I rarely mention anyone by name but the terrible theft loss to racer David Tatum really had an impact on people. The reason wasn’t the loss itself; the reason is what the thieves did to David’s race car. The photos that were on the web were horrifying, and they were the race car equivalent of a dismembered corpse. If such damage had been done to a human, it wouldn’t have been published. But because it was ‘only’ a car, it was. But to us, our race cars are like people. When we speak about our cars, that’s the way we talk about them. And to see one horribly cut up like this one was really affected a lot of people.
God only knows why they took a sawzall to that car when they could have unbolted what they wanted. I’m no great mechanic but I can take stuff apart really quickly. I think what they did gives you an insight into the mindset of the thieves. They’re really bad people, and frankly, I have no doubt that they would do to a human what they did to that car. I really hope they get caught, and I hope David has his moment alone with those people armed with a rusty hedgeclipper. I’ve been in the insurance business for a long time and I can tell you when people lose a valued piece of property, like their house, or their race car, its truly as bad as losing a family member. You get mad, you get depressed, you don’t think straight. This is far from a victimless crime.
And yes, it certainly made my phone ring more than it usually does, and I’m really not happy about it. I’d much rather that David had his car back. Even if they recover the rest the damage is almost irrepairable. There’s just no postiive to this.
I’ll close with some thoughts I’ve shared before. Even when you have insurance, a loss like this is terrible. Insurance will help you recover, but you’re much better off being one of the folks that just pays the premium and has peace of mind rather than the loss. Be ever-vigilant with your stuff. Look at and research new forms of security for your shop and trailer. One thing I suggest is to climb up on top of your trailer and paint your tag number in large numbers. The thieves won’t know its there and it will make it much easier to catch them. And almost everyone that’s had a theft loss has told me after the fact they realized they’d been ‘cased’ beforehand. So if you get that uneasy feeling, don’t ignore it! Do something about it; call the local police, change your security/storage arrangements, make it harder for the thieves. Because you don’t want the people that did that horrible thing to that Nova around your house, your car, and your family. Be safe.
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