Saturday, August 25, 2007

Surprised car thief

There was a story in the local news this week about a child in the back seat of a pickup that was stolen.

According to the story on WTVM, Dr. Jimmy Johnson was leaving his parents house, had put his 18-month old child in the car seat in the back of his truck, then ran back inside to get something.

Someone stole the truck.

Johnson got a glimpse of the thief when he jumped on the hood to try to stop the vehicle. He fell off, and the thief got away.

About 15 minutes later, the truck was found with the toddler safe inside.

What brings this story to my attention?

The fact that it happened here locally? No.

It's because it reminded me of an event that happened way back in the 1960s in my home town.

This man was riding uptown with his young son in the car. Back then, children rode in the front seat. And often didn't use seat belts.

Anyway, this young father pulled into an alley parallel to and 1/2 block from the main street through the center of town.

He told his son, "I'll be right back," and left the car, heading into a near-by business.

The car was running, the driver's door was open, and the young boy was sitting in the front seat.

Maybe a minute later ... maybe not even that long ... a young man -- perhaps an older teen or a twenty-something -- put his hand on the open driver's door, and started to get inside the vehicle.

When he saw the young boy sitting there, he stopped ... frozen for one, maybe two, seconds.

The young man stepped back and closed the door, and continued his trek down the alley.

In just a little bit, the young father came back, opened the door, got inside, and drove on.

The young boy never said anything.

But I still remember the face of the would-be car thief.


  1. Were you the little boy? How scary! When did your dad find out?

  2. When did he find out? Right now, if he's reading this.

  3. Wow, Basil! How old were you and how is it you never told him? (If you don't mind me asking!)

  4. I don't recall how old I was. It was some time in the 1960s. I could barely see out the window.

    Why not say anything? Heh. My sisters could answer that.

  5. I did not tell 99% of what happened in my life to my parents. If they even had an inkling of what I was doing I would have been grounded for life.

  6. [...] Basil has an interesting story regarding a very surprised car thief [...]

  7. Kind of amazing, I live in downtown Atlanta and a few months ago someone left a BMW in front of the gas station across the street from my apartment with the windows open and the engine running for twenty-six hours.

    No one stole the car. Apparently the owner had been coming off a cocaine binge, tried to use the bathroom in the gas station and fell asleep in there.

    The staff at the gas station thought the lock on the door was jammed, called a locksmith and instructed customers to use the other bathroom. They didn't even notice the car until it had been there eight hours or more. The locksmith came the next day and found they guy, still asleep, sitting on the toilet.

    How does someone leave a BMW running in downtown Atlanta and not have it stolen?

  8. The Little Sister (who's 6'0")September 6, 2007 at 10:44 AM

    You know, I could answer why, but I will leave that to the other 2 sisters. Big and Mean, want to comment?


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