Victim: 'Joke's over; Where's my car?'

Norwalk isn't the trusting place it used to be, man learns.
Cary Ashby
Jan 3, 2014

 

The new car owner learned a tough lesson this week: Norwalk isn't the trusting place it used to be.

The Ferris Lane resident had his car stolen Monday -- in the three minutes it took to go inside and pick up the pizza he ordered.

"It's disgruntling to grow up in this town and have this happen," said the 36-year-old man, who was born and raised in Norwalk.

The good news is the victim's newly purchased car was recovered without any damage the following morning.

The car, a 2012 Chevrolet Impala, had about a quarter-tank of gas at Pizza Hut.

"It's almost on empty now," the victim said Tuesday afternoon.

"I bought the car two months ago. I paid cash for it. I was so upset," said the man, who described the four-door sedan as a "regular old car" with no special interest to criminals.

Now that he's been victimized, he said he wants residents to realize the rise in criminal activity in Norwalk is "more than people realize."

The tale of theft and recovery started Monday night after the man went to Pizza Hut to pick up an order he had made via the Internet.

He remembered that workers told him not arrive before 7:09 p.m. He looked at the clock before entering the Milan Avenue restaurant.

"I wanted to make sure I wasn't early. ... I got out of my car at 7:12. I signed my receipt for my debit card transaction at 7:15 and walked out," he said.

The man had parked the Impala by the front door, which is designated for pick-up orders.

"If I hadn't found a place by the front door, I wouldn't have left it running," he said.

Upon discovering his car gone, the man said he thought someone he knew saw him inside Pizza Hut and played a prank by moving his vehicle.

"I thought, 'Joke's over. Where's my car?,'" he said about his first thoughts. "I thought somebody played a joke on me."

The man went back inside and asked someone to call 9-1-1.

"Everybody looked at me like I was crazy," he said.

A woman was behind the man in line, also ready to pick up a pizza. She told him her husband was waiting in their car and recommended they ask him if he saw anything.

The husband said "a very large male entered the car," but he didn't look suspicious or look around before getting in, the victim said. The witness wasn't able to say which direction the culprit went on Milan Avenue.

"He didn't pull out fast or anything," the car owner said. "After we talked to (the husband), I realized it was stolen."

By the time the victim re-entered Pizza Hut, the Norwalk Police Department was on the way.

"It was a very quick response," said the victim, who was complimentary of Officer Dave Daniels.

"He was very nice to us. He was very sympathetic. You could tell he didn't know what to say because he felt horrible," the man said.

The Impala has OnStar capabilities, but authorities learned the tracking system couldn't be used unless there was a subscription.

"When we called, they said there's nothing we can do for you," the man said.

Another strategy was to have the victim's cell phone company "ping" nearby towers. However, he said the company told him they couldn't do that because it wasn't a "life or death" situation.

Police recovered the car at the Key Estates Mobile Home Park. Officers called him about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"It was at an abandoned trailer," the car owner said. "There was nothing wrong with it."

Inside the center console at the time of the theft were some McDonald's gift cards, cell phone chargers and change.

The man's cell phone was on the front seat. It was recovered later between Hammer Huber and Cashland at the intersection of Gallup and Milan avenues -- just down the road from Pizza Hut.

"He must have thrown it out the window and it landed in the grass," said the man, who assumes the suspect didn't want to be traced via the phone.

Daniels speculated the suspect must have been casing Pizza Hut in the hopes of grabbing a delivery person's car, the man said.

"I just happened to pull up and he grabbed it. It wouldn't have happened that fast otherwise," he added.

Police also suspect the culprit used the car to reach a drug transaction.

"He (Daniels) thinks they went on a drug run," the victim said. "It was used from Point A to Point B and left where somebody could find it with the keys in it."

Given what happened, the victim hopes other people who live in the Maple City will learn from his mistake.

"Don't leave your keys in your car running -- even in Norwalk," he said. "Obviously, it's a different place than it used to be. Don't take anything for granted."

