A couple weekends ago, some dirtbag stole my Jeep. Because it was stolen with a found fob, over the next week we kept it locked in the garage. Last week it vacationed at a local Jeep dealer, waiting to have the little bits of damage repaired, and its oil changed.
The bottom line for the Jeep recovery is about $1500.
It cost $130-some to collect it from the impound.
I spent $40 on the super-deluxe scrub-down at the car wash. We're considering having it detailed, but wanted the repairs finished first.
It cost $1300 and change for the dealer to fix what the creeps broke, and a little maintenance.
The Jeep needed an oil change and tire rotation, so that's on me. I had requested also a little extra scrutiny on the safety inspection, knowing that unknown individuals had driven it in ways that got it dirty and scuffed. I'm sure the Jeep weathered that well, but looking for unknown bottom-outs or twigs stuck places was what I asked for.
The creeps also tore apart the interior trim over the passenger visor. I'm glad I didn't try to fix it and forget about it, because it turns out they pulled a bunch of wires. So the dealer had to remove all of the trim around the window to reattach everything.
And because the creeps got one of the key fobs, we worked to get that decommissioned. That led to some frustrating information, but some at-least Jeep-protecting changes.
This Jeep has fancy interior-cut keys, that kind of switchblade out of the fob. No pokey silver part of the key, unless you hit the too-easy trigger button to set it free. When exposed, a straight rectangle of metal is revealed, with a wiggly snake cut along either side of the metal, instead of along the edges as with a traditional key. Kinda neat, but just a different slotting mechanism than your typical tumbler mechanism.
Where this gets unfriendly, because of their attempt to make them friendly, is that the keys are cut and "registered" to the VIN of the vehicle. This is handy in case you loose a fob, so you can order a replacement already cut. It's also handy in case you need a spare cylinder, say to replace a door damaged in an accident, or to add a lock to an after-market door. It's unfriendly if someone has your key, and you want to replace the lock.
I thought "they must have a way to send a new lock kit, with new cylinders and matching keys, to register to the VIN for replacement cases like this," but it seems that's not the case. The dealer discovered and explained the rationale above, and that all makes sense. But this means we can't replace or re-tool the cylinders, so whomever has that fob can forever unlock the Jeep's doors.
We were able to get a replacement fob, already cut for the door. And the dealer was able to reprogram the remote controls so that the missing fob can no longer unlock the doors or start the Jeep. The fob in possession and new fob are the only ones that work for that.
We're in "trust and hope" now. The police suggested that cars are seldom re-stolen. It was likely a crime of extreme opportunity, and the same perp is not likely to carry the key with them down our street again. If they do, they may try the fob, see that it doesn't open the doors, and pass on, hopefully discarding the fob as useless after that. If they return and try the key in the door, they have free reign of the inside, including if we locked the dash and console (they use the same key).
So, our fingers are crossed that before or after the Jeep disappeared, the crook who took it passed on the fob. If they traded the fob and Jeep to someone else, and they didn't note the address in the registration left in the glove box and found still in the Jeep, the fob holder won't likely return. If whomever had the fob tossed it when the Jeep was impounded, anyone finding it won't likely find it again, and unless they try sticking that key into every Jeep they see, they won't find it by bonking one of the Jeep buttons.
The Jeep has been home and undisturbed for a couple of nights now. I'm going to take it for another wash this weekend. Not to wipe down the creep ick, really. It got dirty and then rained on while at the dealership. Plus, there's a little grunge in the leather from where the kid seats were. Plus they got about half of the dog hair from the cargo area; I get the PITA that cleaning that is, which is why I let them do it... If I take it in like it is, they'll start with that, and not finish with it.