Friday, January 29, 2010

Vengeance will be ours!

While I never addressed it here on my blog, in November 2009, my purse was stolen. I will recount those details here. I know what you're thinking...purse many details can there be?...Well, let me just lay it out for you!

It was Friday, November 13th , and I had taken Mikey to Brookwood Hospital to have his vasectomy. Thankfully, that part of the day went off without a hitch. When Mikey put on his hospital gown he gave me his wallet. We've been together 5 years and do you know how many times I've ever had his wallet in my purse besides this one? ZERO. ZILCH. NONE. That will become an important detail in a minute. We left and came home to get Mikey settled for his "weekend of rest". I went to go get his prescription filled and get some snacks for him from Wal-mart. While on my way, I stopped by my moms to pick up Charlie. We headed to Wal-mart and when Charlie and I were on our way in, I decided to switch buggies to put his car seat in one that it would fit better in(there are 3 different buggies at our wal-mart and only one of them is infant-carrier friendly). I switched his car seat to a buggy that had been left beside the handicapped parking spaces. We went in, did our shopping for around 15 minutes, and got in line to check out. That is when I realized my purse was missing. For a second I thought maybe I left it in the car, but it didn't take me long to realize what I'd done. When I switched Charlie's buggy, I had inadvertently left my purse behind.

Well, in the best of situations a nice old lady would've found my purse and turned it into customer service. Well, lets just say we didn't get the best of situations, we got the worst. But I'll get to that in a minute. So I immediately rushed outside hoping to see a glimpse of my bright yellow leather purse, but lo and behold it wasn't there. I went back inside to see if anyone had turned it in and no one had. I went back out to my car and called my mom, and when I was trying to tell her what happened, I broke down into tears. I was sad and frustrated and embarrassed, and well, lets just be honest, I was PISSEd! I had mom call Mikey because I was afraid he was going to be really mad. (he wasn't by the way).

