Hit and Runs: I’m Against Them

I’ve decided I’m against hit and runs. This epiphany came to me about 8:25AM. That also happens to be 5 minutes after my car was sideswiped by someone who did not stop to leave a note. The event may have influenced my opinion.

I didn’t hear a thing, but my roommate did. By the time he ran out there, the criminal was gone. I called the cops who came pretty quickly. Several neighbors came out to survey the damage and console me, but nobody witnessed the crime. After inspecting the damage closely, however, we came to a few conclusions.

There is no paint on my car – the damage was done by large tires, and a fair amount of rubber was transferred. It was clearly a big truck of some sort with tires that stick out. There was a street sweeper, but his truck didn’t match the pattern (the cop waved him over and checked). And yes, I’m an asshat and forgot about street sweeping day. I wasn’t supposed to be parked there. In my defense, I’ve only been in that neighborhood a month and there are no signs to warn you, as you don’t get ticketed if you forget.

There are two trucks in the neighborhood that match that description and must drive past my car to leave the development. One was parked in his driveway and a neighbor confirmed it was there all morning. Plus, the owner came out to see what was going on and talk with us.

The other truck is owned by someone named Robert1. Robert is a neighborhood punk. Twice he’s tore up the grass in the park by doing donuts. Nothing was done about it, except the HOA put some big boulders around one area to keep him from driving on it again. The repairs came from everyone’s dues. When the cop asked if anyone knew him personally, one neighbor said his only contact with Robert was when he confronted him about driving drunk through the neighborhood with his friends. The cop thought that might suggest he’s the type of person to also hit a guy’s car and flee. Unfortunately, the criminal did not leave anything useful when he left, like maybe some white paint from his truck, or a side mirror. Only my side mirror was found, about 40′ from my car.

It’s worth noting that 30 minutes later, my roommate caught Robert returning to the scene of the crime. Robert spent a while surveying the damage done to my car, and then sped off when my roommate walked out. My guess is that he was thinking, “Wow, that looks just like I hit it with my truck. Time to buy new tires.”

So right now Robert is the prime suspect. If I can get evidence, the cop will arrest the guy, or try to intimidate him into confessing. Unfortunately, Robert has experience with vehicular crime and knows enough to park his car in his garage. If anyone has any suggestions for collecting evidence in this situation, please comment (or contact me – the form is at the bottom of this page).

  1. His name has not been changed. []

4 thoughts on “Hit and Runs: I’m Against Them”

  1. Monitor his habits and find out at what time he leaves for work each day. If it is early in the morning, so much the better. An hour or so before he leaves, place a thin layer of flour in front of his driveway. 1 foot wide or so should do it. Wet it down with a water sprayer (.99 at the store)

    After he drives out to go to work, he will leave a tire track on the flour layer. Get some photos and then go ahead and lightly spray the pattern before laying a piece of paper on it. Wait a couple of minutes and the flour pattern should be transferred as the water gets soaked up by the paper. Let dry slightly and then apply a thin layer of acrylic (3.99 hobby shop) on the pattern.

    Date it, write location of collection and present to police as evidence. Keep a copy for yourself. Just have the police open up a case file, and pass this knowledge around your block. Robert will hear of it; this will exert a bit of pressure for him to fix the damage and stay off the police radar.

    I’m assuming that the damage caused is less than your insurance deductible. Take lots of pictures right now before any repairs are done. Oh yes, take pictures of the tire pattern that was left on your car.

  2. Sounds interesting, but I still need to locate his house. Another neighbor said he noticed Robert hadn’t returned, so he’s probably parking elsewhere and walking in, or his car is in the shop. I’m going to walk around the neighborhood tonight, see what I can find.

    I’m sure the damage is WAY above my deductible. Both driver-side doors are dented in, along with some damage on the fender. The front door doesn’t close so well and it sometimes vibrates when I’m driving. Oh yeah, the side mirror was found about 40′ from the car. We figure it will be at least a few grand to repair. And I’m absolutely furious at myself for forgetting to add rental car reimbursement. Makes my blood boil every time I think about it.

  3. Yeah, I had to pay rental car costs for a month (arghhh) while my car’s trunk and fender were fixed. Now, I didn’t have rental coverage in my insurance, but the shop fixing my car included car rental in the deal. True, they only paid for the compact-car rate, but I was able to upgrade without breaking the bank. Go ahead and get the car assessed at the shop recommended by your insurance and ask them if they have rental car coverage. This may be an extra perk for 21st Century customers, but you never know.

  4. Sounds like your deal was way under the radar, and your insurance company wouldn’t have approved if they had known. I’m sure the shops in the pocket of the insurance company don’t do that, but I’ll ask anyway.

    At least they offer a lifetime guarantee, but I’ve also heard it’s totally legal (and common!) for them to install used parts. So you get the lifetime guarantee, but you may have to take several trips back to the shop. I’m assuming one has to pay for a rental car each time. A coworker’s car took 6 weeks to repair, and then he had to go back 3 more times. He thinks his replacement door came from a flood-damaged car.

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