Over the years covering crime stories, there are two things I’ve learned — the first is that I never wanted to wind up part of a crime story, which is rather common-sense; the second is that criminals are pretty darn dumb.
This week closes a big chapter of my own personal unwanted crime story — I’m finally getting my car back. Almost three months ago, Feb. 21, the night of the first big blizzard of the year, our nearly-new car was stolen. It happened right on our block, by a man claiming to be a stranded motorist who offered to help my husband get the car unstuck in trade for a ride to a nearby hotel.
After a half hour of helping my husband shovel, the guy took off with our 2012 SUV. As a bonus, he also got the keys to our house and our garage door opener. We got the car — if not the keys and opener, oh, no we of course had to change all our locks and the entire garage door opener — back three days later, much the worse for wear.
The man who has been charged with stealing our car — Joshua M. Boley, 28 — has quite the record, with DWI convictions in both Clay and Platte counties and just got out on bond about two weeks ago. In fact, he is facing court dates in both counties in June. In addition to the theft of our car, he’s currently got active DWI charges and a charge of tampering with another motor vehicle in December. Plus, he’s facing a felony firearms charge.
Boley has pleaded not guilty to the theft of our car — to all of those charges, actually — and if this goes to trial, I look forward to the outcome, considering everything he did to it. We have yet to get the final costs from the insurance, but he did at least $7,000 in damages in those three days. The biggest cost was the transmission, which had to be completely replaced, as did the starter.
Even though he had the key, he managed to rip out much of the wiring under the dash in an apparent bungled attempt to hot wire the car. He also managed to rip out most of the fuses, then put some of them back in the wrong spots. This was damage so impressive our family mechanic said he’d never seen anything like it and shipped the car off to the manufacturer for a week to get the onboard computer reset. Warning to any future thieves — the car now has an alarm system.