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Robbed in Georgetown, Part III: "Jose"

Third in a series.

Hearing a sputtering diesel engine, I raced out of the half empty house I was leaving to the tow truck. With no phones, no money, no credit cards, no keys to my car, this truck was my lifeline. My purse stolen in Georgetown, both keys -- all keys -- to my car were gone.

My black BMW was sitting in a pristine alley -- my new alley in Georgetown -- wide open, waiting to be stolen by the thieves who had grabbed my purse and keys from the ignition. What were they waiting for? It seemed like a race against the clock. The car could be taken any minute.

Climbing up a few feet, I greeted the truck driver. "We have to get to the car. We have to get it out of there. The car is unlocked and the window is down. And I'm blocking in my new neighbors!"

"No problem," offered said the man with puffy eyes and a smile. He introduced himself as "Jose."

I told him the story.

He listened, unfazed. "Oh well. I like having a pretty girl in my truck."

He thought for a second. "If you don't have your keys, I'm not going to be able to move your car. You need a special truck for that."

What? My car was blocking in my new neighbors. That would work for a few hours in the middle of the night, but not in daylight. Worse, my window was open, the car unlocked. The car was waiting to be stolen. It was 12:30 am.

Couldn't the theives have just stolen the car while they were at it? No. I was headed back to Georgetown.

"Could I use your phone?" I asked. He handed it over. I had written down the phone number of an emergency locksmith. Actually, several emergency locksmiths.

As I started to call, the phone rang. A woman. I handed it to Jose.

After a few words in Spanish, he hung up and handed it back.

"That was my sister in El Salvador," he said. "She said, 'Is that your girl?'"

Right now I was. Saturday night in Georgetown.

Robbed in Georgetown is a multi-part series describing a frequent crime in an unexpected place. Tomorrow: Sergei the locksmith and the Bob Marley express.