So I thought I’d give an update for the people who were kind enough to respond to my plight.
As I mentioned before, I decided that since the police were reluctant to do any legwork, I’d look for my car myself. Did a basic investigation and got the addresses of a couple of guys who had recently been fired from my garage-- one in Queens, and one in Jersey City. Tried interviewing various people at the garage, especially this one kid who I was really suspicious of since he would not make eye contact with me.
Monday night I borrowed a friend’s car and drove to the address in Queens, traveling up and down the blocks around the address in maybe a ten block radius. Nothing.
Last night I borrowed another car from another kind friend who thought I was absolutely insane, and drove to Jersey City. Did the same thing I did Monday night. As I was slowly driving past a line of cars about a block away from the address of the dude who got fired, I noticed a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker-- just like mine-- and thought, “aww, look how optimistic they used to be!” and then realized that HOLY SHIT I HAD FOUND MY CAR.
So I called the cops. They never showed. I had to run out to a squad car trolling the neighborhood, and then those two simply would not believe that I (a small asian woman) had hunted down my own car. They were completely belligerent and if I hadn’t been accompanied by my lawyer girlfriend (who, by the way, used to work as a public defender), they probably would have harassed me to hell and back. They refused at first to check out the address I gave them, since I only had the address and not a name (the supervisor of the garage had been uncomfortable giving me that much info on former employees), so I had to call the garage and beg one of the attendants to look through old paperwork for the names I needed. Which he did, thank god, while intermittently screeching “DAYUM, GIRL! YOU FOUND IT!”
So the two cops headed over to the address while I waited, pacing and sweaty, near my car. All the time I’m wishing I had a cigarette. So around the corner comes this guy, early twenties, and I walked over to him and asked him if he had a cigarette. He said, politely, “no, miss, I’m sorry,” I thanked him, and he took about two steps away from me when suddenly six plainclothes officers came running out of nowhere and slammed him against a fence. I’m standing there horrified while they tore off his baseball cap, ripped off his doo rag (whipping his head around in the process), the whole time yelling and taunting him, saying “what gang do you belong to? are these gang signs? Don’t fucking lie to us!” Of course, the kid had done nothing wrong and was walking home, so they let him go, but not after being assholes.
So then the two cops show up, walking with this other latino kid who looks about thirteen years old. I’m standing there near my car surrounded by these six plainclothes cops who are basically just staring at me, and one of them is looking me up and down and grinning and licking his lips. Turns out the two uniformed cops had gotten into the apartment and found the little brother of the suspect, along with the keys to my car, which had been sitting in plain sight on a dresser.
So then they did a moronic thing. I used to be an investigator, mind you, and if it had been up to me this is the stupidest, laziest thing they could have done. They had the kid call up his brother, telling him he was to get his brother to come down for a “family emergency.” Of course the kid immediately says “it’s about the BMW” and the cops totally lost it, screaming at him and threatening him, when all along they could have just waited for the brother to come home. Idiots. So now the brother is nowhere to be found.
Just in case you aren’t convinced the police are idiots, they then searched my car. Found a couple of parking tickets which indicated my car has been in the possession of the thief for at least a month. They declare the car clean, wave goodbye, and start walking to their squad car. I get in my car, and lo and behold, find a bag of heroin. In the ashtray. Which is open, and it’s the first thing I see, since it’s BRIGHT PINK. So then I had to call the cops back to collect the evidence.
Still, it was all worth it to see the looks on the faces of the guys at the garage when I drove the car back, parked and locked it (sticking the keys in my pocket) and told them that nobody fucks with my car and gets away with it. Sometimes I wish I were a big tough looking guy because somehow, a tiny asian woman spouting the same line doesn’t quite have such a ring of authority. Ah well.
Now here begins battle number two: convincing the NYPD and the Jersey Police to work together to actually follow through on the case. not to mention fighting the garage for the money I’m owed. Man, this thing is going to suck up my life.
But at least I have my car back. Oh, and glorious day: the thief/thieves actually waxed my car. It’s shiny now!