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Posted by james on Nov. 27, 2005
Thanksgiving morning I woke up, and got ready to go shopping. I was going to a Thanksgiving dinner early with some friends, and I needed to go to the store for ingredients. I was going to make stuffing, which is my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving. I'm in a rush, since I need to start cooking soon if I'm going to be moderately-late to the dinner. I get my stuff, come home, and get ready to park.
I'm driving my Dad's car. It's getting shipped away to Guam soon so he can drive it, while my car is waiting in the driveway for some fixup. Change that to <b>was</b> waiting in my driveway... because when I come home from shopping, it's most likely sitting in someone else's driveway or smoking on the side of the road. It's official, I got robbed.
There was no battery in the car (died just a bit ago). Later I found out my neighbors got their battery stolen same day, same kind of car. So some kids drove up early Thanksgiving morning, broke open my hood, grabbed the neighbor's battery, and drove off with my car. Great.
I'm not too upset, we'll have to see how things turns out. I try not to get frustrated or mad until I know what's going to happen. If insurance covers it, if I get a new car, if they recover mine, then it's no big loss. So until I know everything's screwed, I'll reserve judgement for now.
Mostly though, I'm angry at the people. Whoever stole my car, and the others out there in Hawaii that are doing the same. I've talked with people about the lack of concern on the Police's part regarding theft in Hawaii, I didn't understand it before and I don't understand it now.
In my mind I see not only how things affect me, but also how things will affect the system at large. For example, when I'm driving through traffic I don't change lanes unnecessarily. I know it may put me a few car lengths ahead, but overall it'll cause more traffic behind me. I don't want to do things that will benefit me but cause a big detriment to the system overall.
When these guys steal, they're creating a certain environment. People like me buy full insurance instead of just liability like I would elsewhere. The car gets stolen, the good parts removed and the rest crashed, burnt, or left rotting somewhere. The insurance pays up, either by repairing, replacing, or "totalling" the car. I go and buy another, losing my deductable and the difference in cost between the insurance money and my new (used) car. Meanwhile those parts float around, used by those kids in their cars, sold to others for cheap. The next car I buy may even contain stolen parts, now part of this whole system. A few people benefit (the thieves) and everyone else is hurt to some degree. For people that depend on their car for work, don't have full insurance, or don't have enough money to pay for another, their lives are screwed when this happens to them. It's purely blatant selfishness. And it's a huge problem in Hawaii, on Oahu. Everyone that's been on the island knows how it is; your car may get stolen. Doesn't matter how nice it is, even undesireable pieces of junk get stolen for "joy rides".
One of the problems is that there's no organized crime ring chopping and selling these cars. There's no where on the island they can go, and they can't ship it through normal channels. Instead it's individuals stealing to grab a few parts, joy ride and then dump or crash the vehicle, or just for sport. How can you catch that? Every single person on the island is a suspect, every car may be stolen. There's too many out of the way places for police to patrol everywhere all the time, and the thefts happen so quickly and so often they must just have lists of cars to watch out for. It's the complacency I don't understand.
If something was to be done about the whole theft problem, they'd have to pour resources into it on a state-wide level. More police, more undercover programs, stricter punishments, examples. But that's only if this is a "problem", which is how I see it as an outsider to this community. But if I had grown up with things like this all my life, it would be "how things are"... something that's bad, but not out of the ordinary. It's sad.
There are some things being done. There was news recently of some of the bigger theft circles on Oahu being infiltrated and brought down by special police groups. It's good to see something's being done. But what happens with all the big groups are gone, and you only have individuals stealing for their own reasons in no perceptible pattern? It's like hunting ants.
Posted by james on Nov. 4, 2005
I'm back home safe in HI. It's been a fun and much longer than expected trip. I'm dead tired now. Some quick thoughts.
I really like Death Cab. Wing night is still awesome. They really need to make a Hawaii-RI tunnel, or at least give half-off to repeat customers. Fall is absolutely amazing, and it's sad that we don't have it in HI. I hate not having a car. And whoever is doing the sound at <a href="http://www.thepalladium.net/">the Palladium</a> needs some kind of brain surgery. Toms and bass drums are not supposed to sound like a subwoofer gone mad. Balance, man, balance! Definitely from the "but ours go to 11" school of thought.
Posted by james on Oct. 26, 2005
<i>If relationships are all about giving and sharing, then going in with a selfish person is like going into business with a lazy person</i>
Ahh, so true. Wicked insightful.
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