President’s Corner: Tempting Fate … And Sticky Fingers

by Hans Schmidt, LSNA President

HPSI have lived in Lockeland Springs for several years now, so I guess it was bound to happen eventually: my bike was stolen from my back porch.
This, of course, was not the first time I’ve experienced a theft. The first time I realized someone had rummaged through my car was not long after we moved to East Nashville. One night, I was outside late with the dog when I saw a gentleman walking down the street in our direction. It was only when he got closer that I realized he was going down the row of parked cars checking to see which ones were unlocked. By the time I ran inside to get my phone, he was long gone. To their credit, the police responded quickly.
About three years ago, I walked out of the house one morning only to find an empty street where my car had been parked the night before. Gone! The ensuing exchange with the police officer who came to take my report was actually kind of embarrassing:
Officer (not seeing any broken glass on the street): “Was the car unlocked?”
Me: “Yes… and, um, there was a spare key in the console.”
Officer (pause): “Uhuh, well …”
I nearly felt compelled to explain that I really was not trying to get the car stolen. No; instead, in a moment of laziness or forgetfulness — or both — I managed to leave the spare key in an unlocked car at the same time and on the same night that someone decided to see which cars on my street were unlocked. Two days later it was recovered, none the worse for wear (for the most part). I guess the thieves either were unimpressed with my older vehicle or they had to dump it in a hurry — they left a nearly full pack of Marlboros in it. I threw them away; it was a small measure of justice. The most annoying part of that episode was having to pay over $100 to get the car out of the Metro impound lot.
Now, back to my bicycle. Honestly, I am pining for my lost bike more than I did for my car. It may sound silly, but it feels more personal. Maybe it’s because it was stolen off my back porch, just a few steps from the kitchen door and before 9:00 p.m. even.
With the car, if it gets stolen, you figure that’s what insurance is for and really, a car is a car. Sure, a car gets me from place to place, but a bike, that’s different. You cannot cruise around Shelby Bottoms and get a bird’s eye view of the Cumberland River from the pedestrian bridge in your car.
Mine was a white/silver Trek road bike that I got used from Halcyon Bike Shop at a good price. Just the day before it was stolen, we had gone on our first bike ride of the summer and were looking forward to many more. If you were wondering, no, it was not locked up. That’s what makes it sting all the more; the feeling that I would still have it if only I had been more careful and not let my guard down even this one time. Our neighborhood has seen dramatic changes over the last few years, but, unfortunately, some things remain the same.
So I will close this month with some “presidential” advice (actually, it’s the same message I’ve heard expressed by East Precinct Commander Imhof and Sgt. Fisher on several occasions): Don’t leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicles; secure your cars, bikes, lawnmowers, and similar property; don’t get into the habit of thinking, “I’m sure it will be fine that I left [fill in the blank] out tonight; I’ve left it out before and nothing happened.” You’re tempting fate and one day… (see above).
Jot down serial numbers (I didn’t before but do now) because they will be helpful if something is stolen. After the police report was filed, I got a call from an officer that put a description of my bike into a database used by the police and pawnbrokers. If someone ever tries to pawn my bike, then it should be entered into the database. The officer said he was an avid rider and would notify me if he anything pops up so we can check it out to see if it’s mine.
I’m still holding out some hope that it might turn up that way. The more likely scenario is that my bike is somewhere nearby and I’ll see someone riding it around the neighborhood.
Living in East Nashville, you quickly understand that the good and the bad are a packaged deal; you cannot get one without the other. Fortunately, the good so far outweigh all else and it’s why we love to call Lockeland Springs our home.