Last night my granddaughter’s old Honda was stolen. Not a fancy car. Just a car for a teenager to drive to school and back. A car to take her to her Health Career studies at another school. A car to give her that first taste of trust and freedom. She awakened to an empty spot where her car had been last night.
I was living in an apartment for a couple of years and knew my neighbors fairly well. Kevin and his partner lived in an upper apartment. I lived on the lower level next to resident parking. I had just gone to bed when I heard glass breaking. I ran to the window in time to see someone had broken in the back window of Kevin’s car right outside my apartment. The guy was still in the car! I called 911, and brainlessly, ran out of my building yelling at the guy who by then was running to a car on the street. I ran up to Kevin’s door to tell him the news at the same time the police pulled in. Needless to say, I was the witness eyes on the crime. Kevin was heartbroken as many things had been ripped from his car. It was a beautiful car now covered with glass. How could someone be so bold! The actions of that thief took away more than what was in the car. It took away trust and security. It shook me to my very core.
We see news about thefts. Articles that perhaps we pass over if we don’t know those involved or maybe some people look just for a reward. I remember when someone was stealing gasoline from the tank by the back driveway that led to the barnyard. Dad picked up his shotgun and headed out the door. By the time he headed out, the culprits were gone. Who would steal from a neighbor? I remember Dad saying it was probably just kids. Well, that’s not an excuse, is it?
What bothers me is that like my parents we would give anyone the shirts off their backs. We would do anything to help someone in need. Dad would have filled a gas can if someone needed it. In fact, he would have driven it to them. Kevin is such a dear person that he found it unbelievable that there was someone so cruel or so desperate. As for Gabby, someone took her first car. Someone hurt her in a way that she has never been hurt before or ever should be. Her world of security has been broken. Gabby has a tender heart and for her there are no words.
So where do we go from here? Well, social media has allowed us to spread the word and picture of the car. The police here are very vigilant. We will all be on the lookout. My two granddaughters just learned something about being a target. We will do our best to support them and protect them even more ardently.
I do not believe that someone can purposely hurt someone else and not feel remorse. It is a guilt that will follow these thieves throughout life. As for our family, as for Kevin, as for our farm family, the peace we had has a chink in it. Trust in humanity is shaken. Safety even in our own home has been violated.
Be vigilant. Know your neighbors. Care for one another and protect each other. Listen to the news and know what is happening in your area. Be aware of your surroundings. Take steps to protect yours and those around you. We want no more empty spaces in our lives.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.