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My new neighbor’s car got bashed up pretty bad in front of his house when some guy in a pickup truck backed into it at high speed, apparently intentionally according to various other neighbors who saw it happen.

I’ve been wondering what the purpose of the explosion of car theft over the last year has been when there’s so much technology to track stolen cars. I’m guessing a lot of the stolen cars are quickly used to commit other crimes. For example, this happened in broad daylight in front of various locals walking their dogs and the like. My next door neighbor got photos of the attack vehicle, although I didn’t see one of the license plate. I’m guessing the truck had just been stolen, perhaps for this purpose.

Tom Petty’s Mulholland Drive mansion in Sherman Oaks getting torched by an arsonist in 1987 reminds me of when Charlie Sheen’s car got stolen from his garage and pushed off precipitous Mulholland Drive in 2010. When the cops found Charlie’s Mercedes at the bottom of a brush-filled ravine, they also found Real Housewife of Beverly Hills Lisa Vanderpump’s missing Bentley.

A few weeks afterwards, I was out for a walk when I saw four helicopters hovering far to the south, over Mulholland Drive. “Must be something police-involved going on at Charlie Sheen’s house,” I surmised. I went home, turned on the local news, and … I was right.

It turned out to be some child custody whoop-tee-doo involving Charlie and Denise Richards.

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  1. anonymous[157] • Disclaimer says:

    Speaking from a NJ perspective, some of the stolen cars are used to do other crimes and then abandoned in Newark or Irvington. However for over a decade now many of the car thefts are done by rings that put them in shipping containers in Newark or Elizabeth and send them to the middle east or Africa. “Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement recovered one of the stolen cars in a shipping container at the port in Newark en route to Ghana, Africa.”

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  2. I’m in Florida. None of this is wierd. Normal here is Man fights alligator to save dog. Weird is Man bites alligator to save dog.

    Google search terms Florida+man+Walmart

  3. 1. Criminals are not always the brightest bulbs, so the fact that there is anti-theft technology might not be hitting them yet if its a recent fad.

    2. New & used car prices have skyrocketed in COVID.

    3. Bad People trapped inside for a year with nothing to do and their jobs being gone and their finances being shredded may think, “Hey, you know what? The weather’s getting nice. Let me look on YouTube on how to jack a car, steal one, and go on a joy ride just to get out of the house.”

    4. BLM-Antifa crowd likely encouraging this as “reparations” and also, as you stated, to use them to commit the other crimes that keep them funded (drug dealing, moving weapons, getting to the next hideout, etc.)

  4. Anonymous[141] • Disclaimer says:

    Do you have a point? Or is this just more LA crap? Like Niven and Pournelle?

    And why didn’t you respond to my question about Frank M Robinson’s SF/Cali politics connections?

    Ever watch any movies by David Akers? I saw that End of Watch movie with the ex-marine cop. And it reminded me of SOCAL in the strangest way. And of being a sub boat JO and having one of my ST’s ask for shore tour at the brig. I was like “Washington Football Team?”. Since mostly MS’s did that crap. But the answer (very motivational) was that he wanted to be a cop after leaving the service. Then again, coners were always less cynical than nukes.

    I still feel glad that we had/have Pendleton to stop greater LA from swallowing Sand Dog. Oh…and Ocean Beach is STILL the last genuine little beach town left in SOCAL. (Strangely the East Coast has more.)

  5. written for Full Moon Fever, which is 5 times platinum.

    it appears that half of the Beatles play with Petty on this album, but technically only George, as Ringo was in a video but didn’t play on the album.

    i reckon they would have been pretty good if they had become a band long term.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Old Prude
  6. Bill Gates had an extramarital affair with a Microsoft employee. So the Microsoft board pushed him out.

    He had a “wandering eye” and likely banged underaged girls at Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion.

    Naked pool parties.

  7. Anonymous[141] • Disclaimer says:

    Strangely enough, I am watching an LA-based movie (why are so many movies set there?) right now. First time looking at The Long Goodbye. 35 minutes in. Sooper heavy on the atmosphere. And cute cat. But even less point than Chinatown (which itself was too full of itself, versus actually tension building). Not actively annoying. But still…no engagement.

