Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thankful for Being Robbed?

My husband and I enjoyed all our major visits—Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado,

Antelope Canyon,

Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River,

and friends in Arizona, and Big Bend National Park in Texas.

All the RV parks we found for camping in our fifth wheel had supply stores, full hook-ups for water, electricity, sewer lines, and television stations we could access for news, sports, and movies.

Nothing fell off the RV, no tires shredded, and the refrigerator hung onto its cooling system on this trip. We were on a roll (literally) compared to previous trips. But we still had a few stops left. What are the sayings? It ain’t over till it’s over. It’s not over till the fat lady sings. Don’t count your chickens…

In San Antonio we left our movable vacation home at a delightful RV Resort in the south part of the city,

told the two cats to take care of it while we were gone, detached the Ford F-350 diesel pick-up, and drove to downtown. Our first time in San Antonio, we had to visit the Alamo and the River Walk.

After a leisurely afternoon of tourist pursuits, we arrived back at our parking lot around six o’clock that evening. Dinner fixings and a little relaxation awaited us in our RV.

Have you ever arrived at your vehicle and discovered it has been broken into? It’s a creepy feeling. The contents of our center console and glove compartment were either missing or scattered over the floor and seats. We searched to find out just what had been taken. As if by instinct, I cast glances around the dusky parking lot in case someone would poke out from behind a car or around a brick wall.

My husband gave me a look when I told him our camera, a phone charger, and a bag of snacks from the back seat had been taken. “We’ve got bigger problems,” he said.

I eyed him with skepticism. What could be worse than losing our best vacation photos? I’d once had one of my photos chosen for the cover of a Kansas City Star vacation photo supplement, for heaven’s sake.

He stuck his key into the ignition. The truck didn’t start.

“Oh no, they tried to steal the truck.” I have this tendency to state the obvious, but such nefarious designs against my property didn’t easily cross my mind. And I write mysteries!
“You call the police, and I’ll call the insurance company.” My husband got busy while I fumbled with how to call the police for a case like this. Was it an emergency? Yes, I decided, and dialed 911. Have you ever tried giving a 911 operator the address of a parking lot in a strange city? It took a walk to street signs and a detailed description of our parking spot and truck.
After that, I spent many minutes on the phone with a locksmith trying to determine if someone could repair our ignition that very evening. A police officer came, and I gave him all the details for his report while Hubby continued his phone conversations with insurance claims people and a tow company receptionist.

Officer Morales stayed and gave me moral support while we waited to find out how we’d deal with a truck that wouldn’t start on a Saturday evening in a gritty parking lot after dark, miles from where we needed to be. He told me stories about robberies in the area and how crooks targeted Ford F-250’s and F-350’s pick-ups because they were good for smuggling and usually contained guns.


“In San Antonio, everyone who drives a pick-up has a gun in it,” the officer said.

“We don’t have a gun. We have an RV,” I said with a crooked smile on my face, thinking those idiot crooks should have picked a truck with Texas plates.

“Always park near the street, not back by a wall, in a tourist area,” he said. Too late for that advice.
In the end, the locksmith started the truck and had us drive to his shop in the far northern part of San Antonio where he installed a new ignition. Hungry, tired, and three hundred dollars poorer, we returned to the RV by ten o’clock that night. It could have been worse. Thank goodness, because of the security key fobs we carry on our key chains, the crooks were unable to start the truck. Thank goodness for the friendly, skillful, twenty-four-hour mobile locksmith who welcomed us to his shop as if we were cousins.
This was an experience we’ll always remember, and I’m using part of it as the basis for my next Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery. You’ll meet the good Officer Morales in that book and the locksmith of Middle Eastern descent. Can a person be thankful for being robbed while on vacation?
Now, as for the truck breaking down on the highway near a small town in Oklahoma on the way home… I’m only thankful that the town had a tow service open on Sunday and a Ford dealership that could fix the truck in only two days.


Jewel Amethyst said...

That's quite a funny spin on a frustrating thing. I'd love to read about it in your mysteries.

Joyce Brown said...

I'm writing that mystery now. It'll be the fourth in the Psycho Cat and the Landlady series.

Amy Reade said...

Wow! I've had some horrible vacation experiences, but being robbed hasn't been one of them (I'm knocking on wood as I type). I'm impressed that you can look at the bright side of it! Looking forward to reading more about it in your upcoming book. :)

Liane Spicer said...

How awful! I've been robbed and I know how violated one feels. The rest of it sounds wonderful, though. Imagine going on vacation and being able to take your cats along. Lovely!