License plate # DUBLHUNG

Mr. Hoggard, you should never leave your keys in your…”

Please just stop right there“, I said to the twenty-something-year-old UNCG policeman, “I really don’t want a lecture right now.  I’m 51 years old, so please, just take my report and go about your business of getting my truck back.”  I felt that if I didn’t quell him in his tracks, he’d also notice that I had just lit up a cigarette and feel the need to explain to me that I should also quit smoking.  Like I’d never heard that before, either.

Thus started my latest brush with the right side of the law.  It was back on May 17th and I had just realized that my truck had been stolen off a worksite next to The Alumni House on UNC-Greensboro’s campus.  I am so not impressed with the two local law enforcement agencies that are supposed to be “on it”.

Strange as it sounds, leaving your keys on the seat at a busy construction site is a fairly common practice.  Many times, because parking is limited, trucks get parked behind one another as different trades come and go during the day.  It is actually acceptable to move someone’s vehicle without their permission if they are blocking you in.  The practice is so much more efficient than attempting to locate some plumber plying his trade deep in the bowels of the building you are both making your living by laboring to fix.  There is usually some semblence of honor governing construction site parking.  I was made an example of by some asshole on that Thursday…

The truck is a common one: 2001 Chevy 1500, white, three tool boxes line the bed – one behind the cab and two mounted on the sides, heavy-duty trailer hitch, dent behind the passenger-side door.  It’s most singular feature is (was) the license plate which read: DUBLHUNG.  That has likely been changed now that we are nearly two weeks post-larceny.

I fully expected the truck to be found quickly after I made my report to the UNCG policeman.  Stolen vehicles are generally found abandoned once the thief removes the easily sold tools and other contents.  Thankfully, my three tool boxes did not have more than about $700 worth of small hand tools in them.  My laptop computer bag was in the front seat, which may have added to the truck’s temptation, but I had the laptop with me for the construction meeting I was attending to keep up with my company’s role of fixing the windows during a complete renovation of the Alumni House.

Come to find out, though, after a friend started looking into my case: my license plate and V.I.N. had been entered incorrectly into the stolen vehicle reporting system.  The plate was entered as DBLHUNG.  The missing “U” might have been the reason I was still truck-less one week after the larceny.  Other glaring mistakes were also made on the report, which I had corrected during a very curious meeting with the records management folks at the campus police headquarters on May 24th.

Oh… and did I mention my business checkbook was under the seat?….

 (I don’t mean to go all Jerry Bledsoe on you, but this story will take more time than I have at any one sitting.  However, it is a big reason why I haven’t been blogging of late and I want to tell it fully.  Check back for further installments)

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One Comment

  1. Inkslinger336
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I know what you mean about the law enforcement agencies involved.
    My truck was stolen in Oct 2004. Got it back 3 days later.
    The really sad part is I know who stole it,(he’s an ex-boyfriend of my stepdaughter) the sheriff’s department knows who stole it, and almost three years later, this criminal is STILL walking around doing what he does.
    I see him all the time.
    I guess the officer’s have more important things to do than catch criminals.
    I wouldn’t hesitate to say that he’s probably the one that needed my riding lawnmower more than I did.

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