|A print I created back in the Fall—"Heart Wide Open" mantra print, Flat Press Studio.|
You never really think about what you are carrying around in your purse or wallet until it is taken from you, and then you have to rack your brain about what personal information might be floating around out there. Or laying in a ditch somewhere. Along with scraps of paper that house all of your to do lists and various project ideas, and your work badge. And the new lipstick that was a perfect shade, which took forever to find, and you can't remember the name of now. This was how I spent my day last Thursday after walking out from the trails of Shelby Bottoms Greenway early that morning to find my car window smashed. I would spend the next 7 hours dealing with the aftermath of this, and then I would go into my day job. All the while I kept wondering what the thieves were doing during that same period of time. I feel confident they were probably cracked out, laying on a couch somewhere. Or robbing other folks. Whatever they were doing, here is a tally of their efforts from about 6:45 - 7:00 AM:
$43 —debit card transaction at Mapco
$54 —debit card transaction at Mapco
$41 —credit card transaction at Kroger
$43 —credit card transaction at Kroger
$60 —attempted credit card transaction that was denied at Wal-Mart
$2.19 —attempted credit card transaction that was denied at the Red Box machine outside of Wal-Mart
I have to hand it to them for being so swift in their work though. I also have to hand it to my credit card company for being so on top of shutting down my card the minute it suspects fraud! So in a matter of about 15 minutes, close to $200 was stolen from me.
My efforts took a bit more than 15 minutes however. From 7 AM until about 2:30 PM, I would spend my time canceling my debit card and my credit card. I would have my locks replaced at my house because my house key was still in my purse. I would have to open up a new checking account on the advice that if my checkbook was still in my wallet they may decide to use it at a later date. And I would have my window replaced. Not to mention spending the following morning waiting in line to get a new license. I would also spend the next few days dealing with the fraud paperwork, changing all of my direct deposits and accounts that are linked with my debit card, getting my work i.d. replaced, and getting the remainder of my window frame replaced. Fortunately, the charges made to my cards will be refunded, but all of the other costs will not, and they look a little something like this:
$132 —new locks
$240 —new window
$12 —checks for new checking accout
$8 —new license
$350 —purse and wallet (did I mention this was my "grown up girl purse" that I had saved money to buy last Fall. The first purse I had ever spent more than $25 on?! And the wallet had been a gift from my parents)
What a pain. However, all of this has been more of a inconvenience than a loss. I have lived alongside of real loss for the past few years and this is not comparable. At the end of the day I mostly feel grateful. I feel grateful that I didn't walk up on my car while this was happening. And that all they stole were items that can be replaced. I feel grateful that while I would rather have not lost that money, I can afford to do so without too much trouble. And I keep thinking about all of the people I had to encounter because of this that were so quick with their help. The folks at the bank and credit card offices. The locksmith who not only replaced my locks swiftly, but was kind enough to put new plates on the door for no charge. And the lady who worked at the gas station who was willing to go look in the garbage cans for me on the chance that my purse or wallet was there. The glass guy who showed up within a few hours and replaced my window in the heat of the day, before a storm would roll in that night. The police officer who cut himself helping me get as much glass out of my seat as he could so I could drive home. The folks with the park police and DMV offices that understood my situation and did what they could to try and get things back to normal. All of these folks I encountered who were more than willing to not only do their job, but be kind and helpful in their response. And so one act of unnecessary evil was overshadowed by many, many acts of kindness. I am grateful for this reminder that there is more good than bad out there, and that choosing to be kind and full of love really does matter. So while they took money that was not theirs, and took way too much of my time, I can say that I am walking away with more than I know they have. A few hundred bucks cannot compare to a sense of peace about life and what is really important. You can't steal or buy that.