Last Wednesday February 27th between 10:00am and 2:00pm my daily EK was stolen from my work parking lot! While I was no more than 300 feet away inside my work! For my whole life I have always been extra cautious about things that I owned and gone the extra mile to make sure they haven’t gotten stolen. When I was growing up we lived in an upscale part of southern California but it was a constant struggle for my parents to afford to continue to live there. I truly appreciated everything that I was given and made sure that I took extra good care of it. Once I was old enough to get a license I took to cars immediately and knew they were for ever going to be my passion, anything that had a motor, car, truck, van, or motorcycle. About two years later I started working at an aftermarket import shop in Torrance CA, for a guy who was point blankly a scam artist. He was a retired car thief that still dabbled is shady activity’s. For instance one day we were doing this swap on a customers car where the customer brought in his own transmission with an after market LSD. The guy I worked for had another OEM GSR trans with LSD that he placed in the guys car, and kept the good one for him self. He was also friends with a tow truck guy that had a contract with Honda and what ever cars they used to shoot commercials had to be crushed. Well he would have the tow truck driver come by and he would pull the car in and strip it down and take all the OEM parts. We are talking EM1’s and GSR’s (since this is 2000 I’m talking about) SI clusters, full SI/GSR interiors, sway bars, rear discs, engines, or anything else that someone needed. Some of the cars the tow truck driver would have to take pictures of so we couldn’t take the engines, wheels, or body panels but that didn’t mean he couldn’t take a blown b18c and swap it into a GSR and then he would have a clean brand new engine, or take the rear discs off and just put drums on… you get the idea, sometimes he only had a few hours to do it all, other times he would have all day and he could get just about anything. He would tell me stories about stealing cars and how they would follow cars for weeks. They new where the low jack was usually always hidden, the would drive cars with vise grips if they had a removable wheel, He would say that there pretty much wasn’t any deterrent that would stop them. Since they would scope out the car for weeks they knew exactly what the owner of the car did for anti theft so they knew what they had to break, cut off, snap, dis arm, etc… He also had a friend at a machine shop that would grind off the engine stamp and would place another stamp from a ” not stolen motor” that was blown or maybe a core, or just some junk someone had lying around. He had at least 20 bare block just lying around that he collected so he could take the good vin stamps from to make his stolen motors not look stolen. At the young age of 17-18 years old this was all very exciting to me because I was getting cool parts for cheap, or nothing. But a few months in I began to see how his lifestyle was not the way I wanted to live. He was always borrowing from Paul to pay Peter. People would stop by the shop and threaten him and demand their money. The guy I worked for literally had no money, he was always just moving money from one person to another. He would talk people into doing a full motor build and have them leave a deposit, then he would take their deposits and go use that deposit to pay other people who he owed money to. So your car would technically never get done till he would get another sucker to make a deposit, and he would just give you some BS excuses of why it wasn’t done yet, or just sweet talk you. He definitely had the gift of gab and wit on his side. If someone stopped by the shop and was demanding with physical force that their debt be paid, this guy would give someone else’s motor to the upset person. Now he owes someone else another motor so he would have to go out and scam somebody different to get said motor. So basically he was burning the candle at both ends. This was not the life I wanted to live, and because of all this I was only at the shop for about 5-6 months before I couldn’t handle it anymore. Even after I left his shop he was able to talk the Snap On guy into allowing him to charge stuff on my Snap On account. I learned three main things from this guy.
- he was incredibly knowledgable about every aspect of Honda’s. So in this situation I’m grateful because I was able to learn sooo much.
- being a scumbag is not a way to live. Having integrity and being a man of your word is the way to go.
- Teaching me about car thieves and ways to avoid them, and teaching me about scamming, con artists and how I can not fall for their BS. (the latter one was inadvertent)
I wanted to preface this because I wanted you to know a little bit of my history so you can see that I actually lived these things, and saw how quick things could be gone. It was very gone in 60 seconds type shit. If you ask any of my friends they’ll say that I’m beyond paranoid about getting my cars or anything for that mater stolen. I go to great lengths to make it hard for a thief to get something of mine. (pro tip if a thief wants it he will get it NO MATTER WHAT. The one time you’re lazy, or you slip he will be there to capitalize on it. BET!) I have locks on locks, locking locks. I’m always watching for cars that might be following me, I take different routes home, I come and go at different hours of the day and night. You get what I’m saying, I don’t want to be giving away all my secrets. There are a million Honda’s out there the only reason they are going to steal yours is if it’s easy. Most thieves are lazy! If you make it very hard, or inconvenient the thief will just go on to the next car. Sure it might make your life a little more challenging or more inconvenient for you to actually drive your car, but in the end you will still have your car.
