Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Stolen Items Recovered!

Self Control Matters!

"...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law."
Galatians 5:  22-23

Do not underestimate the power of your auto rosary or saint medals swimming around in your car's ashtray! :)

Joking aside, I got my stolen items back last night, and while we all know that there are no magical powers associated with rosaries, saint medals, holy cards, etc., I do firmly believe in the power of prayer!

Last Thursday, I shared this post about a thief taking advantage of this busy mom who inadvertently left her minivan side door open.  I shared that while I was deeply disappointed in this stranger's lack of morals...inability to exert impulse control...outrageous nerve...

...I knew that I should pray for him or her.

I also shared that God is always watching out for us.  The young man that stole the electronics from the front seat area, didn't even realize that the $300 Eddie Bauer infant-to-toddler convertible car seat was much more valuable and left it sitting there.

Well, all of our prayers for this young man worked in my favor!  Not sure if it was his guilt working against him...or his own laziness (probably the latter), but he hadn't even pawned/sold my stuff.

Yesterday afternoon, at approximately 1:00 PM, Detective Sanders got my case file including the surveillance footage from the mall security cameras.  (Incidentally, this mall is the most popular in the KC metro area and because of that, the local city police department also places their own high tech security cameras to help combat parking lot theft at this oh-so-popular shopping venue.)  Between the two different security systems, they were able to watch this thief in action and catch him red-handed!

According to the detective, a little silver car could be seen driving around the mall parking lot.  As he turned down the row I parked in, he could be seen coming to a screeching halt.  Lightning fast, he jumps out of his driver's seat, enters through my open side-door, can be seen crawling up to the front seat.  Quick like bunnies (a family expression!)... he's back into his own car...with my stuff!

From that vantage point, security could not get a license plate, but... he circled the parking lot and stopped to pick up his girlfriend in a different row, he was caught on another security camera and this time surveillance had a perfect image of his license plate.

A quick background check told the officer that this thief had no prior criminal history, but lots of unpaid  parking tickets.

Around 5 PM, the detective showed up at his address.  Sitting in the apartment parking lot was his little silver car with my stolen goods still on the floor board.

The detective knocked on his door and when the young man opened it, he just stood there saying nothing.  Detective Sanders said, "You know why I'm here...right?"  And the guy answered, "yes."  The detective said, "you understand that we have you on camera?"  And the guy was like, "I know."

When the detective asked him why he did it, he gave the sob story about so many bills to be paid and no ability to find a job because of the bad economy...etc., etc., etc.  He planned to sell my stuff on Craig's List.

The guy went out to his car and gave the detective my stuff back, but the detective made it clear to him that charges will still be filed.  While he swears up and down that this was his "first time to ever do anything like this", the detective said to me, "more like his first time to get caught".

Sadly, this "kid" (I have no idea how old he is) now has a criminal record.  And while he won't serve jail time (and I don't feel that jail would be an appropriate punishment for this particular crime), he will more than likely plead guilty and be put on probation.  His hand will be forced in that he will now need to get a job as part of his sentencing and plea agreement.

New GPS system, purchased over the weekend, because my husband "can't drive without one".  
I get to keep the new one...he he he!

But what bothers me even more, as both a mother and an educator, is this young man's inability to choose right over exert allow that moral compass to guide his decisions.

I would love to pick this guy's ask him questions like... you believe in God or have a Faith life?   ...did you grow up with religion?

...did you grow up in a two-parent home?...were you a daycare/latchkey kid...?

...can you read...well?  Was school a struggle for you...or was school too easy?

...did you steal out of kids' desks at school when you were growing up (sticky fingers)?

...were you bullied?  ....were you the bully?

...what's your temperament like?  Do you give up easily when times get your persevere?

...did you play in nature a lot?...were you responsible for caring for siblings or a family pet...?

Were you a Boy Scout????!!!! (My little Benjamin is officially a Tiger Cub!!!  More on that later!)

I know that there is not one simple answer to explain this young man's behavior.  More than likely it is a combination of events in his life that led up to last Thursday.

But will this arrest and sentencing be enough to deter future criminal behavior?

My guess is no.

Unless he does some deep soul searching, gets right with God, and finds a mentor/friend/girlfriend in his life that doesn't condone (and be an accomplice!) this type of behavior, he will forever be in and out of the criminal justice system.

Can you tell that I've been thinking about this a lot?

How do I prevent Mary, Ben, and Luke from getting involved in this type of behavior?

