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March 1, 2008

March 1, 2008 – The Coat Hanger Car Burglar

           Tonight I locked my keys in my car.  Wouldn’t be the first time.  I usually keep a spare in my wallet in case of situations like this.  My spare key however has strangely disappeared…

            I was lucky enough to find a coat hanger near by so I gave it a shot.  I have an older model Jeep and the locking mechanism isn’t all that complicated.  There’s no alarm either which is good, I’d hate to have that going off as I try to jimmy the car lock open.  So I unfold the coat hanger, bend a small hook on the end of it, and slide it into the door between the window and the frame.  I don’t have to break into my car often so naturally there’s a little trial and error.  This isn’t the ideal tool for doing this either so things aren’t going as smoothly as I had hoped.

            My Jeep is parked on a side street and there is almost no street lighting which complicates the process, not to mention making things look a little suspicious.  I’m not worried though, it’s my car after all.  I would imagine most people in Cortez call a locksmith when they lock themselves outside of their car.  Not me.  Locksmiths are expensive.  A locksmith probably costs $50 or so, and quite possibly more here.  I only made $85 today and I’d like to keep that.

            So after 20 minutes or so a patrol car speeds down the street and boxes me in.  And guess who it        was.  My buddy, “The Sarge.”

            The Sarge: Stop right there, get up against the car.
            Me: Ok
            The Sarge: What are you doing out here, are you trying to break into this car?
            Me: This is my car, I locked my keys inside.
The Sarge: Krinkle right, I remember you. (With a big shit eating grin on his face)
Me: Yep
            The Sarge: You stay right there.
            Me: Feel free to run the plate, you can see my keys in the ignition.
            The Sarge: Oh we will.
            The Sarge: Lets see some ID.
            Me: It’s in the car.

            The Sarge isn’t happy right now.  His partner that he is with looks like a rookie - asking a lot of questions but trying to appear professional.  I’m not fooled.  They both have this look on their face like they’ve just stumbled upon a big one. 

            Ok, now lets look at the facts.  If I were a car burglar why would I come to Cortez to break into a shitty old Jeep?  And why would I fumble around in the dark with a coat hanger for 20 minutes?  Was this my first caper?  Wouldn’t I bring some of my own tools with me?  Doesn’t it seem odd that I would come to a city that is crawling with overzealous cops, a city that I work in, and come and try to break into cars?  Equipped with a coat hanger of all things?  Am I fucking MacGyver or something?  That guy could probably get into a locked car with nothing more than a napkin and a large flat rock.  

           A city where I’m driving around all day in, working in the public sector.  That doesn’t strike me as very smooth.



I’m sure that they had the best of intentions, and had every right to be suspicious and inquire about what I was doing here, but after 10 minutes or so wouldn’t they be able to piece it together?  These guys couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag.   I’d sure like to meet the detectives that work here, I sure hope that I never have to file a report for anything.  After another 10 minutes or so they were on their way and I was left to my own devices once again.  There was no offer to help me of course, nor was I expecting one at this point.   From what I’ve seen professionalism doesn’t seem to be one of the departments virtues.

After tinkering with the lock another few minutes I was in and on my way home.  I was quite careful with my driving though as I was a marked man…

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