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written by Sam Greenspan

My car was stolen earlier this year. Once it was located, I could inventory the strange things the thieves took.

Back on March 17th, my car was stolen. From the streets of Beverly Hills.

Seriously. I parked it on the street, went to a restaurant, came out about two hours later and it was gone. I called the cops, filed a report and, about 36 hours later, the car turned up, completely stripped, in south central L.A.

Well… not completely stripped. Today and tomorrow’s lists are going to focus on 11 things the car thieves took… and 11 things they decided to leave behind. After all, the experience was awful enough that I might as well get some good content out of it. Today’s 11 points are 11 things the thieves did take…

1 | My laptop

This sucked the most. The car was insured (and after two months of hassles, the insurance process worked out OK). But the laptop wasn’t. And I’m not particularly diligent about backing my stuff up. Fortunately, I didn’t lose a ton — all my important writing was backed up, my music was all saved on my iPod, etc. — but I lost plenty. Not only that, I also had to file for identity theft protection, because there’s a LOT of personal info about me on that computer.I hope the thieves are enjoying it. That laptop was awesome. Best one I’ve ever had. I’m incredibly curious what happened to it. Was it stripped for parts? Is it helping out an underprivileged child? Is it a very, very expensive coaster right now or being used to balance a wobbly table leg?

2 | About 20 cents worth of pennies

I only had pennies in the little change holder thing. They were all gone when I went to see the carcass of my car. This will be very relevant when I write tomorrow’s list about what the thieves didn’t take and you see much, much more valuable stuff that they left behind.

3 | The interior lights

The interior lights were gone. Either because (1) they were easy to strip out and could be worth maybe five bucks each or (2) so that the people of Beverly Hills couldn’t see the thieves hot wiring my Jeep. I’m not sure which and, go figure, the police didn’t keep me posted on all the details of the theft.

4 | My cologne

I had my bag of toiletries in the car when it was stolen. I carry it with me a lot because, for work, I often have to change and/or dress up to be on camera on a moment’s notice. They didn’t take many of my cosmetics, but my half-used bottle of cologne was long gone. It was some kind of Dolce and Gabbanna cologne bottle. I don’t really know, I got it as a gift. I figure it’s worth like $30. But car thieves gotta smell good too, right?

5 | Every Jeep part that wasn’t nailed down

When I finally saw the carcass of my car, it was completely stripped. These guys took the hard top, the backseat, the spare tire, (as mentioned) the interior lights, the side mirrors and even the rear view mirror. All of that stuff was very easy to remove. It looks like they stripped the Jeep in a hurry.

6 | My digital camera

This sucked a lot too. My camera was in my laptop bag, which was gone. I didn’t have that many photos on the camera, but the ones I did have were gone. And the camera was a gift from my parents only a few months earlier. Perhaps I will stop talking about this now as it is saddening me.

7 | My sunglasses

These were not great sunglasses. I wore them a lot, but they were definitely borderline douchebag sunglasses. I bought them from Urban Outfitters four years ago for $16. Which means, technically, they were way out of style. I mean… not quite out of style like wrap-around Oakleys, but nothing that Kanye West would’ve been caught dead in.

8 | My little bottle of Tylenol PM

I keep this in my laptop bag for flights. They picked and chose what they were going to steal out of my bag, and, apparently, the Tylenol PM was on the “steal” list. I guess stealing cars and cologne and rear view mirrors and 20 cents worth of pennies can give a guy a headache while he tosses and turns, thinking about his eventual trip to hell.

9 | My writing notebook

I was really upset about this one. I always carry a notebook around to write in, and my notebook was taken in the robbery. Amazingly, just three weeks earlier, I’d switched to a new notebook… so, when it got stolen, it didn’t have too much irreplaceable writing inside. But there was some. I may have to go register a few ideas with the Writer’s Guild just in case someone takes the brain goo from that notebook and tries to make a career selling my ideas.(Are they that brilliant? Probably not. But then again, there’s a new show on ABC this fall about a guy who gets hit by a car which time machines him back to the ’70s, so there’s no accounting for taste.)

10 | My Motorola Q car charger

Really doesn’t seem practical. Unless the thieves own Qs because they like playing Bubble Breaker while they cruise around looking for green Jeeps to steal.

11 | My bluetooth earpiece

Joke’s on them. That thing sucked so many balls that I went back to my 1999 long black cord with small mic and earbud handsfree.

Added: Check out the follow-up post on the 11 things the car thieves didn’t take.