At 43 I finally felt like an adult. My wife and I bought a beautiful Subaru CrossTrek with a leather interior and most of the bells and whistles. It was like a dream. Every time my wife and I look at the car it brings a smile to our faces.

This last Saturday morning I went out for a cup of coffee while my wife went for a jog. After enjoying a good book at the local coffee house I went home. There, the car was not in our carport; my wife didn’t have it. Yep, it had been stolen. After having a new vehicle for less than three weeks, it was gone. The anxiety, anger, and powerless feeling was overwhelming, but I collected my thoughts and called 9-1-1 to report it stolen. After 911, we called our insurance company and the auto dealer who had sold us the car.

I don’t write to relay a horrible couple of hours of my life, but to tell about the people who deal with anger, resentment, and aggression on a daily basis and still have the compassion to deal with my anxiety and horrible jokes. These are the men and women of Santa Barbara Police Department. They were at my house within 45 minutes of the 9-1-1 call. They took a detailed report and were very courteous and understanding. When I am anxious and stressed, I make terrible jokes and wisecracks. They even laughed a couple of times, which must have been difficult after the fifth or sixth corny joke, but they persevered.

It turned out that our new car had a security feature that can track it and notify the police. By 11:15 a.m., they had the car back and notified us of its recovery. Just over two hours, and they had our car back to us. They processed the car for fingerprints and DNA, and let us take it home. At the recovery site they were understanding and helpful. I am amazed how thorough they were. They dusted most of the car for prints and didn’t cut any corners or rush through anything.

With only minor scratches, a scuffed rim, and a slight smell of cigarettes, our car was back, along with a surreal feeling. The culprits haven’t been caught yet, but the case is still open.

I just want to give a great big THANK YOU to the Santa Barbara Police Department (specifically R. Lopez) for the great work and the professionalism they brought to a difficult situation.


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