Sunday, 8 January 2017

Recoving Todd's stolen Previa

There's a regular group of friends I spend time with out at the coast regularly; most of them are surfers like myself. Todd and Audrey are a couple that live in the Central District of Seattle and have a Toyota Previa. The Previa is the perfect surf rig; you can put a 10 foot longboard in it, it has plenty of room for sleeping and gear, and its a comfortable rig. Its something you don't have to worry about aesthetically; most surfers have a surf rig that smells like surf wax, salt, and don't mind the sand when it gets inside.

Well, on the first weekend of January 2017, Todd posted a Facebook update that his Previa had been stolen overnight from in front of his house. Like everyone else, I responded something like 'That sucks!' and that I would keep an eye out for it. I also decided to look on Facebook for any stolen vehicle pages where owners could post photos of their cars along with any related information. I found one called PNW Stolen Vehicles, or something like that so I joined it and posted photos of Todd's can and information he had put in his original post.

After posting in the PNW Stolen Vehicles group on Facebook, I started researching and asking questions in posts to the group's page about recovering stolen vehicles. The advice everyone replied with was to check Craigslist for any for sale ads for vehicles or parts similar to the vehicle stolen, and to immediately search the area where the van was stolen in a one to two square mile radius. I started looking on Craigslist and even posted an ad with photos of Todd's van saying ****STOLEN**** in the headline. That way if the thief tried to sell it or for parts, the buyer might possibly see the ad I posted.

After that, since it was a rainy and dark Sunday afternoon, I was bored and had nothing better to do, I decided to go search in the area the van was stolen from. I probably searched for about 20 minutes in the surrounding city blocks near Todd's house and was going to give it another 10 minutes or so before calling it quits. As I drove under I-5 near Jackson Street, there was a park and ride, so I decided to search it. I knew from reading that most vehicles that are stolen in the city are used for drug deals and joyrides, so there was a good chance I might find it abandoned in this area. I drove into the park and ride, and there it was!!

The first thing I did was park directly behind it to block it in. I was positive this was Todd's because it had a license plate frame that said "Pig Red" just like his. I got on Facebook and immediately messaged him; I couldn't believe this and could barely contain myself. Todd was equally as amazed and immediately called the cops and said he would be right there.

The cops showed up with guns drawn and everything in case the thief was nearby or even in the van. One of them was a female, she was hot too. I debated asking her for her number but decided otherwise. I had peeked in the van and nothing was in it but some items they thief had left behind; nothing of value. The driver's side door was ajar and; it was apparent someone had slept in it overnight. I cant recall but I think some drug paraphernalia was in it also.

Here's one of the SPD officers talking to Todd

I decided to get a photo standing in front of the van, or behind it

Another photo of Todd talking with SPD

This is all that was left inside the van

There wasn't anything of value taken from the van, except a portfolio of Audrey's art and poems. The semimetal value of that was worth more than anything else; you cant put a price on it. I guess it was several years of work in it; and it was never recovered. Todd offered me a reward and I refused and suggested if they insisted, they could donate to the Humane Society in Seattle; I don't do shit like that for money or financial gain; it just felt good helping one of my friends out, and it didn't cost me a thing anyway. Todd and Audrey took me out for sushi though, which I certainly wasn't about to decline. That was a good day and a great way to start the year.

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