    Going to “did not finish”. And just read the Wiki plot synopsis.

    Last good movie I saw (few weeks ago) was Dredd. That was unexpected and kick ass. out of nowhwere…had not heard of it. Like seeing District 9 and not knowing what to expect.

    Not more limp dick California bullshit like Blade Runner 2049, Lala Land, or that stupid oil movie from 2006ish that I didn’t bother finishing but won awards.

    I’ve learned the hard way just to give up after a short exposure and not finish crap.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    , @Lockean Proviso
  8. Anon[638] • Disclaimer says:

    I’d make sure your family cars are parked in your garage for a while, not parked on the street. Just in case. If someone comes after your neighbor again, sometimes a wild driver commits collateral damage in the process.

    And yes, get one of the Amazon doorbells that records the scene in front of your house. It won’t hurt and might provide some entertainment or useful leads for the cops.

    • Replies: @Alden
  9. El Dato says:

    Why are you writing as Anonymous, Good Citizen 141?

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  10. epebble says:

    perhaps for this purpose.

    And the purpose is?

    Just randomly banging into some vehicle doesn’t make sense, even as a crime.

  11. Mr. Anon says:

    I’m guessing a lot of the stolen cars are quickly used to commit other crimes.

    These people aren’t criminals, they are just pioneers in the Green, 4th Industrial Revolution trend of Car-Sharing:

    In the future, you’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  12. @James Speaks

    I bit an alligator when I was in Florida. Of course, it was grilled first. Neither gross nor great.

  13. @epebble

    I dunno.

    Why did two celebrities’ luxury vehicles end up at the bottom of the same ravine in 2010?

  14. Since the statute of limitations has run out, I can say that the one time I used a pickup truck as a bulldozer against another pickup truck, I was aggravated by the fool owner trespassing with a pack of hounds at 2am. So I pushed his truck off the road and into the ditch. On its side. I was never again awakened by a pack of trespassing hounds at 2am.

    Maybe your neighbor just received a lesson on civil behavior?

  15. @Steve Sailer

    I’ve seen one idiot follow another off the highway at 70mph + … is it a stretch of the imagination to consider one dipshit following another one off the road in LaLaLand?

    They do serve alcohol in California still (I’ve not visited since 2015)?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  16. Polistra says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The Bentley wanted some company?

  17. Whiskey says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer

    That’s easy. Same group stealing them and dumping them.

    There wasn’t much of a plan. Just thrills i guess. Wealth attracts that stuff. Why the smarter groups stay off the radar, more remote from urban areas with setbacks and secu rity.

  18. Anonymous[192] • Disclaimer says:


    You are right, Steve, basically it’s all down to base envy – perhaps the strongest motivating human psychological force. As the good book teaches us ‘envy not thy neighbor’s wife or ass’ – or as humorists put it ‘thy neighbor’s wife’s ass’.

    For example, in London, England, most cars are parked right up on the sidewalk curb outside the owner’s house – most houses in London were built before the invention of the automobile.
    Invariably, if you happen to own a car just a bit above the average, some nasty, envious lout – there are *millions* of them in London – will ‘key’ the sides of the car, that is, make a deep scratch along the sides of the car by rubbing the sharp parts of a bunch of keys along it.

  19. The moral to this story is get out of California.

  20. George says:

    Where Do Stolen Catalytic Converters Go?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  21. @Stan D Mute

    I presume he owed money to some serious characters, which is why soon after he went to his TV studio for a huge advance on his salary:

    Sheen owed big debt to Warner Brothers
    By Time of article published May 17, 2011

    Charlie Sheen allegedly borrowed $10 million from Warner Brothers during his final season of ‘Two and a Half Men’.

    The troubled star – who was fired from the show last year following a huge bust up with co-creator Chuck Lorre over his hedonistic lifestyle – received the vast loan from show bosses in May 2010 under the condition he would pay it back during the first 13 episodes.

  22. @James Speaks

    Weird is Man bites alligator to save dog.

