Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 8: A Photo That Makes Me Angry or Sad

Now this may seem like an odd picture to make someone angry or sad. Let me set the record straight, it makes me ANGRY!! Not the saw itself, it was an innocent victim in the whole mess.
This picture makes me angry because I think of the dirtbag who came in to my store, and rented this saw for 4 hours on October 22, 2010 and then never returned it.
After 3 weeks with no word from him, and being unable to reach him since the phone number I had for him was not his phone number, I reported the saw as stolen to the Blaine Police Department. There is a fairly new law that really helps owners of rental stores reclaim their lost property and also collect the money that is owed them. So, armed with this knowledge, I set out to pursue this.
The dirtbag called the store on my day off, after the police had contacted him, and talked to my father and told him that he was using the saw out of town, and wanted to know if he could buy it, or what the monthly rental rate was. My father told him what the rate was and said that he would have to talk to me about buying the saw. He called me back and asked (again) what the 4 week rental rate was, and when that would be up. I gave him the amount and told him that the 4 week period would elapse the following Friday. He said that he would call me on that day to talk about returning the saw. Not that he would return the saw, but that he would call.
I'm sure this will come as a "knock your socks off" surprise to everyone, but he didn't call. I sent him a certified letter telling him what he owed and giving him three days to contact me before it was turned back over to the police. He didn't pick up his certified letter, dirtbags rarely do. So the matter was turned back over to the police. It went to the prosecutor, and he was issued a summons to appear in court. He didn't appear. He had all kinds of sad stories about why he couldn't be there; he was out of town, he had to have knee surgery, blah blah blah.
After he no-showed court, a warrant was issued for his arrest. This prompted him to call me again and tell me his sad story about how he "recovered the saw" but had been in and out of the hospital and had surgery, blah blah blah... Let me digress a little... He said "the saw is back in my possession," well the saw should never have been out of his possession if he is the one that rented it. And actually at this point the saw should have been in my possession since he only rented it for 4 hours! I told him that he had to talk to the prosecutor, but that I had to speak to her first.
I spoke to the prosecutor and we came to an arrangement that I was satisfied with. He was to return the saw, pay $500 (less than half of what he would end up owing) and then be trespassed from my store. She called him and explained those terms to him.
He called me again and told me that he'd had surgery the week before and that he was going to return my saw (which he once again told me he "had back in his possession") either the next day or the day after that. This was on a Monday. I called the prosecutor and told her that I wanted him to return the saw to the police department, not to my store, because I wanted this to all go through the proper channels and I wanted no further contact with him.
Not surprisingly, he didn't return the saw on Tuesday or Wednesday. He knew there was still a warrant for him, and if he returned it to the police, they would arrest him on the warrant. As days passed with no word from him, and no sign of the saw I lost my patience.
Finally the next Monday I called the prosecutor and said, "Deal's off. I'm done waiting. I want him picked up on the warrant and the court can settle all this." The next day I was at my desk and suddenly there is Dirtbag with a big brace on one leg and walking with one crutch, and having someone else carry my saw in. I turned around, picked up the phone, and called the police. They immediately sent officers, but Dirtbag told me that "I think there's another part for the saw out in the car" and then took off.
He called me, and I could tell that he was stuck behind the train as he tried to make his getaway. He told me that he'd thought there was another part for the saw in his car but there wasn't. I asked why he left, and he said he was headed to his bank to check on his finances, and asked again what he owed. I told him that for that day only I would honor the $500 deal that I'd made with the prosecutor, but that it had to be the full amount, it had to be cash or a cashier's check from the bank. If it wasn't paid in full that day, then it would go to the full amount owing which is $1056.25.
Guess what? He didn't come back and pay. So now he's going to get arrested on the warrant, and go to court, and we'll see what happens there. At least I have my saw back.
Last Friday a guy came in and rented a different saw for 4 hours, and it hasn't come back yet... Sigh... here we go again!
The lesson to be learned here is: If you're going to be a dirtbag and steal a rental tool, make sure that the person you're stealing from isn't married to a cop!

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