To the guy who broke into my Jeep last night


Hi. I’m Brent. I’m the owner of the black Jeep.

I went out this morning to go to work, and I got nervous when I put the key in the passenger side door and it turned way too easily, meaning it was already unlocked. Then I noticed the pennies you scattered all over the passenger side floor. I have to admit that my first thought wasn’t a break-in, but that Erika had gotten sloppy when digging for change for a parking meter. We leave our leftover change in the Jeep’s center console, and it looks like you share our opinion on the worth of a penny.

I finally put two and two together when I started the Jeep. I usually make the same mistake morning after morning: I put the key in the ignition, start the Jeep, and then reach for the iPod in the locked center console only to realize that I have to turn the Jeep back off, take the key out, unlock the console, and get out the iPod. This morning, I was surprised to find the center console unlocked, and even more surprised to find the iPod missing. I thought maybe Erika took it inside to sync it up, copy some new songs over, but then I noticed that the cigarette lighter dock was gone too.

Evidently you took my emergency duffel bag from the back, too. I’m guessing you didn’t even look inside before you took it, and I can’t stop laughing when I think about you opening up your booty at home. I grew up in Michigan, so I always keep water, food, and some basic tools in my cars just in case I run into problems. Now you have your own emergency bag. Hope you enjoy those granola bars. I have a secret hope that you’ll return the next evening, unzip my Jeep’s windows, and put the emergency bag back complete with the water and granola bars. That would truly be funny.

I want to thank you for a few things.

First, thanks for not smoking in my Jeep. I really like that Jeep. A lot. I spent a ton of money on it specifically so I could have a nice, clean Jeep that was mine from the get-go, and it would piss me off if it smelled like smoke. I appreciate your courtesy. When I had my last Jeep parked at an apartment complex in Houston, people would sit in it, smoke, and drink beer. I kid you not. Maybe this says something about the healthiness of Miami Beach criminals. Maybe that’s why you took the water and granola bars, too. Maybe you’re a hipster, a discerning burglar. Of course, in that case, the first thing you’ll probably do when you get home is wipe out my un-hip MP3 collection.

Thank you for not slicing the windows open with a knife. I always said that if somebody broke in, I would hope they’d have the intelligence to simply unzip the windows rather than cutting them open, because those things are pretty expensive to replace. Looks like you had the good sense to unzip the back window and climb in that way, and that’s mighty nice of you.

Thanks for not trying to take the stereo out of the dash. It’s a navigation system, and I’m sure it’s worth some money on Ebay or something, but it is indeed useless without professional installation and a GPS antenna. Either you didn’t realize how expensive it was, or you realized how difficult it would be to install in a regular car, or you just didn’t have screwdriver-like tools with you to pry it out of the dash. Actually, you did have the tools with you – they were in the emergency bag. But I think we’ve established that you didn’t look in the bag before you actually stole it, or else you probably would have just left it. Anyway, thanks for not screwing up the dashboard.

Now, about your new iPod. I’d like to think you’re going down to the Apple store to pick up a dock and use the iPod yourself, as opposed to pawning it. I don’t care about the music on it, because that’s all backed up on our computer at home, but my heart sinks at the thought of Erika’s iPod in a pawn shop somewhere, all lonely, being touched by strangers.

Please do us both a favor: hang on to it. Try it out. Listen to the music on it. Give it a chance before you cast it aside. Take care of it, because it’s a physical reminder of a memory, of a point in time in your life.

That’s what the iPod was for me, anyway. I remember coming home from a Dallas trip, pulling into the driveway, and having Erika meet me at the door to help me unload the car. She wasn’t supposed to see the iPod box in the trunk, but she did, and she realized it was her birthday present. I loved seeing the look on her face – that was priceless. Every now and then, seeing the iPod would remind me of that moment, and that alone was awesome.

The iPod itself? Bah, it’s an old 3G one with 15gb of storage. Which leads me to my final thank-you – thanks for giving me an excuse to buy Erika a new gadget.

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