gawd i hate thieves…
VIA – SC SENTINEL
By Calvin Men
Santa Cruz Sentinel
PLEASURE POINT — An afternoon of surfing turned into a moment of regret for a 25-year-old surfer Tuesday after he returned to find his car stolen.
Alex Boice parked his car near in a Pleasure Point neighborhood and hid the key in the rear fender of his 2007 white Nissan Versa before he went surfing. When he came back two hours later, his car was gone.
California Highway Patrol officers and Boice think it’s likely the thief watched him hide the key and waited for him to leave before stealing it.
“I stash my key under my car every time I’ve gone surfing for the last six years,” he said. “I thought it was hidden and it wasn’t and I take responsibility for that.”
The theft is part of a recent spike in the number of stolen cars and vehicle burglaries in the Pleasure Point and Opal Cliffs area. The California Highway Patrol issued a warning about the uptick in the method of car theft in August.
As surfers stow their keys away in hidden spots on or around the car, potential thieves will watch, CHP officer Brad Sadek said. Once the driver walks away, thieves will retrieve the key and steal valuables from the car or the car itself.
“It is a pretty common thing and it’s very risky, too,” Sadek said. “Everybody knows that’s what they do. Everybody knows that’s the trend. Whether it’s in a wheel well or in an exhaust pipe or underneath a rock.”
For Boice, he ran into a fellow surfer who helped him report the crime and gave him dry clothes. Boice was in the middle of moving from San Luis Obispo to Jackson, Wyo., and everything he owned was in the car.
“I’ve heard that this has happened before and usually the car comes up a week and a half later, looted and all that jazz,” he said.
Sgt. Joe Clarke with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office has been surfing for 40 years and often tells people not to hide their keys.
“I’ve seen people come up to cars and shake them trying to see if the key is going to fall out,” Clarke said.
Even though some people are afraid of losing their keys in the ocean, Clarke recommends having it rather than not. Clarke was a victim of vehicle theft himself when he was surfing in Monterey. He hid the key and came back to find the car gone. It was found a month later in Southern California.
“That was my rude awakening,” he said. “You can’t just leave your keys alone. Someone is going to take your stuff or your car.”
Clarke has three pieces of advice: Don’t leave valuables in the vehicle, keep the key with you instead of hiding it and report suspicious activity.
Follow Sentinel reporter Calvin Men at Twitter.com/calvinmenatwork
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