    I’ve bitten alligator in Florida. My rule-of-thumb when visiting is that when a host asks what I’d like to eat, the answer is, “What can I get here that I can’t get anywhere else?”

    In Tallahassee, gator tail is on the menu.

  23. @Steve Sailer

    I’ve heard a rumor that a famous athlete borrowed even more from his famous athletic equipment sponsor to pay off an even bigger debt.

    • Replies: @Danindc
  24. Anon[146] • Disclaimer says:

    My new neighbor’s car got bashed up pretty bad in front of his house when some guy in a pickup truck backed into it at high speed, apparently intentionally according to various other neighbors who saw it happen.

    Steve, did some Russians move in? Who knows what kind of shit they’re involved in. Don’t talk about your water stash. I hear that the authorities found two unidentifiable bodies and one severed penis in Tujunga Wash last week.

    • Replies: @mmack
    , @Neil Templeton
  25. Rob McX says:

    I’ve been wondering what the purpose of the explosion of car theft over the last year has been when there’s so much technology to track stolen cars.

    Do phone scramblers not deactivate trackers? Anyhow, I’m sure there’s stuff you can buy online that’ll do it.

  26. MEH 0910 says:
    @James Speaks

    It happened again in Florida.

    A few months after a cigar-chomping dog owner leaped into action to save his dog from an alligator, another pet owner has rescued his puppy from the jaws of death, ABC Action News first reported.

    Mike McCoy was walking his 8-month-old chocolate lab, Jake, near his Holiday home Tuesday, the station said. As they passed a pond, an alligator pounced and pulled the dog under. McCoy jumped right in after Jake.

    “I got around, thumbed him the eye, picked him out of the water so he couldn’t get anywhere until he let the dog go,” recalled McCoy, who was also injured in the fracas. “And in the interim he decided, well, OK, I don’t have him, I’ll bite you.’”

    Both gator victims suffered minor injuries that required stitches, but are OK.

    • Replies: @photondancer
  27. Ralph L says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Tiger likes trying out different cars.

  28. MEH 0910 says:

    Sneaking into an R-Rated Movie

    Barton Fink! Barton Fink!

    (For those too young to get the joke:

  29. @Steve Sailer

    Charlie Sheen allegedly borrowed $10 million from Warner Brothers during his final season of ‘Two and a Half Men’. The troubled star – who was fired from the show last year following a huge bust up with co-creator Chuck Lorre over his hedonistic lifestyle

    John Cryer’s book hinted also at Charlie’s propensity to rage about Jews when it all went bad as another reason for Lorre being completely finished with Sheen. Funny thing at the end of it all for Sheen was, at the end of Charlie’s last episode was S8, E-16, Chuck Lorre’s “Card”. On that card at the end of that episode, written by Lorre himself as they all were, “I go regularly to the doctor, eat healthy, exercise, don’t smoke, do drugs or get into impossible, unhealthy sexual situations. If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I’m gonna be really pissed!”.

    Meanwhile, Lorre was/is a hose monster out there, himself with three or four divorces and lots of alimony and likely lots of unhealthy sexual situations. I suppose he was always able to get, a “Get”?

  30. Carjackings have been way up in Minneapolis, probably for joyriding/mugging purposes – I believe most of the cars are recovered, but could be talking out of my ass

  31. mmack says:

    “Steve, did some Russians move in?”

    I’ve known plenty of Russians and Ukrainians in my life. They prefer Mercedes Benz or BMW, Audi if they have to slum it. Japanese or Korean cars are a big step down (it’s what you drive while striving for the German cars) and American made cars are off the radar unless they really need wheels.

    So Russian in a pickup truck, don’t see it. Doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen, but still.

    Latinx in a pickup mistaking R for D after a few cervezas 🍻? More likely. Also more likely to speed off to avoid arrest.

  32. mmack says:


    So far as you know, are your neighbors in the midst of an ugly divorce or domestic dispute? Sometimes vehicles are collateral damage when love goes bad.

    “Oh the judge gave you the Lexus? Try driving it NOW B!tch!”

    “Cheat on ME will you?!?”

