Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where's McGruff when you need him?

We always joke about living in the 'Hood' in Sellwood. Now granted, being south of Tacoma Street does make us ever-so-slightly on the wrong side of the tracks, but for those who don't know Sellwood is quaintsville: antique shops and boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants and nice old houses on streets lined with stately old trees. South Central it's not. But yesterday we got a reminder that sometimes, it doesn't matter.

In an effort to enjoy my last bit of freedom before rejoining the working world, we elected to get out into our neighborhood (the 'nice' part even) and grab some lunch out at Cha! Cha! Cha!. It was a late lunch; say 1:30 or so. As we were getting out of the car, Becca just froze, then calmly told me "Get that man's license plate. I think he just stole that truck"

Admittingly I was a bit confused; we were staring at the Post Office parking lot across the street. A guy was pulling away in a green pickup. So I went running towards the street he was on and saw he didn't have a license plate in the front. Assuming I'd get it in the back, I took a quick look, saw a very intense "don't mess with me" look, let the truck pass and then realized there was no license plate on the back either. He blew through the intersection and was gone.

What happened? A good ol' fashioned Smash and Grab. The guy (from the sound of the PO employees it wasn't the first time) pulled up to someone's car, opened his door, smashed their window, took her purse (she was in the post office at the time) and took off. My guess? Given the increasing prevalence of meth heads here in Portland, it wouldn't surprise me if that was the reasoning for the crime. Or it could just be an good old run of the mill crook. Either way it stunned us and reminded us that no matter how nice we think our neighborhood is, stuff like this happens all the time. We were just more impressed with the brazen nature of doing it in the middle of broad daylight with little regard to the environment around him. If we'd been there a little sooner or been a little quicker, we might have even made the local news :-)


From Becca's perspective:

As we got out of the car I heard glass smash in the parking lot. I looked over and saw someone jumping into a pickup truck parked on the other side of a nice SUV and peeled out. I ran toward him and yelled 'hey'. For some reason my brain jumped to the conclusion that someone must have left their keys in the car and this person broke in and drove off, hence my instructions to Brian. He wasn't kidding about the "don't mess with me look". As he glowered at us as Brian ran into the street I thought "dear god, don't get run over (or shot!)" and "what was I thinking heading toward him yelling 'hey'". What was I going to do?? "Say 'stop', or I'll hey again??"

Still convinced that it was the truck that was stolen, I ignored a well dressed lady leaving the post office on her cell phone and heading back towards the SUV. I had just finished querying everyone in the PO to see if they had a truck, when she came running back in saying someone had smashed her window and grabbed her purse. Right. That actually makes much more sense than smashing the window of an old pickup and either finding keys or hot wiring it in like 5 seconds. So much for those jumped-to conclusions.

There followed the classic eye witness issues. (We actually were eyewitnesses for a hit-and-run a few months ago and remembered enough to get the perpetrator tracked down - of course...he had a license plate! - but he looked like we had described). In this case it happened so fast:

"it was a dark blue pick up" says I, while Brian says "it was dark green". He was in his 30's I say as Brian assuredly says "his forties". We did agree on hair color though...

Guess we do need McGruff after all...


piglet said...

I like the way you two spring into action!

[booming voice:] Becca and Brian, Citizens of the World!

urban bliss llc said...

Nice work you two :)

I thought about this when I was at the PO yesterday...I normally leave my purse in the car because I'm in and out of there in less than 5 minutes almost everyday, but I took my purse with me yesterday!