Now I’m sure you’re all thinking, why would I listen to this guy about car thieves and how to avoid getting your car stolen if I just had my car stolen? Well I’m telling you this because I failed to follow my own rules, I was naive. The car has always been an ugly crap car, the whole time I have had it I have always believed that. As I started to modify it never bothered to care much about anti theft or even worry about it getting stolen. I just thought if I made it look like crap then people wouldn’t want to steal it. Yes I know I have a blog, an Instagram that I’m always blasting out pictures of my cars on, going into detailed step by step builds, and publicizing exactly what I was doing. So upon breaking many of my rules that I constantly preach about, I had been got. I walked out from work to go home and there wasn’t any car in the spot I parked in. I felt horrible, like just go the wind knocked outta me. I was instantly thinking about all the hard work I put into the car, and all the parts I had on it. GONE they were just gone, I figured it was gone off to get stripped down and next week the police would find the shell dump out by the junkyards, behind the industrial warehouses, or just out in the middle of the desert. Till that day my “anti theft” was just locking the doors. No alarm, no club, no kill switches, no clutch lock, no wire harness ground connector, no low jack, no gps tracking, no in-car camera, no wheel lock, NOTHING literally just locking the door. I had always thought that if I put a club on it, or a detachable steering wheel, or wheel lock that it would draw more attention to it and people would see it and think that there was something worth stealing thus making it more desirable. So I never did any of that, I just tried to keep it as low-key as possible.
When I first realized it was stolen I honestly just thought “oh well, its gone” I wasn’t even going to call the police or do anything. I figured anyone that stole it knew what they were doing, and knew what was on the car. As I looked at the empty spot with disbelief I figured that I should at-least make a police report so that if by some off-chance that it was seen I might be able to get it back. So I called the police to make a report, when I got ahold of them they said they were going to send an officer out to make a report. (this took almost two hours for him to get there) While I waited I contacted the security for the plaza that I work in and made a report with them as well since I was parked right under a camera I figured that they had to have seen something. I texted our group chat and told them the horrible news, and as I sat on the tables outside of my work I just couldn’t even think clearly. I couldn’t even remember how to use my phone, I wanted to post something on social media but I couldn’t think clearly enough to get it out. I’m forever grateful to Wil who jumped into action and had already posted it on social media, and I was able to just share his story which made things easier.
I firmly believe that Social media had some sort of influence on my getting the car back completely unscathed, NO DAMAGE AT ALL. I’m grateful for everyone who shared, or reposted it. People that I didn’t even know that well were taking it personally that my car had gotten stolen. They were sending out SOS posts all over Facebook and instagram. It was truly humbling to see that so may people were concerned about me, my car, and willing to help so much. It was amazing to see how the tiny scene that we have here in Vegas came together to help. I went to sleep that night not knowing if I would ever see my car again. But at 6:00am I was awoken by Angies phone Kyle was calling her telling her that Danny had found the car! I leapt out of bed called Danny who was waiting with the car. I asked him to please stay there and ill be right there, of course this was no problem for him. When I arrived the car was only 1 mile from where it was stolen, with not one thing wrong. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. I still can’t believe how lucky I am. I just don’t know why someone would steal it then drive it one mile and then leave it. I really think they saw someone’s post about it and they decided that it wasn’t such a good idea to have stolen the car, or someone just stole it to joy ride.
That day Angie wanted to go to the Honda dealer to look into getting a new Fit. I was literally walking out of work to go with her to the Honda dealer. It’s crazy how quickly everything can get turned around. We went from going to buy a new car and having extra cars, to only now having one car that the two of us had to share. I couldn’t drive my EG to work, that thing would get stolen immediately, I couldn’t drive my R1M to work aside from having slicks on it and still in race form it to would be a very desirable motorcycle to steal, and my truck isn’t registered since I didn’t need to drive it because I have my 4 door. It was crazy how much the car getting stolen was going to impact us. This was my vehicle I used for everything: It was my main mode of transport, It was content for the blog, it was a reason to go to work. With out it everything just seemed meaningless. All the hard work I have put into the blog over the last few months would be rendered useless since at this point I didn’t even feel like doing Honda’s anymore. I felt extremely defeated, and at this point trying to rebuild, and continue kinda seemed trivial. How was I ever going to get money to rebuild another Honda, I was still paying for the parts that we’re on the car that got stolen. Talk about a downer, I was literally going to be paying for parts I no longer had. Yes I still have the EG and that wouldn’t change but for one small moment I just felt like giving up and just becoming a normal person that just goes to work and comes home, no desire to ever work on cars again. But that was dumb, why would I let a thief take not just my car but also take my hobby away from me? I wasn’t going to let the thieves win. As I went to bed that night I was already thinking of ways to continue to blog, and ways to still fix up cars. I knew that it would be a long hard road to start over with something else but the build is what the fun is for me, the hard work, the over time, the extra big checks to help fund buying stupid car parts, and for some strange reason typing out these overly long boringly written articles that only 17 people read mean more to me than even having the car. Just being able to share car wisdom with people however few it may be, and featuring cars that maybe aren’t built to show stopping magazine cover quality. Helping promote the growth of cars and people who want to be a true enthusiast with a passion a deep as mine for motorsports, and actually using your car.