  33. Danindc says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Is that why that athlete changed clubs right before the Ryder Cup?

  34. A friend had two new cars stolen from his driveway during the pandemic. This is an example of how they do it.

    Don’t leave the key fob near the front door.

    • Thanks: El Dato
  35. @MEH 0910

    Do not try this in Australia. Our salties are mean.

    I’d love to watch someone attempt it though.

  36. El Dato says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    That’s the work of Sultan

    • Replies: @Gary in Gramercy
  37. slumber_j says:

    Just randomly banging into some vehicle doesn’t make sense, even as a crime.

    Actually I think you’ll find there’s ample precedent for this sort of thing in the San Fernando Valley…

    Walter Sobchak:
    Is this your homework, Larry? Is this your homework, Larry?

    The Dude:
    Look, man…

    Walter Sobchak:
    Dude, please? Is this your homework, Larry?

    The Dude:
    Just ask him about the car.

    Walter Sobchak:
    Is this yours, Larry? Is this your homework, Larry?

    The Dude:
    Is that your car out front?

    Walter Sobchak:
    Is this your homework, Larry?

    • LOL: El Dato
  38. @Steve Sailer

    Was it a Walter Sobchak moment?

  39. songbird says:

    The car doesn’t look very damaged.

    Years ago(15+), I remember hearing some story about, I think it was, four teenagers in a Toyota that went off Mulholand Drive. I was impressed at the time that they all survived, thinking of it as something like the Grand Canyon, but now I feel like I should not have been.

  40. Hibernian says:

    This could not happen with any regularity absent law enforcement corruption.

  41. Anon[134] • Disclaimer says:

    New neighbor. New baggage. Perhaps it wasn’t random, but revenge or a warning.

  42. res says:
    @prime noticer

    i reckon they would have been pretty good if they had become a band long term.

    Are you joking?

    Of course, that is only George. Note that the Traveling Wilburys formed in April 1988 and Full Moon Fever was released in 1989.

  43. anon[216] • Disclaimer says:

    Maybe it is the Carmuda Tri-Angle.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  44. Never thought I’d see Steve sharing a tweet from Sean McDowell. He was a great DJ on the local rock station in Pittsburgh. My dad used to work with him as a bartender back in the 70s, said Sean was always selling weed out of the back door of the hotel.

  45. @Anonymous

    “Do you have a point?”

    Sometimes its best to look out the window and let the narrator drive. When the trip is finished the need for a point will have been forgotten and replaced with a new view of reality. If your narrator is Stephen King don’t get in the car.

  46. @JohnnyWalker123

    Now we won’t have to listen to him talk about climate change or synthetic meat.

    Curious if more comes out. Apparently Epstein even gave him marital advice.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
  47. @JohnnyWalker123

    The latest thing is that Bill had an affair with a British lady named Camilla Parker-Bowles . . .

  48. @El Dato

    You mean, “Satin.” (Doff of the cap to Jeff Spicoli.)

  49. @S. Anonyia


    • Replies: @anon
  50. Alden says:

    Agree. The new neighbor probably has ongoing problems with someone. Nasty divorce, rejected lover. If Russian Armenian Israeli Persian Asian might be a crooked business person who cheated the person who smashed his car.

  51. Anonymous[264] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Is she a robot? She looks kind of strange and has a rather odd way of talking, maybe it’s just an accent.

  52. @Anonymous

    So I’m not alone in just reading plot summaries on wikipedia to close loose ends without having to sit through the rest of the movie when it turns out to be boring or woke (like the one about the noxious rich white family waiting and intriguing around the mansion for the will to be read while the sacred, noble, and pretty Latina maid turns out to get the inheritance because she deserves it.)

    • Replies: @Up2Drew
  53. anon[141] • Disclaimer says:

    If I were in the market for marriage advice for sure I would go talk with a guy like Jeffie Epstein. In his wired-up New York mansion. Yeah.

    Totally sure.


