David Bridson’s day got off to a bad start on June 18th. “Wow car window smashed and back pack stolen in broad daylight in front of Rudy’s barbershop in Silver Lake,” he wrote on his Facebook wall, after his stuff was stolen in the central Los Angeles neighborhood. The LAPD’s response made it ten times worse.
“Not sure when my last back up was but I just lost a ton of stuff,” David wrote. “Laptop, iPad and all that goes with it.” Admittedly, David acquiesced to the fact that he’d made a mistake in leaving his backpack in the car, even in broad daylight on a busy street.
Then, a few days later, he thought he had what felt like a break in the case. “Anyone near XXXX south central ave? You could pick up my stolen iPad for me,” he posted on his wall. He’d been able to locate his stolen iPad using the iCloud’s locator function.
“I called the [police] station at 3:45,” David wrote. The response: “All the auto detectives have gone home for the day. I’ll give them the message and see if they want to do anything.”
After the station promised to get back to him, 14 hours later, David had to call back himself, and got a response: “So, the auto detective unit for LA says, ‘Yeah, sometimes we follow up on that if we have the personnel, but four of my detectives are on vacation, so I only have two and one is brand new. Sorry can’t help you.’”
For the record, Bridson reported the address where the iPad was. All the LAPD had to do was go get it — presumably with a bunch of other stuff — but no such luck.
On July 7, Bridson got a letter in the mail from the LAPD. It read “I understand that you were recently the victim of an automobile theft.” Say, it looks like maybe there was some followup after all, even though the “automobile” was only the venue for the theft, at least this was something. And it was from the Chief of the LAPD himself, Charlie Beck.
“Part of my job is to prevent automobile theft,” wrote Chief Beck, in the heartfelt letter. “That is why the LAPD is offering ‘The CLUB’ anti-theft steering wheel locking device to those who have been victimized. This device normally costs $30. However, the LAPD can offer it to you at our cost of $13 per device.”
Hey, folks, the LAPD doesn’t have the kind of time required to go out and “solve crimes” and stuff, but it is fully equipped to get you a killer discount on a state-of-the-art anti-theft device from 1982.
“Our intent,” the letter continues, “is to ensure that you are not victimized again.”
Oh, it sure sounds like it.