Relationships and The Tenacity of Thieves
© Copyright 2022 by Lily Finch
Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Robby and I drove around all night, looking for CRVs to steal. “I know where we can get a black one; it’s parked at the stay-park and fly hotel by the airport and hasn’t moved in days; maybe we should head there for our last one tonight! I have a feeling tonight is our night! We pulled up, and I hopped out of Robby’s car and into the Honda CRV I had wanted to nick all week. I smiled now as I nervously boosted the car and turned on the lights—beads of sweat formed on the small of my back and the sides of my temples. One look in the rearview mirror, and I was on my way. Robby was right behind me, and we headed straight to the docks with this one, their last haul for tonight. That CRV was the last fulfillment of their contract for this shipment. I wasn't sure whether the freighter was heading to Europe or the Middle East, and Robby had no clue; he just wanted his money.
What a way for me to return home from my two-week trip to London, France, and Ireland: No car when I got to the lot. “I need to get home since my seventy-eight-year-old mother received a grim prognosis and needs me there; Bile duct cancer and a tumour too large to shrink and almost too large to operate; at this point, it looked like she would just let what will be be.
All of this unfolding while I was supposed to be enjoying the vacation I was long awaiting. This vacation was long overdue since I had been teaching my kids all semester long in my protective gear due to Covid: I needed a getaway!
I am a short-haired, stocky woman who enjoys travelling and doing my own thing. The appeal to get away always called me to a distant land at every break I got from school. Jenn and I often travelled together. Jenn worked with me, and we travelled together well. As we landed, cleared customs and grabbed the shuttle to arrive at the hotel, I noticed the car was missing from where it was last parked. Both Jenn and I could not believe our eyes. We went to the hotel lobby and asked to speak with the manager. “Could you please show us the video from the last couple of days?” I asked. There it was clear as the day is long; you could see two guys pull up; one got out and jumped into my car, lights came on, and they were off. It was in and out in less than a minute. Mine and Jenn’s mouths hung open in disbelief as we watched the thieves in action.
The police followed up on a solid lead, which led to the safe return of my vehicle. Not before I contacted the insurance company and had to leave my CRV in Georgetown. “Well, although I’m not happy with leaving my car in Georgetown and using a rental, I am pleased about going home. I arrived home to find my chest freezer had popped a breaker, defrosted, and leaked all over my basement floor.
Exhausted with jet lag, I had to clean up this mess! So I threw everything out in the freezer and attempted to clean my ceramic tile. However, I was pulled away to weed my mother’s gardens, do my mother’s laundry and then make my mother some meals. When I had a break in my day, I visited my dad in a care facility for patients with Alzheimer’s. I was learning resilience, if nothing else! Oh, but I was so much more than that. I always had a smile and was always willing to lend a hand. But the side no one saw was me giving my mother grief as to why she didn’t do more with her day than just sit around and do nothing but rest. Olive was in tears and hurt by my careless words. Hopefully, this behaviour resulted from jet lag and frustration gone haywire! We two women are too much alike and shouldn’t be around one another for extended periods. Olive was slowly regaining her strength and looking like her face had more colour each day. There was no end in sight. It would seem that I was responsible for looking after both parents while my brother did his weekly check-ins by phone.
I returned to Georgetown to pick up my car. While there, the police informed me that they captured the bloaks responsible for the theft and that they would be prosecuted. I was thankful for the knowledge and went about my business. I was in and out in less than thirty minutes.
The day came for me to return to work; I had told mom to find a nursing home in July. Olive made no such attempts to find a nursing home at all. She was ready to accept her fate, whatever that might be, but a nursing home was not a part of it. Not now and not ever! Olive died peacefully one day in July. She was not surrounded by her genetic family but rather by her neighbours who loved and cared for her like one of theirs. There were few tears and even fewer words about Olive at her memorial. The whole sordid affair was sad and depressing.
My garage opened silently, and Robby and Jimmy got into my car and drove it away in the middle of the night. There would be no trace of its whereabouts. Robby and Jimmy would be going with the shipment overseas. All they left me was the garage door opener that they stole out of my car in the first place when they stole the car the first time.
Nobody knew Robby and Jimmy had found a piece of paper with my address and decided to get my car. The money was worth the risk, and the payout was a life overseas with a vehicle. They were boarding the freighter for Beirut four and a half hours later.
The following morning as I got ready for work, I was happy and seemed excited to be going to work. I was introducing a new concept to the group and was thinking about how things would go. I smiled to myself as I drank my last sip of orange juice. I grabbed my bag and walked through the door to the garage. I stood there open-mouthed; my car was gone. I dialled the non-emergency police number and waited for the police to arrive. My next phone call was to the school to let them know I would not be in today for personal reasons. The Windsor Police, detectives Drake Duff and Dan Cruise, wasted no time getting the facts. They were so thorough that they discovered the car was stolen a few months back in Toronto at the stay, park and fly. I explained that they must have gotten out before their prosecution date, which was supposed to be the story's end. The police told her that the people responsible were being prosecuted for their crime. That was the last I had heard about the case.
Drake and Cruise called the Peel Regional Police to inquire about my case. They explained that her car had been stolen from her garage and suspected the same guys were responsible. On the other end, detectives McIntyre and Dosangh went to their source, who told them that the freighter had already set sail. The cars on board were gone now for good, and the boys probably hopped on the freighter. The case was closed. My next move was to write a letter to Honda to let them know how easy it was for thieves to get into and steal their CRVs. But it was all to no avail. Eventually, I received a new car, but in the meantime, I drove my mother’s car and returned to school the next day. I arrived at school smiling and happy like I always am at work.
Lily Finch lives South of Detroit in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She is an emergent writer who has written in many genres. She is working on a series of detective short stories featuring Drake Duff and Dan Cruise. If published, this will be her first publication.