    • Thanks: JohnnyWalker123
  54. TWS says:

    Three things drive car theft in the us. Biggest is risk/reward ratio. The easier it is to steal and not get caught and punished the more common it becomes. Second is the foreign market. When it’s easy to get a vehicle from California overseas and sold it’s more common. Last is like the one commenter noted, stolen cars are like broken windows, you can joy ride or use it at a stop and rob. Either way they indicate crime is easier.

    Auto theft is notoriously easy to get away with for a long time. Average I saw in prison was over twenty arrests and several convictions before any jail time.

  55. Muggles says:

    The weird thing in the “Newser” fake news source on my home page is that after the first mention of “Melinda French Gates” (her maiden name is French) they referred to her as “French Gates.”


    She had never to my knowledge gone by her maiden name nor have I seen that odd combination name in any other article mentioning her and the divorce.

    Is this some weird new AP “style”?

    Some women go by both names but that is always hyphenated.

    Is this some new crazy feminist hate thing? Or just incredibly bad proofreading. It was shown that way several times in this article.

    BTW: I’m glad Bill got sacked by his own corporation. I guess he never read the memo about fishing in the corporate pond. Ha ha!

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  56. anonymous[107] • Disclaimer says:

    O.T. but…today we celebrate legalized extortion, a/ k/a ,”Tax Day.”

  57. Whiskey says: • Website

    Random stuff —

    A. Its hilarious that Gates lacked the power/control to keep his own job at Microsoft. Explains much. He wasn’t feared, basically.
    B. Melinda Gates being very imperious and wanting to be groveled before is pretty much every jumped up ho wanting to be a Queen. All she did was marry her boss. That’s it. Nothing more. With half Gates money she will be a major force for kill Whitey and hate White men. Apparently that was her thing and Bills was basic science research which she loathed like all women.
    C. Stealing cars is a thing. Often they are just dumped, used to commit other crimes and so on. A co worker had their car stolen, recovered in a few days in Riverside county, from where it was stolen (LA City). Lots of food wrappers and other things (ick) but no real damage.
    D. The ongoing car theft extravaganza enabled by let em go DAs and Newsom’s release of 76K prisoners, 63,000 violent and 20,000 lifers, is going to be unbelievable. Car insurance is going to to up and up and up, along with carjackings and general murders. Democrats love crime and criminals as they know they can fraud election victories with no consequences. Punishing Joe Average is their entire reason for existence.

    • Replies: @S. Anonyia
    , @Hibernian
  58. TheJester says:

    None of this is new. I recall Internet “hits” decades ago that detailed Bill Gates sexcapades while still young, precocious, and autistic. Then, he married a seemingly normal woman who purported to deal with being married to one of the richest weirdos in human history.

    At the time, I asked myself the question: “How can an autistic workaholic who “chills” on weekends with his software development team with hookers and whores all of a sudden transition into a model “family man”? The answer: He didn’t!

    As the saying goes, “A leopard can’t change its spots!”

  59. Lurker says:

    Is it possible that some car theft is for the mundane purpose of stripping down for spares which are then sold?

  60. AceDeuce says:

    In all fairness, what woman could resist? LOL.

    Christ, his beard/wife looks manlier.

  61. @Whiskey

    Yes, innocent Bill is just into “basic science research” like blocking the sun, encouraging humans to eat bugs, and buying up the nation’s farmland. Also don’t forget the science debates he had on Epstein isle and in Epstein mansion.

  62. Hibernian says:

    I assume it’s to distinguish her from Bill, which most people could do from context; however, it could be tiring to read “Gates accused [the other] Gates of adultery, etc.

    • Replies: @Muggles
  63. Hibernian says:

    A. Its hilarious that Gates lacked the power/control to keep his own job at Microsoft. Explains much. He wasn’t feared, basically.

    The outside directors (and the inside ones too) have a fiduciary duty to [all of] the stockholders. There could be legal consequences for not honoring them.

    Also, he was reelected to the board by the stockholders after this concern was brought up, and then resigned later.

  64. @Anon

    After Stalingrad, I believe Russians are capable of anything.

  65. Muggles says:

    I agree with your general idea, but I also saw this in today’s WSJ. That is the original source of this current divorce dish story.