So we got the car back! everything was good! Well aside from me now suffering from PTSD and never wanting to drive my car to work ever again. I felt like if i drove it to work again that the thief would just be laughing at me behind my back saying ” look there’s that sucker whose car we stole” I was worried that maybe they would steal it again and not be so kind as to drop it off 1 mile from my work. Since the morning the car was found and I brought it back home it’s just been sitting, I honestly haven’t even driven it. Ever helped me install a few different types of anti theft stuff but I haven’t even fully put the car back together. I plan on finishing it all this Friday since I’m off work then. Last Friday we were able to finally make it to the Honda dealership and get Angie the car she wanted. She has been wanting a new car for a few months now since her current car has started to need some TLC, and not to mention that she puts up with me constantly buying and building stupid cars, and motorcycles and she gets noting. she always get the short end of the stick, so this time its Angies turn and she is now the proud owner of a brand new 2019 Honda Fit lx 6 speed manual.
I’m extra happy because I had no influence on what car she got, or the fact that she got it in manual. She chose it all on her own, and that’s why she’s so special. She unlike most other females actually enjoys driving a manual, and can do it really well. (let’s be honest though she had a great teacher lol) She was telling me when she was doing her research on the fit… ” did you know they put K20’s in them” and I was like DUHHH who doesn’t know. Of course she’s not going to do that, but it’s cute that she knew what all that meant. Just one more of the many reasons I love her to death. She does want to do some basic mods: wheels, intake, exhaust, maybe the RS wing, and sport front and rear bumpers. It’s crazy cause you can order those bumpers and wing directly from Honda and since the cars not 25 years old you can get them already painted to match your car. I’m not used to that kinda convenience! of course we must remember that the more it gets fixed up the more it becomes more desirable for thieves. So getting a Spoon N1 muffler, mugen grill, and TE37’s might be a bit too flashy, but we shall see. I really want her to be in total control of how she wants to fix it up and what style she wants it to be. But for sure I’m hoping she will make it to a few track days with it, we can even battle the D16y8 sohc vtec VS her L15b1 dohc ivtec.
On to the part about how I ended up getting a Daily for my Daily! when we went to the Honda dealership to get the Fit we were going to use her Accord as a trade in. They were only going to offer us 450 bucks for it!!! I understand why, but cmon throw us a little something. We ended up keeping it and as for now it has just become my new daily. We are still unsure of what the long-term plan is for it. If we end up keeping it that would mean we would have a total of 5 cars and two motorcycles, and at this point the amount of vehicles we own is becoming borderline white trash. But for now I’m keeping the accord and giving it the TLC it needs.
As I mentioned earlier the reason for getting Angie a new car is because of the fact that the Accords age was beginning to show. There is a CEL, the tires are dried out and cracked badly, it needed a new radiator which I just recently installed last weekend, and the motor mounts are bad. All of which sounds like fun to me to try to repair and save yet another Honda from certain death. As with any Honda this Accord has given us 10 years of great reliable service. In its 177000 miles of service It’s taken us to southern California many times, to San francisco three times, Arizona, and Utah all without one hiccup. It has lived its whole life not parked in a garage, and weathered being parked in a busy shopping center parking lot every day for the last ten years, has managed to come out of all that looking not much worse than when it originally rolled off the showroom floor. For what the market values this car to be it just seems silly to get rid of it. We wouldn’t end up getting much money, and with just a few repairs this thing will be just about as good as the day it was bought, and should give at-least another 50k miles worth of trouble-free driving. So for this reason I believe that we will be keeping this one in the family. It’s going to take some getting used to for me considering this car has all the creature comforts: A/C, power leather seats, tinted windows, a radio that sounds good and can be heard even on the freeway, and windshield wipers. You may remember that my 4 door started out with all of these things but I removed them. But rest assured that there is absolutely no plans to modify this in any way, I’m just going to use it for what it was made to do, drive me around comfortably and reliably. Don’t take this as a sign of me acting my age, or disliking driving a modified car. It’s strictly because of my PTSD from my car getting stolen. I’m sure like many that have struggled with this, only time can heal. We shall see what route we end up going but for now I’m breathing a little easier not having to worry about parking my car at work, or anywhere else.