The other morning I went out to my car to get to some meetings at church at found something very, very odd. I made my way into my car to find stuff scattered all over the passenger’s seat. I realized that it was the things that are normally in my center console. I knew someone had been in my car.
I quickly looked around to make sure everything was there. A few months ago someone had come in and stolen the cd’s on my visor. So i scanned to see if I’d been ripped off again. CD’s? check. Map book? check. Wallet (don’t worry, I don’t keep anything valuable in my wallet, just business cards and stuff)? Check. Change in my ash tray? check.
Hmmm…. someone went through my car and didn’t take anything… But there was still something even more strange to be discovered. Two notebooks, that were not in my car when I got out the night before. I took a look at these notebooks and they appeared to be some sort of assignment books for a English as a second language class.
So, lets pause here and think about what happened. Someone, wanting to get away from the frigid SoCal nights, went in my car to study? Or did they go in looking for goods to steal, heard someone coming and ran away. Having set down the notebooks, they forgot to take them in their haste? Maybe they are trying to frame me for something, like stealing the assignment notebooks from a professor.
As i stepped out of my car, I noticed a fully smoked Marlboro cigarette. Hmmmm… Then, not too far away was a match from a matchbook… So maybe this was a child who was trying to find a place to smoke and study? They opened my ashtray to put in the cigarette, only notice that there was change in there. They would not be interested in pennies, so they left the change.
That afternoon I took some time to do some snooping around the apartment building to see if anyone recognized the notebooks. I went to the apartments that might know something, but had no luck. What I did find out is that I’m not the only whose car has been broken into. One guy has had his car broken into multiple times. Another had the antenna on his car taken. One lady was surprised that no one has broken into her car, telling me its better than mine so you’d think someone would have gone there. (it didn’t sound snobby when she said it)
I took a better look through these notebooks, and they have answers to tests in it, critiques of people’s public speaking, even a few scribbles on how to pronounce, but written in Chinese. Then one page had ‘USC Language Center’ written on it. Another had a phone number with my area code on it.
So here is my temporary conclusion. These were left by a student that goes to the USC language center, but lives in my area. They were looking for some academic edge, but alas, had no luck. The person was snooping through my car, and went for the center console, which was the most visible part. They heard someone coming, and quickly took off, accidentally leaving behind the notebooks.
what the person did not know is that I will not rest until I figure this out. I have the name of a school, class numbers, a phone number, and a bunch of names. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated. Oh, and if Sherlock happens to be reading this, I’ll happily take your input.