So mom met me at the Sumiton Police Department where I was going to file a report. That was about the time that Mikey and I both remembered that his wallet was also in my purse. Talk about adding salt to an open wound. Mikey got our neighbors and friends Anthony and Karyn to bring him up to the police station because, remember, he wasn't supposed to be doing anything. Can I just say, when I filed the police report, I felt like I was dealing with Barney Fife and his merry band of brothers. It was quite obvious to me that nothing was going to be done on their end.
I left and went home and was awake all night because I had committed another big NO NO. I had all (mine, Mikey, Huett, Sam and Charlie's) of our social security cards in my purse because I had just taken them to mom's the previous week to sign us up for our yearly enrollment for health insurance and they were still in my wallet. I was so worried not about mine or even Mikey's so much, but I was so afraid(and still am a little) that someone was going to steal the boys' identity. We also called all of the credit bureaus to put alerts on all of our social security numbers so I was just praying that would be enough.
Well, on Sunday night, while I had Huett and Sam at preschool choir practice at church, Mikey got a call from a blocked number on his cell phone. The guy on the phone said he found Mikey's wallet in a purse in his mom's front yard and that he knew we would want it back. He said there was no money in it(it originally had around $150 in it) but that all of our other stuff was there. Mikey told the guy repeatedly that he would come and get it from him, but they guy told Mikey that he couldn't meet him because he was on probation. I guess he was afraid we would turn him in or something. I don't really know. He said that he would get his girlfriend to call back and meet us. We never heard a thing from either of them. In retrospect, I think they were looking for reward money, but who can really be sure.
Well about a month passed and nothing happened, when all of a sudden my checks on our new checking account started getting declined at stores where they clear your check immediately. I knew there was plenty of money in the account so I wasn't sure what was going on. Shortly after that, the bank called and said they had several checks come into our closed account from Gamestop for around $2,000. Apparently when you write a check, they don't check funds in the account when they run it through and give you the check back, they are just checking your license number. Well, mine and Mikey's were flagged because of the bad checks to gamestop. Well, the next day in the mail we get a letter from Belk saying that they needed further information to process our credit application. We didn't apply for a Belk credit card. We don't do credit at all, so this was particularly frustrating. We immediately called the number on the letter to Belk's fraud department and got it taken care of. Proof positive that so far, the alerts to our SS# worked because normally the credit card would've been issued on-site, same day.
This is where it really gets interesting. The next night around 8:30 PM our home phone rings(no one really calls our home phone so we don't answer it a lot of the time but this time I did for some reason) and it was a man who said he was looking for someone who test drove a car that day. I reassured him that it was neither Mikey or myself and I asked him was he sure he had the right number. He said he was sure and that it was the right address. That is when I proceeded to tell him about the stolen purse, identity theft, etc. and let Mikey get on the phone.
The man was from a car dealership in Bessemer. He said that earlier that day, a man came in to test drive a car. The car dealer thought the man came alone. He used Mikey's license for his test-drive and left it with the dealer. What the dealer didn't know was that there was someone else in the other car. When the man went alone for his test drive without the dealer because, remember the dealer thought the mans car was empty, and who would abandon their own car to steal another, He drove away and never came back and the driver of the other car sped off too. So basically this man stole a car using my husbands identity, and it was all my fault. Talk about feeling guilty. So Mikey heads out, with my dad, to the Brighton Police Department at 10:00 at night. For those of you who don't know, Brighton is definitely not the place to be late at night. When he arrived at the police station, the car dealer came there and told them that Mikey was definitely not the man who stole the car. Mikey said the car dealer was drunk and he looked very upset. I guess he realized he was going to have to take that loss. If he would've just looked at Mikey's ID, he would've know this man wasn't 6'4" 245 lbs. like Mikey is, just like every other person that accepted his bad checks would've if they would've just paid attention. Mikey was actually able to get his license back that night at the police station.
The next day we started receiving letters from Target about returned checks that WE obviously didn't write. In 2 days, he wrote 4 checks to Target for around $1600.
So in about a 3 day span, this man wrote almost $4000 worth of bad checks, tried to open a credit card in Mikey's name, and stole a freakin' car! And might I just add, on some of the checks to Game Stop he went so far as to write Mikey's Alabama Power Employee ID number and change the phone number and address to attempt to prove his identity so I have to believe someone there must've questioned him a little bit. Conniving Thief! Mikey got to go to the police station in Birmingham to see the footage of him at Target on the security camera and he was carrying Mikey's exact same wallet too. That really made Mikey mad!
Once the car was stolen and Mikey had his license back, we never received any more bad check notifications and nothing else happened. If you ask me, I think that whoever stole my purse and called Mikey turned around and sold its contents to this man because nothing happened for an entire month and then all these things happened in 3 days. Also, I think he ran out of checks and that is why he was willing to give up Mikey's license to steal the car because he really didn't have any use for it anymore.
Fast forward a month later. Everything has pretty much died down. Mikey and his mom have taken the Huett and Sam to the circus and I am at home with Charlie and Archer when Mikey receives a call from the lady who was working in customer service at Wal-mart when my purse was stolen. She said she was on and there was a post about a purse thief being arrested in Sumiton. Mikey called and told me to look it up. I tried but in the back of my mind I thought no way is it the guy. I mean months have passed, and we haven't heard a word from any law enforcement. I searched and searched and finally I found what he was talking about.
Much to my pleasant surprise, it was the guy. Right there in the news feed was an article detailing what had happened to us, and apparently several of his other victims. It said that he had warrants for his arrest in Shelby, Jefferson, and Blount counties, that he had robbed a Planet Smoothie, had mugged at woman at The Summit on 280, had broken into a house in Vestavia, and what car was sitting in the driveway? The very one that was reported stolen way back in December from Bessemer Super Highway Auto Sales. The same car described in the mugging at the Summit.
HAHA!! They caught the little $h!+. Today he sits in the county jail.

Oh and did I mention, the day they caught him was our five year anniversary! Happy anniversary to us. This may be sad, but I can't think of a better anniversary present than
a little peace of mind!
To read the article, click here. I hope they put this guy under the jail. I really hope that we can be at his sentencing so I can take the stand and tell the jury just how much distress and heartache this has really caused, but I think that may only happen in murder trials.
One big huge giant massive prayer answered!
And I guess maybe all those Barney Fifes weren't so bad after all!


  1. i'm glad they finally caught the "big frig"! it wasn't even my stuff, but i felt so where is the justice in the world when scum like this can go around living it up on someone else's hard earned money and credit? i'm going to take a deep breath and just let it go!

    i'm glad that guy is finally behind bars where he belongs!


  2. First of all you need to change your profile picture of you 4 at the beach. You need to add Charlie to that picture. Now about the purse situation, that was not very nice what you wrote about the police dept in the area, I mean, Barney Fife!!!!!! I'm glad they got that one guy but I believe he wasn't the first in the string of things happening to you and your purse. But hopefully they will figure out everything!!! Love Mom!!

  3. I didn't relize it was FRIDAY THE 13TH

  4. I like Barney Fife.. he is my hero!