I Remember....

The Car Hijack – 1987

It was back in 1987, or so, I don’t remember, when I got my car hijacked from under me. This is the story.

I mentioned this before in my Questioning Good & Evil post. But this is the full story.

Once upon a time a woman named Karin was in the Navy. Now, she was like a lot of Navy folks. She partied and chased the opposite sex and got into trouble. There’s a reason the clubs for the Navy and Marines are subsidized. They want us where they can keep an eye on us.

Okay, leaving behind the third person now because it might get weird.

Not only did I get into a lot of trouble, I also went to college part-time and lived in a small town in Sicily called Motta Sant’ Anastasia.

I lived with another Navy woman, Flo, and her little girl Shiloh. Oh man, I loved that little girl! She was so much fun! Her mother never knew what the two of us were up to. But I digress. Oh and this is my room.

The Hijack

One night, I arrived at our apartment in Motta after spending the evening in a Psychology class on base. I pulled up to the side of the road, stopped the car, and then started getting my books and papers together to take upstairs to our apartment. (Sixth floor, no elevator. I often carried Shiloh up the stairs in a laundry basket)

I drove a beat up blue BMW with red splotches all over it.

Suddenly, there was a very young guy at my driver’s side window. He was holding a sawed-off shotgun to my head.

Side Note: You may wonder why I didn’t roll up the window in the first place, but in Sicily, everyone leaves the cars unlocked and the windows down or at least cracked. Cars getting broken into is a daily thing. Why make them break the window? Just let them rummage around and realize there’s nothing there to take.

Anyhoo, I froze. I’ve since figured out that freezing is my first response to being threatening. I just froze. Here I am, someone who is a member of Security, who has been trained with weapons and strategy, and I just froze. We really don’t know ourselves, do we?

The guy started yelling at me in Italian. Every bit of Italian I ever knew flew out of my head like a bunch of chickens scattering when the fox comes in the hen house. I had no clue what he was saying. I just kept replying “What?” “What?” He kept yelling.

This went on for a while.

Finally, he realized I wasn’t going to respond in whatever way he wanted, so he just opened the door and pulled me out. I saw that he wasn’t alone. There was another very young guy on a moped.

The guy took my keys, got in my car, and roared off with my beemer. Including my schoolbooks and papers. It was a real big problem.

I went over to the front door of the apartment building and buzzed Flo to let me in.

I walked into the apartment. Flo looked at me and asked “what happened to your keys?” Then she looked outside and noticed my car wasn’t there. “Karin, where is your car?”

It was at that moment that the hijack finally sunk in. I’d been hijacked.

The Search

Flo and I let the base know what happened. The Carabinieri was called. A search began.

The search was prudent because like I told them, I was almost out of gas. They couldn’t have gotten far. So, the hills of Motta were searched by Naval Security, the Carabinieri. And a bunch of unknown men in unmarked cars.

Side Note: Sicily is a strange place. There is a lot of crime, especially burglary, and grand theft auto, but not a lot of violent crime. Violent crime is very bad for business, especially tourism, and the “bosses” of Sicily are determined to make sure the violent crime is kept to a minimum. Unless, of course, absolutely necessary, for business reasons. Plus, I was a friend of one of the bosses of Motta. So, I knew who the unknown guys were who joined in the search.

 I stayed home. I was in a bit of shock.

Nothing came of it. Those kids must have had a place set up to drive the car where it wouldn’t have been found. A garage or something. Maybe a tarp to cover it was used. My car was gone.

Filing the Report

I had to go to the Carabinieri office and file a report. Filing reports are annoying, especially since in Sicily, you have to pay to file the report. You have to pay to do anything in Sicily.

Plus, when I was describing the guys, I told them they were around 16-17 years old. The Carabinieri pressed me, “Well, were they 16 or 17?”

How the fuck was I supposed to know? It’s not like they showed me their IDs.

Finally, it was over.

Security

Then I had to deal with something else. A bunch of people who thought they could judge my actions and tell me what they would have done.

Man, people are dumbasses.

I had to put up with a lot of nonsense for a while. But it taught me some lessons.

Everyone thinks they know what they are going to do in a situation. Hell, us at Security were TRAINED to know what to do. It’s expected that we know how to handle stuff.

But the truth is, is that no one knows what they are going to do until it happens. Then you find out what you’re really going to do. This is called EXPERIENCE. And it tells you where you need more training.

Aftermath

My schoolbooks and papers were gone, and I had a test coming up. The teacher wasn’t buying the “car hijackers stole my books” story. She wouldn’t give me an extension for the test. I did okay regardless.

About a month after the hijacking, the Carabinieri found my car on a hill in Piano Tavola, burnt to a crisp. The only reason they figured out it was my car was because there was a partial license plate left. They couldn’t even be considerate enough to burn the whole fucking thing.

Apparently, it has been used in a bank robbery in Palermo.

Well, it’s my car, and it’s sitting on a hill all burnt up.

I had to go to the Carabinieri office and fill out more paperwork so that I could just leave it there on the hill. (weird, I know)

And of course, I had to pay another fee.

And that is the story of my beemer.

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