Yeah, things are back to usual here in DC. This morning I had a detention hearing that involved playing chicken with an AUSA.
Scoplaw: Hey, you guys ready to proceed on Case X?
Scoplaw: OK, I’ll ask the clerk to call it.
AUSA: Is your supervisor here? (Earlier I had told the clerk that I was waiting on my supervisor.)
Scoplaw: No, but one of the fellows can stand in for him.
AUSA: Well we can wait if you like.
Scoplaw: That’s just fine, I’ll go tell the clerk now.
Clerk: Calling Case X.
Judge: Is the govt. ready?
AUSA: No your honor.
Scoplaw: (Says nothing, nothing at all)
My client was pretty damn happy, even with the orange jumpsuit and the leg-irons. (PS for non crimlaw types - if the Govt. isn't ready when the case is called my client won't be held, i.e., provided he complies with the terms of his release, he gets to stay out of jail pending the outcome of his case.)
In other, slightly earlier news, I got up this morning and walked past my car to the bus stop. But as I did so I noticed the trunk was open. Shit. So I go up to the car. Right away it looks like someone’s been in it, but most of my stuff still seems to be there, although strewn about. All of the doors are unlocked. So I open the driver’s side door and stick my head in. Noticing part of my ignition on the driver’s seat, I peer around and see this. (Click for a larger image, and yes, that’s blood – not mine.)
So I locked the car up as best I could (i.e., really not at all, since the door locks were reamed out) and scrambled to make it to court on time. Which I did, and things went well.
After I got home I called the police (they won’t take a call until you’re actually by the car) and two officers showed up in about 2 hours. They poked around a bit, gave me the odds on catching someone even if the car was dusted for prints, and asked me what I wanted to do. It’s not exactly CSI out here in the District.
They also pointed out that because I drive a late model Taurus, my car is a thief magnet. Apparently, due to the design and construction materials, it’s relatively easy to force open the door locks with a screw driver, then use the same to lever out the ignition switch and spark the car to life. Except when the car has a kill switch, as indicated by the blinking red light on the dashboard that reads “theft.” If that’s the case, the car won’t be startable through the mangle/hotwire method. As mine wasn’t.
The guy who showed up to tow my car said pretty much exactly the same thing. Except he talked about car thieves he’d known (of) and mocked the incompetence of whomever decided that my car would be an easy target. Apparently he sees successfully stolen cars all the time in his line of work.
Both the police and the tower said that using a club would have prevented this, as only the hard core thief would be carrying club-defeating gear. Looks like I’ll be using a club regularly. Both of them also said that parking directly under a streetlight (which I did) and being in a high traffic area (opposite a building with over 100 people living in it) makes little or no difference, since a skilled car thief can break my type of car in 30 seconds.
Apparently, the fate of such cars is that they’re joyridden and abandoned in various places. Or they’re used in robberies and then discarded.
All in all, pending a professional assessment, it looks like they ruined the steering column, the ignition switch, and both door locks. The computer will probably have to have something done to it as well. Life was much easier when Freya (Volvo wagon) was alive and well. If someone did this to her (unlikely) I could probably get the parts and do it myself for a couple of hundred. As it is, I’ll be climbing over that before I hit my deductible.
In future news, tomorrow I jet up to NE for a job interview. Wish me luck kids.