Apparently, getting your car broken into is Seattle's way of saying "welcome". When I posted a couple of pics of my beat up car, more people than I care to count said, "Oh yeah, that happened to me when I first moved to Seattle!"
Here's what I learned:
1. Don't leave anything in your car. Ever.
I wish the thieves took my workout bag but unfortunately they took all the goods in my backpack - my work earpiece, my iphone, my electronics, etc. Eveything had been covered but my backpack was visible. I should have just taken it with me. Next time I will. I will still leave my gym bag in the back just in case someone wants to steal it and I can't workout.
2. Don't bother calling the police at the scene
We sat in the parking lot for an hour waiting for the police to even answer the non-emergency line. We gave up. They're busy; they don't care that you lost your backpack. Go home, call the number again. You can try to file a report online but even then you might discover your crime doesn't qualify (mine didn't) -- so stay pleasant and stay patient... and keep asking for guidance from an operator.
Non-emergency: (206) 625-5011
Make a report online: http://www.seattle.gov/Police/report/default.htm
3. Take picures of everything.
Please don't make me explain this to you. Just do it so that you don't have to remember anything because chances are you will forget.
4. If you're going to put duct tape on your car, go all out. Also, make sure you criss-cross it otherwise you might have to pull over on the side of the road to fix it.
So, it was great that my husband put a trash bag on my window and cleaned out the inside but when we got going down the interstate, it came undone. I had no choice but to buy this lovely chevron duct tape for $1.99 at the gas station. My only wish is that I had more. Oh, you should also criss cross the tape on the inside of the car, too. Keeps the air from blowing up the bag like a balloon.
5. Stay positive
I mean, I feel like I shouldn't even put this in here but it can be so stinking stressful losing all of your personal belongings (my checkbook was in mine, which can be disastrous.) But I kept telling myself that the person who wanted my stuff must've been desperate.
It must've sent some good vibes in the universe because hours later a security guard from Pier 57 found my backpack on a bench. He thought a homeless man took my bag because a particular man had been next to it earlier in the day. It didn't really matter either way. Oh another short tip - leave some sort of ID in your bag... I had my name and phone on a datebook plus I had business cards.
I got my bag back despite some missing items - the person took my TV earpiece but left behind my checkbook. He took my Trident but not the bite size Snickers I snagged from the KING free-for-all snack table. He left behind my HD makeup and took my iphone. My makeup was the biggest relief believe it or not.
Side note: backpacks wash quite well. I have never been so happy to see my backpack!