Actually I cant use the word
my anymore because the car is gone. I was planning to sell
it, however, so I had some minor repairs done, put a for sale
sign in the window and parked it OUTSIDE on the street below my apartment
for the first time in months.. On the second night, it disappeared. (Or
maybe someone took it for a test drive to Poland?) Anyway, that was December
30th, and I said to myself.. "Just accept that the insurance company
will not pay what you could have sold it for, forget it and start the
new year off with no car problems..." Fine.
On December 31st, after realising it was gone, I went to the police station.
and on arriving I said, I just called about my car that was stolen.
Policeman: Oh the Mercedes? The Ford?
No the Renault CLIO Baccara
All the paperwork was done very slowly. I contacted my insurance company
and decided to think about other things. Two days later, January 2, late
afternoon. I get a call from the Police,
Weve found your car outside of Paris, but you'll have to go
identify it, and then go to the police station to file the car recovered
What state is the car in? I ask.
Theyve taken some parts
Think I can drive it home?
Not sure, they did put a seat in it...
I stopped asking him questions. He gave me the number of the garage where
the car had been taken, and I called the next morning.
Hi, Im calling about the Clio Baccara, what condition is it
Did you have good tires on it?
Yes, fairly new, why?
They changed those...
OK, well Ill bring my keys, think I can drive it back?
They didnt tell you?
They said some parts were gone..
Excuse me sir, but its a trash can..
2 hours later I arrive at the yard. Approaching the car, I notice that
the lock mechanism on the back-hatch-type-door was gone. And being Mr
Intelligent I turn to the man and say, oh thats how
they got inside the car? He didnt reply. Didnt need
to. As I wallked around the side I realised there were no locks anywhere,
and there was no inside of the car either. Seats, door panels,
speakers, carpetting...all gone.
Dont touch it cause they didnt take finger prints yet
he says, as he opens the hood.
Gee, guess they changed the battery too..
Thats not your battery?
No I just bought a new one...Can I look inside the car? I want to
check the odometer.
I looked, and it said 97,500 kilometers..Three days before it was 83,300.
(Thats one heck of a test drive!!) I explained this to the guy and
then noticed a second antenna on the roof, and said, I dont
think this is my car. I had no second antenna. Can I look in the glove
OK..careful how you touch it..
I open the glove box, and what do I find? Three FAKE 20 Euro notes!!!
The guy sees this, calls the police, explains that its not my car,
BUT it had MY license plates on it, and except for the 2nd antenna and
the mileage(kilometers driven) it was identical to mine.
Then I spent 2 hours declaring to the police how and why I knew it wasnt
my car, then had to RE-DECLARE it as a stolen car, because the police
input found into their stolen-car data base. I asked why they
just couldnt input sorry-false alarm-car STILL stolen
But no. So another policeman typed the form in a computer. You would think
theyd have models of such forms. making it a quicker
and more efficient process. No way. Welcome to Europe and to France. While
waiting for him to get it signed or copied or both, I started talking
with another policeman about music. He calls another cop over saying,
this American guy had his car stolen, but hes a drummer like
you.. The guy looks at me and says, Whats your name?
I tell him and he says Ive seen your demos for Roland...
Meanwhile, the taxi has been waiting all this time as I negotiated a round-trip
deal with a really friendly, Moroccan taxi driver. On the way back, after
he heard the final details, he says, youre car is still be
driven, its a good car. Yea sure.
Then I remembered when I was living near the Champs Elysses. My indoor
parking garage space was directly under the Christian Dior company restaraunt
KITCHEN. It didnt take long for their floor cleaning chemicals which
were dripping into the garage, to not only eat the paint on my car, but
even the glass of one window. I got them to fix the leak before I had
the car repaired. But that took 5 months; fixing the leak that is....
It had to be done twice. By that time the car' roof looked like someone
had a fingerpainting party on it, but with acid. A month or so after getting
it all repaired AND re-painted, a guy with a Jeep Cherokee in the same
garage, smashes my drivers side door (when I was not there of course).
And he never admitted it, even though his bumper height matched the dent
in the door . I put a note on his car and on others asking about it. No
reply from anyone. And it was certainly no matter the police would really
look into. So I forgot about it, reported it as vandalism and had it repaired...
Soon thereafter I moved to Neuilly, where I live now, and rented another
parking space. Nothing special about that except that the door TO the
garage wouldnt open for almost one month. Not helpful. So the storys
getting boring? Wait!
The most important part is the letter
I recieved just a few months after BUYING the car in 1995. It was from
a local court investigating a stolen car ring. At that time, they informed
me that I had just purchased a STOLEN CAR!!!! A lot of paperwork eventually
proved them wrong, Or were they??????
March 15, 2002
The car never was never found, and
to my surprise the insurance company sent me a check for almost the same
amount I was hoping to get when trying to sell it. The funny thing is
that a few days after I got the check, they sent me a bill for this years
insurance charges!! Then even during June, they sent me yet another bill!
(UPDATE July 1, 2002): The policeman mentioned
above, who recognised me, recently came to one of my Roland demos and
bought a V-Drums set up...the world got smaller again!)