At 10AM we started to leave the house to take the kids to a park, and maybe fetch some lunch after. That was when we noticed my Jeep wasn’t where we’d parked it the night before.
Reviewing the Ring video from overnight, I quickly found a flash of lights around 3:38, and then nothing after that.
It seems one of the keys had been forgotten in the other Jeep, and that Jeep had been left unlocked overnight. Normally our street hasn’t been bothered, but this seems to have been a night where our street was tested by ne’er do wells. Checking in the morning, the remaining Jeep was found unlocked, and its center console open, with nothing else seemingly missing. They probably hit the fob button, found the lights alerted on the other Jeep, and made haste with their booty.
The wife and kids continued to the park, because there was nothing but frustration keeping them home.
I did a few minutes of Internet searching, because I’d never had a car stolen before, to know who to call first. I learned you should call the police immediately. I did a few more minutes of research, finding the images on Ring to time stamp the events, and also to discover if our satellite radio system could assist. It turns out the SiriusXM Guardian included for a year in our lease, did indeed have an ability to track the vehicle, but needed information from calling the police.
I called the police. A very kind and helpful officer took my information. He was appreciative of the exact time stamp I could give him, which was one of a number of 30-second snaps; the last with the Jeep, the next without the Jeep. He explained how the stolen-car system worked, and that police departments and state troopers around us had high-speed cameras to read the license plates as cars drove by, and that upon sensing mine, the officers would be alerted, and likely immediate action would take place. I informed him of the SiriusXM, and he gave me the details to give to them. He warned me to inform the police, and not chase the vehicle myself; I responded that I’m totally a “let the professionals handle it” kind of guy, and that I would tensely wait and hope for a quick and safe resolution.
I then called SiriusXM, twice, as the first number was the wrong group. They were very sympathetic and hopeful. I hadn’t completed my registration, but they took care of that, then put my Jeep in “stolen car” mode, and identified that it was currently actively responding. This means that they hadn’t removed the battery or fuses necessary to disable the system. The kind agent wasn’t allowed to tell me where it was, but could confirm it wasn’t far away. She would take the information from my police department and forward it to the police department where the vehicle is, which confirmed it wasn’t in my small suburb any more. I thanked her for the help, and she wished me luck.
The wife and kids returned and I set about trying to convey the information of the day. Much of it was “thanks, now wait,” which also didn’t sit well with the missus, but it’s what we could do.
We spent the day trying to reel the kids back from their justice-seeking retribution stories. No one is going to get to punch the bad guy. If they’re caught, they’ll be charged and could go to jail, but they’ll probably have to be caught with the key or in the Jeep. If they come back, we can’t set a trap, and no one is going to stay up all night looking for them.
After bed, while doing something dumb on my tablet, a call came from the local police department. They’d found and recovered my vehicle! No persons were caught, and they didn’t recover the key. The report he had said there was no apparent damage. He admitted that he was not involved with the recovery and hadn’t seen the vehicle, but was relaying the report from the recovering police department. I could collect it from the impound lot in the morning.
I gave him many thanks, and relieved him from other queries, since I knew he probably didn’t have any more useful information than he shared already.
Jeep “safe” and sound at the impound lot. I turned in, too.