I think the answer is strong parental involvement.

This will look different for every child...meeting them where their needs are at..., but I firmly believe in attachment parenting, gentle correction including helping our children master self-control (i.e. telling them no and having them be okay with that!) and giving children a strong Faith life, including being an active member of a church-going congregation.  All of these go a long way into molding little hearts and minds to be faithful, God-loving, productive human beings.

Anyway, let's keep praying for this young man!  He certainly needs our prayers.  And thanks for reading this long-winded post!!!  Hugs.

Linking up with Beth over at Simply Beth for Three Word Wednesday.



  1. So glad things worked out this way Val. And I will join you in prayer for this young man and many like him who make the wrong choices and walk down the wrong path for reasons unknown to us. : )

  2. Valerie, Thank you for linking up for three word Wednesday and for your kind comments on my post. I'm so glad you shared this. I hope (and I will pray) if presented with a similar situation that I would respond with the same kindness...the same self you did. I will keep this young man in my prayers. Btw, I love the quote you have under your "Leave your comment" from Mother Teresa! Blessings to you. Thank you again for being a part of Three Word Wednesday!!

  3. You are spot on, Valerie. I'm so glad that you have your things back. I think I will have my kiddos say some prayers for this young man as well. I think he needs them.

  4. Hi Valerie! YAY! Score one for you and prayers and the police department. Do you know how rare it is to get your things back? That's amazing.

    Good questions to pose, and we are showing our own children not to prosper off the back of someone else. My goodness, that was his excuse?? Times are hard? How did he think that maybe you were on hard times too?

    But its time to celebrate. I'm going to join your blog :)
    PS Strong work on the GPS! LOL!

  5. So thankful you got all of your stuff back! Blessings!

  6. So good to hear!
    Makes you wonder why people do the things they do.

    I guess we just have to remember
    to lock our doors and keep those valuable things out of sight.


  7. Thank God!! Such god news....

    Valerie, as for adding an email follow...I have blogger too. I believe that blogger platform uses feedburner to send emails out to followers. ( More on that later)
    Here's what you do...
    Go to You'll see your blog and the other blogs you contribute to there on the main page.
    1 Click the title of this blog.
    2 Then on the left sidebar, click "layout"
    3 You'll see a sort of diagram of your blog and how it's laid out (with the header on top to gadgets on the sides., etc)
    4 Find ( anywhere, doesn't matter where b.c you can always move it by dropping and dragging) a little tab that says "add a gadget." Click on it. The add a gadget tabs area all over on blogger layout.
    5. I copied and pasted what you'll see when you click this:
    There will be several things you can click on which you have likely done when you've added buttons or pictures to your sidebars:
    Here's what the options will say but each one will be in a separate little box:
    Add a Gadget
    More Gadgets
    Add your own
    1 – 25 of 27 next »

    +1 Button +1 ButtonAdd
    Let visitors quickly recommend your brand and your content.
    By Blogger
    Google+ Followers Google+ FollowersNew!Add
    Highlight your total Google+ audience (both its size and some friendly faces), and offer visitors the chance to follow you on Google+.
    By Blogger
    Google+ Badge Google+ BadgeAdd
    Tell your visitors that you're on Google+ and let them follow you with a single click.
    By Blogger
    Translate TranslateAdd
    Let visitors translate your blog into different languages.
    By Blogger
    Follow by Email Follow by EmailAdd
    Make it easy for visitors to subscribe to email delivery when you publish a post.
    By Blogger
    Popular Posts Popular PostsAdd
    Display a list of the most popular posts from your blog.
    By Blogger

    Ok, the one above "Popular posts" is what you want to click.
    Just click it and follow and prompts. You type whatever you want in the little caption space.

    When you're done, you hit save and then drag the email follow on the layout menu to whereever you want it to go.
    Now, I'll tell you honestly that feedburner had major trouble delivering to my blog. I did not have many followers ( still don't ) but two friends let me know that they were not receiving email posts.
    I tried everything and couldn't fix it ( on my own) My son is pretty techy and he worked on it...took him quite a while and he fixed it.
    I HOPE that doesn't happen to you! Hey many bloggers use feedburner with good luck, so it should be fine.
    I hope it works and that I explained it okay.
    It is really really easy.!!

    Be well and enjoy the weekend!

  8. Wow, Chris! Thank you so much!!! I'll work on this over the weekend. Hugs,Val


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."