Comments

Windy

The cops and school administrators DO care. However, without solid, substantial evidence beyond ANY doubt that THAT particular kid did it, there is nothing they can do about it.

olwiseone

So answer me this then!! Everyone who start's there car in a parking lot or at home, or someone who leave car on while pumping gas should get a fine....WHATEVER!!! It is so funny how people can point finger to the victim, you can't tell me that non of you have NEVER left your keys in the car you ALWAY take them....BULLSh** your just lucky it has never happened to you. Thank you SIR for sharing your story with others in the community. We as a community need to be more aware of this stuff that is going on. DRUGS it's all about DRUGS people. If you are sticking up for the criminal here you are narrow minded and must be a user too!! The victim was kind enough to share his story so that maybe this would not happen to others. ALSO to the person whom made the comment about the insurance not covering YOU MY FRIEND are DEAD WRONG!!!! This individuals insurance was notified that evening and was more the NICE to them. The next day the insurance company offered them a rental and also said that if the car was never located that they would get far market value for the stolen car!!!!! People don't realize the pain it made on all the family including there 3 children whom had to stay with other family for the night in fear the person would come to there home!!! IT WAS A SIMPLE MISTAKE THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANYONE!!!!! GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!! Let me ask you narrow mined people if it had happened to someone in the community with money would you all be barking HECK no!!

JMOP's picture
JMOP

Really? Read your policy, get a life, park your car in the parking lot spaces and walk 20 feet to the door. Lazies.....

starryeyes83

I've never ever left my car running while pumping gas. MY keys and purse ARE always on my person.

ClarkeWDawley

Just seems to me that if I came across a car that was idling near the pick-up door to a pizza place..or any take out joint, my first thought would be that the individual was inside picking up his order. I would then proceed inside and transpire what ever business I had there. I would pay no attention to, nor consider swiping a "free car"??!! I mean, aren't we there to eat, or pick up an order?...not a "steal a car order"? Also, does that allow me to apprehend the perpetrator of the theft of my property, and break him in half over my knee?Beat him like the insect that he is? Create havoc in his/their once warm,narcotic life?
Obey the law citizens, the police can only do so much to aid us, and I tip my hat to them. But, steal my stuff...and the game is on!

earlduck

another thing,it doesn't rain hard enough for a child to get into a strangers car,anybody that would attempt to pick up a little girl is either an abductor or has lived on another planet for the last 50 yrs

inquiringmind

The little girl was from my neighborhood. Like I said, it is a sad day when a child has to be afraid of an adult. I was raised to help someone if I saw that they were in need. In the past, I have given rides to hitchhikers, I have offered help to someone whose car has broken down. I have been asked for directions and actually gotten in my car and had them follow me to the address they were looking for. If that is wrong then I hope I don't live long enough to ever not want to help someone.

olwiseone

@jmop...actually theft of car is covered under comprehensive coverage on insurance, and I am sure every policy is different. I happen to know the whole family personally and know that the man was in a parking spot, as there is no pickup area at this restaurant...so if it is lazy to park and walk in rather than getting into the drive through lane I think you need your head examined. obviously this man knows he was in the wrong, no need for all of us to bash him on here!! I also don't believe he was blaming a town for anything, the article was just to simply state a fact that this town, nor any small town nowadays is safe. Simply just bringing awareness to people so that maybe just maybe it might somehow do some good.

JMOP's picture
JMOP

First of all I was never bashing this man. I stated he was lucky, meaning the thief didn't destroy his car in anyway, or found 300 miles away. If you have your car stolen, this was the best case scenario.
Second, I did say to walk to pick up the order, it was others that stated they couldn't understand why he didn't use a drive up window (I don't eat Pizza Hut, I didn't even know they had a pick up window). So my head doesn't need examined, thank you for your concern.
Third, yes all polices are different, but most will not cover the car or the contents inside if the policy owner neglected to take precautions of theft.
I'm not sure why you singled me out, I never called him stupid, or ripped on him for ripping on Norwalk. Maybe your head needs examined!?

bopper117

I know how 2 catch these guys (set them up if u will) do it again leave car running have someone in back seat laid down with a camera oooorrrrrr with mr smith and Wesson on board

DieselSmoke

Sounds like an inside job if you ask me. Why would the person tell him not to arrive before 7:09? Why not 7:05 or 7:10. But instead it was 7:09. And why couldn't he arrive before 7:09.

doNOTlistenHEAR

Pffft

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