When I was younger I had this big ass jacked up truck.
Lights on the roof.
It was a big ass truck.
Not really the sort of vehicle you would assume would be used to commit crimes in, but that is exactly what it was.
It all started when I was 18 years old. I had just left home, a complete problem child hardly grown into anything more than a very trouble, very destructive adolescent.
I didn’t even leave home to go anywhere in particular.
I just left.
I ended up living in this little studio apartment with like 5 or 6 other guys just like me.
Back then, we were all just a bunch of fuck ups.
All we did was party, chill with girls, and party some more.
One night me and two other guys were the last ones who were still awake and we were talking about going out to get into some shit. The conversation started with talks of going to break into soda machines but quickly escalated into going out and breaking into unlocked cars.
So that is exactly what we did.
That first night could not have gone any better. For a couple of guys who decided to embark upon what would be quite an expensive little crime wave, that first night hooked us.
We ended up with all sorts of goodies.
Nightly adventures into neighborhoods we had previously “scoped out” during daytime hours became the norm for us.
But not every night was a smooth operation or went according to plan.
Many nights’ involved police and us running from them. Oh the many many times in my life I have ran from the police and gotten away.
One night we had just finished up our assault on a neighborhood of unlocked cars. We were leaving and my big ass jacked up truck was full of stolen shit. The road we were on was long and very dark. Out of nowhere a pair of headlights appeared far off in the distance ahead of us and coming in our direction.
Why I ever said what I said next I will never know, but I said “I bet that is a cop coming towards us”.
And sure as shit it was. No sooner did he pass us he slammed on the breaks. I watched this happen in the rearview mirror and as soon as I saw him turning around I hit the gas and cut off the headlights.
My big ass truck with big ass tries and a lift kit was now booking down a back road in the middle of the night.
Knowing exactly where we were, I turned into another neighborhood which I knew was a dead end. My thinking hadn’t gotten me that far ahead, though. My only thought at the time was to avoid this cop, who by now, had to be gaining on us.
The dead end was a cul-de-sac
Once I reached it, I had no idea what to do. I felt like any moment this cop might turn in and box me in.
So I did what any sane person would do in a situation such as this.
I jumped the curb in my big ass jacked up truck and drove right through some ones front yard, cutting right through their clothes line with the lights on the top of my truck.
I drove the truck around to the back of this house and positioned it so it was completely hidden by the house. Then my crime partners and I started dumping all the stolen shit.
We started running stuff and hiding it in the woods that were in the backyard behind this house. This only took a few minutes too.
The plan was simple.
Dump the stolen shit. Then get back on the road.
We could come back for everything later.
During this short amount of time the cop who had past me and slammed on the breaks to turn around; he never appeared.
Maybe I did better than I thought at evading him. But, still I expected him at any moment come weaving through that cul-de-sac.
He never did though.
When the truck was “cleaned” it was then time to get the hell out of dodge.
As we piled back into the truck, I started reaching for the keys that I had put in the big front pocket of my hoodie. But guess what?
They weren’t there.
All that running and stumbling through the woods with handfuls of stolen speakers and speaker boxes had caused me to lose them, somewhere along the way.
I had lost the keys to a vehicle the cops might or might not have been looking for that was now parked right up the back side of some house.
The key were somewhere in the woods… woods that were a treasure trove full of stolen goodies… AND it was like 4:30 in the morning. The sun would be coming up in less than an hour which meant people would be getting up too.
How the hell was I going to explain this to someone if they came outside questioning what was going on?
We had to find those keys.
At first, I was overcome with a sense of panic.
“FUCK!” I thought.
“The cop obviously isn’t coming, let’s just push the truck into the street!” I said franticly!
So that was the first thing we tried to do. But no sooner did we even attempt to push this big ass truck back out and around to the street, the steering wheel locked up.
Finding those keys was the ONLY option but we didn’t even have a flashlight. Cause we threw all of those too!
So the first objective was finding a flashlight. It took some time and a lot of searching but eventually we found one then came the even funnier part, trying to retrace my many trips through the woods.
Trying to remember everywhere I had went in an effort to stash shit.
How it happened I will never really know but somehow, miraculously, eventually, the light reflected something shiny on the ground.
The keys! Like a needle in a haystack…
We found the keys!
Again, we hopped in the truck only this time we were actually able to get the hell out of there.
We hauled ass back to the little studio apartment, woke up some other guy and made him drive us back to that house to retrieve all that we had left there.
And that was it…
I learned a valuable little life lesson that night too. Not anything like crime doesn’t pay or anything like that, at least not at that point in my life.
What I learned was simple.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to hop out of a car or truck to evade the cops…just leave the damn keys alone.