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The Story of the Stihl Stealer

August 4, 2010

“Be Strong” notepad by The Sherwood Press

I don’t talk about a ton of personal things here on Schmate even though it is “personal things” that take me away from my consistent blogging. I’m a stick-to-the-plan-type girl, and when something throws me for a loop, I don’t always roll with the punches well. In the case of the Stihl Stealer, I reacted by not blogging. But, I’m back in action, and here’s what’s going on.

Last Monday afternoon, JD bid our friends Joseph and Heidi (and Tate!) goodbye, and as they left, he went inside and forgot to close the garage door. No biggie. It’s the middle of a bright sunny day, and our neighborhood is very safe. When JD realized he had left it open forty-five minutes later, he looked around and noticed that both our Stihl weed eater and our Stihl blower were gone. JD promptly called the police and hopped on Google chat to tell me what happened:

1:35 PM

JD: we just had our blower and weed eater stolen
  i could have SWORN i closed the garage door, but maybe not
  a guy down the street saw a my-sized guy in a gray dodge/chrysler van with a white hood get in his car with the blower

me: are you kidding me???????????

 JD: golf clubs, mower, everything else (as far as i can tell) is still there
  i’m not

Ooh, I was angry. Not so much at JD because it was an honest mistake, but I was angry at the situation. Someone was in our garage! Someone had a whole lot of nerve to come into our house and steal something that did not belong to them! How are we going to afford buying more tools? I can’t believe the thief took the tools I use the most! (JD is the lawn mower while I edge, trim and clear.) So, I calmed down a bit, and JD wrote back after the detective stopped by the house. Do we have serial numbers of the machines, the police officer had asked.

This is a very important part of the story and one I think needs to be the main thing I share with you: know your serial numbers! Oh yes, I am organized, but I do not readily possess serial numbers of all our tools. So, what’s the next best thing? You call the folks that sold them to you.

Very luckily for us, both tools were bought from smaller, local places, not hugely-corporate stores (*cough* Home Depot). The weed eater was a purchase JD and I made when we bought our house two years ago. We chose to buy from Brentwood Lawn Mower, a great little shop in the heart of Brentwood. I called them up, and luckily, they had our name and address in the system.

“You get skiffed, ma’am?” the nice man from Brentwood Mower asked me when I called. He found the right number and model of our weed eater.

The blower was a Christmas gift from my parents. I thought to myself: “What is the only place in Ponchatoula my dad would by us this?” Sure enough, I was correct and the folks at Michael Canal and Sons also had our info, after merely telling him that “my daddy” bought it around a specific timeframe.

I felt only slightly accomplished by investigating the right numbers but still felt down about the loss of my favorite power tools.

From that point on, I searched Craigslist. Surely if this theft is not starting his own landscaping business, he’d sell it on Craigslist. I had visions of confrontation in a Brenda-from-The-Closer way as I subscribed to the RSS feed of the Nashville Craigslist Tools and Farm and Garden sections.

I was feeling kind of low by Tuesday afternoon because I had spent way too much time searching on Craigslist, only to find nothing, and we were essentially $400 in the hole. We considered making a claim through our insurance, but we didn’t want our premium to go up. I felt kind of stuck. But on Tuesday afternoon, I came home to see a sly little grin creep over JD’s face. It was not the burritos I brought home for dinner… JD had received a call from a detective: they found our tools which had (stupidly) been sold to a local pawn shop, and gave us the name of a man who stole them! JD was to go in to the courthouse the next morning to sign the warrant documents for the arrest of our Stihl Stealer! At that point, we were unsure of if or when we’d get our tools back, but boy we were pumped. Justice!

As it turns out, our thief took our goods to a pawn shop immediately after “skiffing” them. The pawn shop gave him money but then had to record the serial numbers in a database maintained by the Nashville police. There was a red flag when our serial numbers matched the pawn shop sale, and our tools were held and became possessions of the court.

We were fired up at that point. JD and I had some choice words about our thief and made up stories of what might happen in court. Even though the police caught our guy, I needed to calm down… things in the court system go slowly. This could be awhile.

But then JD was subpoenaed on Friday to show up in court on Tuesday morning to act as a witness to our theft. Neither of us could believe how quickly that went through.

Tuesday morning, JD went in to court, our thief pled guilty (60 days in jail) and we supposedly get our tools back soon. It’s amazing… in just over one week from the theft, we have justice and are getting our stuff back. First of all, bravo to Davidson County for their quick police work and a speedy trial. Secondly, we learned so much from this experience.

Most importantly though, we get our tools back just in time to mow the lawn again, as regularly scheduled!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Kim permalink
    August 4, 2010 1:42 pm

    Such a happy ending…but, ma’am…I think you got “stiffed” not “skiffed” which is better alliteration anyway: To be stiffed by the Stihl Stealer.

  2. Annette permalink
    August 4, 2010 2:03 pm

    What a stunning story, Stuarts!

  3. Kim permalink
    August 4, 2010 5:51 pm

    …and I forwarded this blog to David at Michael Canal & Sons. You should also send it to the Davidson County Court system. They probably never get a pat on the back.

  4. Melissa Robbins Cefalu permalink
    August 5, 2010 8:05 am

    Awesome ending to a not very fun story! Thieves broke into our house about 4 years ago and stole random things. It was such a violation to know they were in our house!! Glad justice prevailed for ya’ll!

  5. Courtney permalink
    August 7, 2010 11:53 am

    so glad it turned out ok!!! whew!

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