This is a true story told to the best of my memory. I left out some of the dialogue and another phone conversation I had with my friend about the situation but the main points are all here.
I woke up like every other day, tired and forming a list of excuses in my head on why I should stay in bed. Eventually, my alarm convinced me I should get ready for work. I moved slow, even for a Monday, but still managed to be ready about 15 minutes before I had to leave. Unsure how the traffic would be on this first Monday of 2014, I decided to leave a little early, just in case. I got to my car, unlocked my door and climbed in. My left foot pressed my clutch to the floor of my car as my right foot rested on my brakes. I turned the key in the ignition and heard nothing. No roar of the engine, no eerie clicking sound, nothing. Confused, I released the clutch, and brake and pulled my key out. Wash, rinse repeat. After about 2 minutes of twisting my key in the ignition I signed heavily fearing the worst. My car was in and out of the shop on a regular basis in 2013, so I could already hear my wallet begin to weep. I pulled out my already abused AAA card and dialed the number on the back. While on hold, I decided to inquire with google about what the most common diagnosis for my car’s symptoms. One forum had a concerned car-owner talking about how her lights came on but the car made no noise. I vaguely remembered only hearing the mechanical lock when I’d left my car.
My battery must be dead I thought to myself maybe I left my radio or my lights on and just didn’t realize it cause my tape deck to auxiliary thing was in my stereo….or it was daytime or um… something?
The hold music coming through the phone had been driving me crazy but I needed to get my car fixed and even if it was just a jump, my brother was still asleep or gone, I really didn’t know. I walked outside to test my theory about a dead battery. Flipping the switch for the automatic locks on the driver’s door did nothing and my headlights were in the off position. Still, the lights on the dash didn’t come to life when I turned the key, so a dead battery seemed to be the problem, at least what my limited knowledge told me was the problem. I rummaged through the glove box of my car and pulled out my battery warranty. Thank goodness for AAA, I only got this battery about two years ago so it should still be covered, I thought.
Moments later, a lady from AAA came on the line and took down my information. She told me she would send someone out to check my battery and they would be at my house in the next 30 minutes or so. My morning haze was starting to wear off and, I realized why I had been so early, I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet. After double checking that my car was locked, as I always do, I wandered into the kitchen and grabbed some food while I waited for the tow truck driver to jump my car. About ten minutes before I was scheduled to be at work, the tow truck arrived. I told the guy my theory and show him what I noticed with my locks. He said he would test my battery and told me to pop the hood.
He stared under the hood and said nothing for a moment.
“You don’t have a battery” he finally said.
“What? Of course I do?” I replied confused.
“No,” he pointed to the empty space where my battery should have been “See these are the connectors for the battery, your battery isn’t here.”
“What?” I asked walking around to the front of my car. “Are the connector cables damaged?” I asked.
“No it looks like whoever did this had the tools to properly remove it and it doesn’t look like they damaged anything.
“So someone stole my battery?”
“It appears that way. I’ve never seen anything like this. Did you file a police report?”
“No. I, someone stole my battery… I should, I should call my mom.” I took out my phone and dialed my mom’s number. While the phone was ringing I looked to the mechanic
“Well it looks like I’m going to have to buy a new battery. Man, I was still under warranty too.”
“Unfortunately warrantee doesn’t cover stolen, but if you file a police report you might be able to get your insurance to cover it.”
“Yeah… Good idea, I can just call the police department for that, right?”
“Correct, you should be able to just go to the city police department website to do it.”
My mom’s voicemail came through the phone and I dialed my dad’s number.
“Hi dad, my car battery was stolen out of my car.”
“Did you leave it unlocked?”
“No, it was locked when I got to it this morning and nothing was missing from inside it oh the mechanic is saying something about scuff marks? I’ll talk to you later.”
I hung up the phone and walked over to the mechanic, while I was talking to my dad, he noticed some scratches on the front grille of my car and called me over to look at them.
“I guess it’s a good thing it’s been a while since I washed my car” I joked. “At least now I know how they got in,” I grumbled imagining a person poking a screwdriver through the grille of my car while I was inside asleep or otherwise not paying attention.
While the mechanic was installing the new battery, I called up the police department to file a report. They told me I could either wait for the police to come by to take my report in person or I could file it online. I decided that I would go online and fill out the paperwork because I didn’t think my brother would appreciate cops swarming in front of the house.
When the mechanic finished installing the battery, I asked if he noticed if anything looked damaged. He said everything appeared OK and that it seems that all they did was take my battery. He asked me to turn my car on and I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding when I turned the key and heard the engine roar to life.
He hit the final bit of trouble when he tried to close the hood of my car. He tried about five times but the hood kept popping back up and refusing to lock. He messed with the locking mechanism and pulled the tab to pop the hood again before the lock engaged and, at least for now, the hood stayed closed.
I paid the mechanic for my new battery, and thanked him for the help. He printed me my new warranty and I headed off to work. About halfway to the office, I realized I’d forgotten my laptop at home. I was already about 45 minutes late so I decided I would just have to go through the day without it. I explained to my boss and coworkers that I was late because someone had stolen my car battery. It seemed too ridiculous a thing for me to have made up and whole situation turned into a running joke for a few hours, and it was brought up again today. Great way to start the new year. I will be filing the insurance claim today, if State Farm ever decides to answer, or return my calls…
I guess, sometimes, all someone really wants to do is steal your car’s battery.
Just to be clear, AAA is in no way responsible for my battery getting stolen, they’re just the company that discovered it was stolen and helped me replace it.
Thanks for reading!