    What I think would be normal usage is Mrs. Melinda Gates, or Melinda French Gates or Ms. Gates (as they used ‘Ms.” rather than Mrs. in the story.) Or Melinda French-Gates.

    Or even Ms. Melinda French (Gates). So far as I know they are still married, albeit separated.

    I suppose she could have asked to be referred to as French Gates for this story but that seems very odd.

    One of the tells of current Woke Marxism is the insistence that new, weird words and phrases be used as demanded (e.g. Latinx, Black).

    I don’t really care all that much about this divorce, however her name is spelled. I do care about new instances of Word/Thought Policing. If that’s what this is.

    • Replies: @photondancer
  66. Old Prude says:
    @prime noticer

    Talk about Free Falling: It was a long drop from Wild One Forever to I Won’t Back Down. All Petty’s stuff after 1985 sucks. Sucks, I tell you. The worst for Petty was his appearance at the Super Bowl looking like an old dessicated corpse. I had to avert my eyes, although come to think of it, he always looked like a dessicated corpse, just not so gawd-awful old.

    Still, Tom, thanks for Wild One Forever.

  67. @Muggles

    Miss Manners once mentioned this practice for women of a certain generation and class after divorce Maybe Melinda or the newspaper are anticipating.

  68. El Dato says:

    Things you can do only while black:

    ‘Motherf*cker trying to steal my sh*t’: UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis ‘KNOCKS OUT’ would-be car thief (VIDEO)

    The 36-year-old behemoth revealed online that Houston police had taken a man into custody – with the would-be thief appearing to have his head in a bandage. The Instagram post implies that Lewis confronted and tackled the intruder.

    “Motherf*cker tried to break into my sh*t,” Lewis said in a video accompanying his post, while adding in the text caption: “Mofo pick right/wrong car to break into. HE’S OK.”

    Lewis also referenced the incident on his Instagram story, showing a close up what appears to be a bruise on his fist along with the text “satisfaction” and “he’s OK”.


    • Replies: @Cortes
  69. Up2Drew says:
    @Lockean Proviso

    Noxious Rich White Family Waiting and Intriguing Around the Mansion for the Will to Be Read While the Sacred, Noble, and Pretty Latina Maid Turns Out to Get the Inheritance Because She Deserves It II is coming.

    Not kidding.

  70. Cortes says:
    @El Dato

    The home of shy, retiring Scottish footballer Duncan Ferguson was an unfortunate choice of the burglar who ended up three teeth lighter and with a broken jaw:

    The five-year jail sentence probably didn’t improve the experience. The miscreant was white.

    On a personal note, I was pleased for Big Duncan. A few years earlier while he was out strolling around when he played in Glasgow he paused to guide my reverse parking into a tight space on a busy street.

  71. dvorak says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Why did two celebrities’ luxury vehicles end up at the bottom of the same ravine in 2010?

    Each of them is connected to Denise Richards, no?

    Stealing and dumping cars isn’t exactly nuclear physics.

  72. Mike1 says:

    If you met the guy in charge of car theft in your district Steve everything would make sense. To say he doesn’t care is a very large under statement.

  73. MEH 0910 says:

    The loquat—an extremely juicy, incredibly prolific, mighty delicious sweet-sour fruit, bright yellow in color, somewhere between a plum and a mango in flavor—is so common that you can hardly walk more than three or four houses in these neighborhoods without passing one. And yet it isn’t celebrated, prized, or, for the most part, eaten at all. You can tell this because if they were valued, then all those trees wouldn’t be absolutely heavy with fruit. “Nobody eats them,” says Alissa Walker, a Los Angeles–based journalist and loquat enthusiast, of the loquat trees in her neighborhood. “They just hang on the trees, and I’m like, ‘Is anyone going to eat these?’”

    Loquats are not, despite their name’s similarity to kumquat, in the citrus family. They’re actually in the rose family, which also gives us apples, pears, and stone fruits. The tree can be anywhere in size from a large shrub to 30 feet high, and is extremely attractive in a subtropical way, with dark, glossy green leaves. It’s native to southern China, and also has a very long history in Japan.


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