We just sent video to the San Jose police department, showing the footage our video cameras captured of a skeezy guy in a hoodie casing our cars and breaking into mine and taking some stuff. Normally, the police simply take a report, but this was an exception. Since the guy in the video looks an awful lot like the guy the police found inside Peter’s stolen car on October 25, who Peter had to look at and confirm as someone he’d never loaned the car to, and whom the police report identified as Andrew Clark Bergman (born 6-5-1983), they came out in person. They reviewed the security video and took fingerprints off my car door, and all that evidence is now at the burglary department.
Meanwhile, I’ve been a busy little research beaver. Both Bergman and his accomplice seem to have tried to take their Facebook pages off the internet, with varying success and a spotty attempt at changed names. Bergman has a previous arrest record for something he did in 2006. And California, ever so quirky, still has a “three strikes” law on the books, which says that if you are convicted for three felonies, you get may get sentenced to 25 years in prison. Adding to the quirk is another statute in California penal code called “felony petty theft,” which means petty theft may be charged as a felony, if the thief has two prior felony convictions.
The best inventory I could do through the stuff I keep in my car is that Bergman stole a “Kill Hannah” CD and a small cloth case with my Buddhist liturgy and prayer beads. I don’t know whether to be pissed off at the theft specifically. When I had to clean out Peter’s car after the police recovered it, it was full of stinking hoodies (exactly like the burglar on the video was wearing), and Josh Groban CDs. How sad I thought: a life of crime, and cursed with bad taste in music and clothing, too? I can only hope the thief does listen to the Kill Hannah CD, because it’s a good band. Perhaps he’ll try the Buddhist liturgy, too, and convert to Buddhism, realizing and atoning for all the bad karmic deeds he’s done. If I’d left in a spiffy suit, maybe he’d have taken that too, and tried on the look of an honest member of society, and come to like it. As it is, if Bergman is unlucky enough to get a hanging judge in a bad mood on a bad day, he could theoretically to 25-to-life for stealing a CD. Oh, well, if you’re going to live out the rest of your life in jail, better to do it for Kill Hannah than for Justin Bieber or Josh Groban.
I am pissed off the guy is still casing my neighborhood. So I also found out someone (I guess a bail bond company) issued a $35,000 bond for him, which now goes into county coffers if he doesn’t show up. Now if Bergman does get caught and tossed in jail, the county has to hand that money back and take on the cost of keeping Bergman in jail. If he doesn’t, that’s $35,000 they can use to buy more grade-D kosher hot dogs for the currently convicted and incarcerated. The bail bond company’s motivations are much different–they’re out thousands if he doesn’t show up. It’s easy enough to find out who posted that bond, and let them set loose the bounty hunters of their choice. Eventually, this thief will be caught (again).
Update: It turns out he didn’t take any of my Buddhist stuff; it, like everything else of value, was in the house. Peter wants to add that stealing someone’s Josh Groban and/or Justin Bieber CDs would actually be a mitzvah, as the thief may only be trying to improve the victim’s musical collection.