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CAR THEFT BECOMES ‘WAITING GAME’

Rocky Mountain News (CO) – Saturday, July 2, 2005
Author/Byline: Clayton Woullard , Rocky Mountain News
Edition: Final
Section: News
Page: 21A
At first, Juvante Jones thought his fiancee had driven his car to work. But after a few phone calls, he knew it had been stolen.

“It’s one of those things that you don’t think will happen to you, but it does,” the Lakewood man said Friday, explaining what it feels like to be a crime victim.The 26-year-old had stayed with his fiancee at her Denver apartment overnight Tuesday and discovered the next morning that his 1996 Honda Accord was nowhere in sight.

“It was a whole new experience for me to wake up and go to my car and find it missing,” he said.

First came shock. Then anger and frustration.

“There’s nothing you could really do about it, but it was more of the anger,” Jones said.

For three days he was without the car he drives to and from the Sprint store where he works. He managed to get a ride from a friend but said it was frustrating to wait by his phone, wondering if the next call would be from the police, telling him they had found it.

“It messed up my day, a couple of days,” Jones said. “It was one of those waiting games.”

That call finally came Friday afternoon, when Jones was told the car had been found that morning and was waiting in the Aurora impound. Apparently, someone had bashed in the passenger side window to get in.

“I felt happy that they found it because I had thought before they may never have found it,” he said.

Along with the broken window, the car’s Kenwood stereo – which Jones said didn’t even play CDs – was missing, and the steering column was broken, damage he expected.

“It was kind of a 50-50 chance,” Jones said. “I was kind of leaning toward not getting it back and that if I did get it back, it would be in really bad condition.”

Although the car had some damage, it could have been completely stripped, like many Accords. The make is one of the most frequently stolen vehicles in the country. Replacing it would’ve been a real struggle for Jones, who is saving money for his wedding next year.

“It’s pretty important; it was basically the first car I’ve owned,” he said.

Although he is still angry, Jones said, he has had to calm himself because he knows it only makes the situation worse.

“You can’t really stress about something you have no control over,” Jones said.

He’s learned to be more aware of his surroundings and that, these days, you just have to be cautious.

“Sometimes I guess you just can’t trust everybody,” Jones said.

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