The case of the imprudent thief


A call comes out, a stolen vehicle. Typically, these calls involve talking to the owner and filing a report. Pretty basic, cut and dry, stuff. It was a little odd, as the address of the complainant was in an area that does not have any vehicles stolen. Sir Smiley arrives and the complainant (we’ll call him Mr. Imprudent) tells Sir Smiley that he doesn’t know the license plate number and that the license plate is from out of state. He provides Sir Smiley with his ID and tells Sir Smiley that the vehicle is not registered in his name. This seems a little odd since he said the vehicle was his, so Sir Smiley tries to get some more details. Mr. Imprudent says the registered owner lives in this state and it is registered in this state also. So now we have a vehicle with out of state license plates, but is registered in the current state. Sir Smiley stops him there to clarify this. So Mr. Prudent elaborates saying that he got mad at the registered owner, switched the license plates, and drove away. He then goes on to state that he knows it doesn’t have insurance but he still considers it his. In short, he put a fictitious license plate on a uninsured vehicle, then stole the uninsured vehicle, drove it on a suspended license, and then actually expected the cops to get the vehicle back for him when he realized it was stolen (you know, the second time). Oh, and did I mention that Sir Smiley checked the records on Mr. Imprudent and he had a burglary warrant that was unextradictable (meaning the department with the warrant wouldn’t pay to have him transferred over to their area…so no arrest could be made)? No? Well he did, and he does.
He gives Sir Smiley the name of the registered owner. Sir Smiley looks her up, gets her phone number, and calls her. He asks her if she knows about her vehicle and she says that she does. She was aware that Mr. Imprudent took it without asking her. Sir Smiley tells her that Mr. Imprudent is reporting it stolen and does she want to file a stolen vehicle report. She says no. Sir Smiley asks if this means the vehicle is no longer stolen and she says yes, the vehicle is no longer stolen. Apparently she may have sent others to recover her “property” but she would not elaborate. Sir Smiley told Mr. Imprudent that all his complaints would be duly noted, and went on his way. All in all, that was one lucky thief.


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