So I’ve gotten most of the stuff that was stolen when my car was broken into replaced. For those who missed the Facebook updates and would like the whole story, here it is.

On Tuesday night, March 9th, I had tickets to go see Reckless Kelly and Cross Canadian Ragweed with my friends Rob & Monique. We met for dinner in Little Five Points in Atlanta, because that’s where the concert was. Since that area was between our Atlanta office and my hotel, I didn’t go back to the hotel before the concert to drop off my laptop. This turned out to be a pretty tragic error. It was all in the name of NOT sitting in traffic for almost an hour, but nonetheless I won’t be making that mistake again. So I parked my car in a public lot along with a couple dozen other vehicles, and we went to dinner. After dinner, we all jumped in Rob’s car to go to the concert so as not to fight traffic in two vehicles. Obviously this was another error, because there was security in the lot at the concert and none at the lot where I left my car. When we got back to the lot a little after midnight, my back window was smashed, my rear passenger window was smashed, and a bunch of stuff was gone. According to the cops who were on the scene (since mine was the third of three cars to be broken into in the same lot that evening) the thieves were pros, who smashed and grabbed, and they got lucky enough to hit the motherlode when they grabbed my backpack.

I had just been at a trade show for work, so I had a bunch of demo equipment in the back of my car. The crooks left most of the gear, but took the one light that was still in the box, because they couldn’t see what it was. They would likely have left it alone otherwise, because while an LED cyc light is pricy, it’s also hard to fence. But anyway, they got an LED light that was worth about $2k, my backpack full of tools with a lighting controller, iPod, iPod dock and some cables in it that was probably worth about $1k, and then my backpack. My backpack of course had my new MacBook Pro, my 500GB backup drive, my Time Machine Drive since I was just in the process of transferring files, my Canon Digital SLR camera, my 70-300mm image stabilized lens, and a little bit of other junk. All told, the backpack was worth well over $4k. So I was pretty sick to my stomach that night. Even moreso when I realized the potential for identity theft that now existed. I had a bunch of passwords stored on the computer, and the computer itself was not password protected. I figured security wasn’t very necessary since I hardly ever let the machine out of my sight. Of course I spent half the night in the lobby of my hotel changing passwords to everything I could think of, and as soon as I got the new machine I password-protected the hell out of it.

So I’ve spent the better part of two weeks getting everything back together, and today finally replaced one backpack and the last external drive. I didn’t lose much music, since I’m pretty rabid about backing that stuff up, and I didn’t lose many photos for the same reason. But I did lose about the last 5 albums I bought, and all the photos I took at SETC, the conference I was at just before the robbery. Which is a real shame, because I got some great pics of the highest and mightiest theatre folk in the south dressed up in a Mexican wrestling mask. So looking back on it, there were a few behavioral things I would have done differently, beginning with going back to my hotel and dropping off my laptop bag. That wouldn’t have saved me from the breakin, or the loss of some of my stuff, but it would have saved me from the loss of my best and most valuable stuff. And the sense of my personal world being invaded wouldn’t exist, either. It’s gross to know that someone out there has a ton of my writing on a hard drive, although I’m sure they’ve erased the hard drive and sold the computer for a couple hundred bucks by now.

But I’m pretty close to past it, or at least I will be Monday when I can finally turn in the rental car and be done with everything. Nationwide has been great on the auto side of things, they’ve dealt with the repairs and the rental with no griping, and hopefully they’ll be sending me a big check in the next week or so to cover the replacement cost of the stuff that was stolen. Fortunately I did have the stolen property rider on my homeowner’s insurance, so they will pay for most of the replacement cost. I think I’ll only be out $750 worth of deductibles and whatever the difference is between the cost of my stolen light and what insurance will repay. I think that will only be about another $750, so I should get out of all this for about $1500. Not that I have a spare $1,500 floating around, but I’ll manage. Hopefully with the WSOP coming up someone will need my services for the summer and I can recoup without too much time elapsing. My boss is pretty cool, too, so he hasn’t said anything about me paying for the replacement light, but I will, because it’s just the right thing to do. They take good care of me, so it’s only fair that when a piece of equipment that I lobbied for us to buy gets stolen out of my car, that I pay for the replacement of it. It’s just a shame that they didn’t steal a cheaper light!

So I’ve been sicker than shit this week, I think the travel, and the stress, and the pollen all finally caught up with me and got me all sick and depressed, so I took Thursday and Friday off and didn’t do fuckall. It felt great. And I’m almost healthy, but the crud has lodged in my chest, so I gotta get that finished off before I tape another episode of the Gambling Tales Podcast this week. And there’s another Carolina Writers’ Night coming up next Saturday, so lemme know if you’re in the area and wanna come out. I still need another reader or two, so if anybody wanted to come up from G-Vegas, that would be cool.

Thanks for all the comments and emails off my last post. It means more than I can say. I love you crazy kids.

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4 thoughts on “Recovery

  1. Sucks to go through something like that. And I’m sure you realize it, but it sounds like just putting your backpack in the trunk would have saved you a ton of grief.

    Here’s hoping your ordeal at least opens some eyes and prevents further theft. Then something would be served by it.

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