

  2. There is a secondary VIN on every car, because the primary VIN tag is the first thing to get chiseled off.


  3. Suck a... monkey chunks, Batman. ANd the paint actually looked pretty good considering. I think the chargers to you are ridiculous. There should be some way to have that wiped clean if its reported stolen. I say we create a law.

  4. After you get the duplicate title call (305)688-4571 ask for Ralph @ Rastro Coco. Tell him the yr make model he will prob buy the car for scrap and you will not be out $256 for sure. You may walk out with some money in your pocket to boot.

  5. I will make that call. Thanks!

  6. There was a Help Me Howard feature on Ch 7 not too long about a VERY similar issue.

    A couple's boat was stolen from their yard and later used for a crime and damaged. The police impounded the car and tried to charge the owners the fees. There is a law that says victim can't be charged. Granted, the police had the vehicle in that case. Research past Help Me Howard cases and you might find it.

  7. I own a honda that is exactly like yours. Same year. same color, same rims, even the same interior color. I got mine for $4k. I still use it.. and i would not trade anything for it. I feel your pain. i'm sorry for your loss.