Friday, February 1, 2019

Pretty Sure Those Are Car Thieves

So, the house across the alley from us has been a rental property ever since the elderly couple who lived there moved out and sold it off about a decade ago. It's gone through a couple of families (generally pretty congenial) until a few months ago when the most recent set of renters moved out. (I think that was because the owner had raised the rate.)

The time since has been... weird. For a while the house was just sitting empty. Then, starting a few weeks back, we had people going in and out through the garage, and producing a lot of trash in the bins. Mostly, it looked like they were just fixing the place up, though there was an odd moment where there were people inside and a minivan parked in the (open) garage, honking for/at them.

For the last week, the house has been sitting there empty with the garage door open. Which, even in our very-low-crime neighborhood, is odd.

Then last night at about 8:30, there was a large truck in the alley, which I didn't get a very good look at; I thought at the time that it might be a moving van. There was also a car parked on one side of the garage (which I also didn't get a very good look at) and a second car parked in the driveway in front of it, effectively blocking it in. The car in the driveway has one of those car covers on it, though it was either thrown on hastily or it was designed to cover an entirely different vehicle. I honestly didn't pay that much attention to it, mostly because aside from the large truck beeping loudly when it backed up, there wasn't any reason to. I mean, yeah, that seemed a little late to be trying to move in, but that kind of thing does happen.

Except that about 10:30, I heard the large motor and the beeping again, and opened the back gate to find that a very large tow truck was in my driveway, apparently trying to angle itself to deliver a car to the house across the alley. I bent down to inspect the license plate on the truck, which was when another guy (not the driver) came across the alley and half-shouted some sort of defensive explanation about how the tow truck hadn't hit my garage door. I asked him what it was doing here at this time of night, and he said he was moving in. (I was dubious but didn't contradict him.) I told him that the thing was awfully loud, and that I had school-age children asleep inside, and that he should finish this up.

So... that took until about 11:00, by which point I was increasing suspicious that something nefarious was going on, so I went outside again. I got out there to find the guy (who's "moving in") directing the tow truck in how to get angled so it could drive back out of the alley without hitting any of the various obstacles around it (fences, electricity exchange, etc.) Now, I'm sure the driver needed the help, what with trying to drive a ridiculously oversized tow truck (this is the kind of thing where the card actually rides up the bed of the truck, which can tilt down to be a ramp) in a suburban alley... but Guy Moving In was shouting directions to him by name ("Angle left, Michael!" "Okay, you're clear Michael!"), which seems a bit odd if you've simply hired someone to transport your vehicles for you. (And why would you transport them that way in the first place???) Then, once the truck was properly lined up and it drove off down the alley, he apparently hopped into yet another car and drove off after it.

The house itself doesn't look ready to be inhabited. There's little if any furniture, and there's still some stuff visible on the floor through the living room windows - looks like a pile of pulled-up carpeting or something similar. But now the garage door is closed (at last) with two cars presumably inside and a third (covered) car parked outside.

Now, maybe in a couple of days he'll get settled in and he'll turn out to just be a guy who collects cars and owns a towing company, and we'll find that Michael was one of his employees who got commandeered to help the boss move.


But the whole thing looks dodgy as hell right now.


  1. That is so weird. Did you ever figure out what was going on?

  2. Moving van showed up Saturday, so it looks like the guy actually was moving in - just, in the weirdest way possible.

    Dunno. I'm still reserving judgement.


Feel free to leave comments; it lets me know that people are actually reading my blog. Interesting tangents and topic drift just add flavor. Linking to your own stuff is fine, as long as it's at least loosely relevant. Be civil, and have fun!