Saturday, July 23, 2005

"This car has been reported stolen"

The drive back to Detroit (final trip) wasn't without excitement.

Nat and I drove separate cars, she started out with baby, both cars were filled with stuff.

I got a call from Nat, who was a few minutes ahead of me. She just wanted to warn me that there was a cop car hiding out. I checked my speed, going about 68, passed the cop, and didn't think about it. A minute or so later I look up and notice that police car is behind me, Checked my speed, still wasn't speeding. Looked in the rear view again, and noticed a second cop car.

This time the lights went on. I was so annoyed, I knew that I wasn't speeding. Maybe went 6 miles over the limit or something. But he, they say that OHIO police live Michigan cars, cuz they can charge on the spot. So I pull off the road, and both police cars pull off with me. The Officer asks for my license and registration. I know have to dig through the luggage sitting in my front seat, I find the stuff he wants.

I should mention that I am driving the AP's car. We had borrowed it from them when they went of to Israel in February . I should also mention that the car is actually owned by his father in law who we will call Verlander.

The Cop looks at my license and the insurance card, and asks me
"Whose car is this?"
"It's my friends he lent it to me while he's away" was my reply.
" This car has been reported stolen, please step out of the vehicle"

I step out of my car, and the cop asks me what's in my pocket. I tell him I have my cell phone keys and my wallet. The cop from the 2nd car comes over and asks if I have a gun in my pocket, and would I mind if he patted me down. I didn't mind, and he didn't find a gun.

They ask me to sit in the police car (front seat) while they check out the car. When we get in the car, the officer again asks me about the car. I tell him its my friends car, and we had reported it stolen a few months ago stolen a few month ago in Pittsburgh, and was found in Homestead (a city next to Pittsburgh) and we picked it up from a towing place.

So the officer, Dean (his real name) asked if he could call my friend, did I think he'd be at home or work. "Actually he's in Israel, but we can call him since he has a local phone number" So we try to call AP, but I had the wrong number.

I called Nat to ask for the number. I told her that everything was OK, I got pulled over for driving a stolen car, and I just had to call AP to straighten it out. She shouldn't worry just keep driving, and I'll see her at home.

We call AP, Dean speaks with him, and he verifies everything, gives him the number to his insurance company, and they could verify that I can be driving, and that the car was recovered. Dean then asks of AP has the number to Verlander so we could call him. Unfortunately, Verlander is in Uruguay. Dean looks at me and says "your friend is in Israel, and his father is in Uruguay, this is pretty international"

He then calls the station and tells them the new information that he learned. He still didn't believe me enough to set me free. As we sit in silence I couldn't help but wonder what made him run my license plate. I didn't ask because my fear was he got me speeding, and was just pulling up my information. The last thing I wanted to do was remind him that he originals wanted to give me a ticket.

Unbeknownst to me at this time Natalie received a call from the Pittsburgh Police station
"Is Verlander there?"
"No, this isn't his cell phone this is Natalie"
"well he reported his car was stolen a few months ago, and this is the number he gave us. The car has been found, and the driver is being arrested"
"WHAT?? The driver is my husband, and the car was found months ago by the Homestead Police!!"

The caller frm the police station told Nat that she'll call her back when she checks this out. AP meanwhile calls the Pittsburgh police, and his insurance company, to see what they can do. He gets in an argument with the police, because they just didn't communicate and that's what caused this whole problem.


Dean tells me that this isn't so uncommon, many departments have bad communication, they just have to check it out. He wanted to know if I had the reciept from the tow place. We went to the car, I looked through the glove compartment, and I couldn't find it. So we head back to the police cruiser.

I hear someone radio over asking Dean if she should send the toe truck to pick up the car. He tells them to hold off. I am having visions of spending Shabbos in jail in Lordstown Ohio. (For those familiar with the Ohio Turnpike I was stopped right next to the big GM plant, about 20 mile in from PA. )

(As I write this, I'm watching SNL, the skit that I being payed, is about a guy ho is being led into jail for driving a car that has been reported as stolen. The guy said it's his car, he reported it and it was found a while ago. They left him in the holding cell while they checked out his story)

Finally after an hour or so sitting in his car wondering what was going to happen he gets word from the Homestead Police that I am telling the truth and he lets me go.

Before I get out of the car, Dean shares with me how I got caught. It wasn't a trooper who ran my plates, there are sensors along the road that can recognize license plates. It recognized mine as stolen and alerted the authorities.

I call Nat to let her know that I'm OK, and to see how far ahead she is. She tells me she pulled over to a reststop, has never been more stressed out. I was like, "why? I told you not to worry. Then she told about the call she had received.

The AP's are coming back home in a few weeks, and we will return their car. But the stories and memories will forever remain.


At 1:26 AM, Blogger Mrs. AP said...

LOL!!!! This car has brought you nothing but "tzores"...we really DID have good intentions when we offered it to you, I promise!!! :) It'd all be comical if it didn't involve so much stress for you guys!!
By the way, when you and Aaron were calling back and forth and Natalie was calling in frantic from the rest stop, Aaron was on the other line with MCI trying to get our phone in Detroit hooked back up! They had shut it off b/c they had mistakenly charged us hundreds of dollars that obviously was never paid b/c we were supposed to be on an "emergency plan" that only costs a couple bucks a month. The dim-wit at MCI was having a lot of trouble understanding that we are out of the country and not using our phone right now and that we don't owe them any money. So that was what Aaron was dealing with when you called and that's why he had no patience for the bumbling PA police, Ohio cops, and insurance people he had to speak to in order to help you straighten all this out!! We'll be home in a few weeks and relieve you of the car, don't worry!

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Damn! Great story! Just as a side note. This is just a small example of how still messed up police communication is. They couldn't contact eachother about your car. Think of how well they communicate on more serious stuff. Bad situation.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Just Shu said...

Adina despite all the "tzores" we've had with te car, it has been a lifesaver, and i dont know what we would have done without it.

At 2:51 AM, Blogger Divrei Moshe said...

Crazy story. Not a good tome for the old, "did you pull me over b/c I was speeding or b/c of the drugs in the glove compartment? Safe travels..DM

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