In the first 24 hours after someone broke into my car in my own driveway, I was mostly mad at my husband. Who leaves a backpack with a BlackBerry and a wallet full of cash and credit cards in the car overnight, with a GPS visible on the dashboard and the freaking car doors unlocked? We might as well have hung a sign on the door that read: Suckers live here. Welcome!
The day before had been magical -- a beautiful, warm, sunny fall Sunday in San Francisco. We lingered in the city too long but still had to buy groceries on our way home from an exhibit of watercolors and drawings from "Where the Wild Things Are." As we pulled into our driveway, I said to my husband, "I'll run in and start dinner. You bring in the bags." And that's the last thing I remember. The next morning, the glove compartment was open, papers hanging out. The GPS was gone.
I canceled four credit cards and ordered a new BlackBerry before I thought to check Craigslist. I didn't know what I'd find, but it occurred to me that pawn shops were the domain of desperate crackheads and that the savvy modern thief would hock stolen wares online. I did a search in a 40-mile radius of my neighborhood. My GPS was the first thing that popped up.
To be honest, I wasn't certain that Garmin Nuvi 265w was my GPS; I didn't remember the model number. For all I knew this was some poor schmuck who'd fallen on hard times trying to get a little cash. Still, it was awfully suspicious. It was the only Garmin on Craigslist that morning. And the entire ad was written in capital letters, as if that particular seller were jumping up and down, trying to get my attention.
My hands shook as I tapped out what I hoped was a casual e-mail query: "Hi!! I could TOTALLY use a GPS. Is this one still available? Where are you located? Thanks!!! Jasmine."