I Was Robbed. Literally.

A normal, routine, mellow summer evening turned into a creepy, ugly event this last Tuesday.

So I was at Trader Joe’s. I had just made my three-bag purchase of groceries. I placed them in the back of my SUV, returned the cart to those cart- stasher thingys, and got in my car. I sat my purse in the passenger seat and placed my keys in the ignition. Being the exemplary law-abiding citizen that I am, I decided to return a text to a friend (Susannnnn….this is all your fault) before starting the engine.

As I was deep in concentration, choosing which cute Emoticon to put at the end of my text before pressing the Send button, suddenly, loudly, the passenger door was yanked opened.  At that point an approximately-30-year-old-Caucasian-male-of-medium-build scumbag grabbed my purse, slammed the door and took off running. Quickly. I swear to you the whole sequence took three seconds max.

This wasn’t his maiden voyage, obviously. He was an experienced, slick, bald-headed, agile, frenzied, fast robber.

So I get out of the car and start screaming, “HELP! Get him! Get him! He ripped me off!”

(“Stop, you M*#(@r  F^@&%er!” Okay, I don’t think I said that last part, but that’s certainly what my inner voice was yelling.)

A shaking, still-screaming me and two kind witnesses looked across the parking lot and saw a woman holding something up. Here’s the God/good thing: As Swifty was rounding the corner onto Sunrise, guess what fell out of my purse (or he accidentally dropped it/threw it out)?  My wallet! With all receipts, cash and credit cards happily nestled into their designated slots and cubbies.

Neener-neener-neener, Baldy. You blew it.

But what he did get away with — which has absolutely no value or significance to him — are:  my three-month-old leather tote, my Kate Spade sunglasses; my Fake Spade sunglasses; my checkbook (I called my bank immediately and cancelled them!), a vintage silver compact mirror that I cherished, and about five tubes of lipstick, one of which was my all-time favorite Bobbi Brown lipstick in Warm Apricot…that was discontinued about three years ago, and so I had to track down and buy the remaining six Warm Apricots left in America. The one in my purse was the last quasi-full tube left.  The only one I have left is down to a stub, sitting on my bathroom counter as we speak.

photo (60)

{My remaining stub of Warm Apricot}

And perhaps most annoying and saddest of all, as fate would have it, my writing journal was in my purse that day. I had months’ worth of ideas and rough drafts and blog-storming ideas in there. Poof, it’s gone, now lying in a dumpster in — I dunno, North Highlands or Curtis Park — all ripped apart and smushed up with coffee grounds, banana peels and…and…that almost-full tube of Bobbi Brown’s Warm Apricot.

But there are some cautionary, serious and good parts to this trying-to-make-it-as-humorous-as-possible tale.

  • People are so nice. So many came forward to help.
  • The Trader Joe’s staff is the best. (They felt horrible about it.)
  • TJ’s, unfortunately, does not have video cameras.
  • The police were as professional and helpful  and wonderful as they could be.
  • The chance of getting any of my lost items recovered is very, very slim (said the cops).
  • Lock your car as soon as you get in it.
  • If you do text, don’t over-deliberate as to which Emoticon to use. (I swear if I hadn’t done that, I would have seen Mr. Snatcher standing there lurking before pouncing.)
  • I’m lucky that he didn’t have a gun.
  • Don’t assume because you’re in a decent part of town, it’s broad daylight, and the parking lot is busy with a lot people, that a desperate person won’t act out. Because they will…





9 Responses to I Was Robbed. Literally.
  1. T.Fowler-Bailey
    August 8, 2013 | 6:23 pm

    Wow Jodie… What a lesson.. for me! You created a blog from a disaster and found all of the positives too. <3 this one! Neeener on the Wallet retrieval..Yay for YOU.

  2. Julie Mietus
    August 8, 2013 | 11:14 pm

    omyGod Jodi. What a terrifying situation ! Feeling mad as hell and grateful for a guardian angel you are safe. LOCK YOU CAR ASAP everywhere EVEN when getting gas. Have you seen the latest rip off happening at gas stations?? As you pump gas a car pulls up next to yours and opens your far side door opposite of where you are, grabs you purse and drives off – I’ll send you the clip. all the gas stations have cameras so there is a tape !!

  3. barbara
    August 9, 2013 | 8:58 pm

    I am so sorry this happened to you. I have done exactly as you have done so many time in that exact same parking lot. I am glad you are safe and that you got your wallet.

  4. Susan
    August 9, 2013 | 11:50 pm

    Ugh! But definitely good there was no gun and you got your wallet. Once a pickpocketer on a crowded bus got my cute woven pouch out of the outer pocket of my backpack. My traveling partner saw him run off with it. Well, I liked my woven pouch, I told my companion, but it wasn’t my wallet; it was tampons. So yeah, neener neener.

  5. Julius
    August 10, 2013 | 9:33 am

    I feel for you, and know the devastating feeling of being violated, i.e. ripped off. Though in your case you were there when it happened! Thank God it was not worse and anything else did not happen to you.

    But please be more considerate when mentioning other communities.

    I don’t know much about the Curtis Park area of Sacramento, but as a former resident of North Highlands, I am sure many decent, hard-working, and law-abiding people of that community would be deeply offended that you would assume the low-life thief who snatched your purse just might happen to live there. Never mind that North Highlands is quite a distance away from Gold River.

    As many people will tell you from Rocklin and Roseville and elsewhere, there are bad people who live everywhere, unfortunately.

    • jodie
      August 10, 2013 | 11:15 am

      Oh my goodness! I didn’t mean to pass judgment on either North Highlands or Curtis Park. I just picked a random community north of where I was (North Highlands), and somewhere more toward downtown (Curtis Park), to communicate that I figured the thief took off in a getaway car and threw my stolen treasures in a dumpster in one of those communities — on his way out of town. Please accept my apology.

      I have a good friend from North Highlands. And I don’t know the socio-economic makeup of either community. Believe me, I know of lots of friends who’ve been ripped off in Gold River, downtown, Granite Bay, etc. And you’re absolutely right: there’s the good, the bad, and the ever-so-ugly in every community.

      Again, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend. Are we good now? (Sure hope so.)

  6. Donna
    August 10, 2013 | 10:44 am

    Thank you for sharing, you have a fabulous way of telling your story. I similar incident happened to me this year (a victim of car theft) in broad day light when I was picking up my car from being worked on. This can happen anytime, anywhere as you mentioned. I hope our stories help others – be alert, stay safe. And, there are positive people around to help.

  7. Donna
    August 12, 2013 | 3:01 pm

    Thanks Julius for your post and thanks Jodie for your clarification. Being that I live in Curtis Park, I was going to start looking in the dumpsters.:) Sorry this happened to you.

  8. Karen Neill
    August 29, 2013 | 11:10 pm

    How incredibly frightening! I had my wallet taken out of my car while i was at the beach many years ago, and I still miss some jewelery that was in it. Horrible feeling!!! A practical tip that might help with the lipstick! I can’t believe I’m referencing her… but a few years ago (while she was still doing useful stuff that doesn’t require a staff of 6 to run a household) Martha Stewart did a piece on how to salvage the last of your favourite lipstick. I believe it involved scooping out what was left, melting it in a small bowl (microwave, a few seconds at a time), and pouring it into lipgloss pots. I think she even had a do-it-yourself way of making lipstick, but I think it involved a kit you had to buy. If you’ve got some of those stubs left, might be possible. Here’s hoping you can use the last bits of your warm apricot.

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It's true! Despite playing defense virtually all my life against the onslaught of this sometimes-ugly aging process, it...has...arrived! I naively thought I would escape cellulite (the Cottage Cheese) and crow's feet (the Crepe Paper). But I didn't! And why didn't anyone tell me about this emotional roller-coaster that comes with being an Empty-Nester?! My name is Jodie Barringer Myers. I'm a 54-year-old Friday/chardonnay/ hydrangea-loving wife/mom/court reporter living in Sacramento (Gold River!), California. Writing is cathartic for me. And because I look to find humor and humility among the rubble that is my now very peri-menopausal self, I'm hopeful that you will laugh, cry, learn, enjoy and, most of all, relate to what I have to say. After all, we're all in this together, right?

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