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Pobst Position: Theft
Page: 1 Links
At Road Atlanta, my dog Turbo knew who it was. It was already a tough weekend, where I'd just had my World Record Crash, 1994, in TC Kline's Mazda RX7 Turbo, and the tragic crash that so damaged Jeremy Dale's legs the next day also caused me to miss my first ride in a real GT car (far less important, yes, yes). That pileup, right before my helpless, anquished eyes, started in turn twelve when a slow car turned down on a fast car, and the one-hour red flag was to be my stint. Probably for the best, because I was a little fuzzy from the mild concussion in yesterday's crash, though I'd never admit it, 'cause it'd keep me from this dream ride in a big, honkin' Camaro. Now where was I? Oh, yeah, Turbo knew. When we returned to the race trailer, someone had gone though Linda's purse. Wallet gone. Bad guard dog, Turbo, bad! All 12 Lhasa pounds of you. Several others were taken around the paddock. At Mosport, someone got my great friend Peter Schwartzott's wallet (the Blackjack fund, argh!), and several others. It became a pattern. They took advantage of the racing-family culture. We never used to worry. Almost always during the first practice, when everyone was on pit lane. The crooks knew the schedule. Cunning. They'd hit the class that was on track. Robbed lots of pockets, usually drivers. Neatly refolded and replaced the clothes, so it was not immediately obvious there was a robbery. At a Las Vegas ALMS, they hit our trailer, taking wallets. First practice. ALMS teams. Rats. I had just cashed a check, too. Never had $300 in cash back then.

By 2006, we sure knew better. Always have a guard, or lock the trailer ( a pain with stragglers needing to run in and out; like me). First practice, we're sitting out the first ten minutes at the Rolex Daytona 24 to avoid the crazies. The team owner has sent our trucker off on a mission, and the thieves steal our wallets while we are right across the street in our garage, phooey! In 2008, again at Daytona, first practice, they get me again with the Mazda team, guard and all, and even take my race license from my neatly hung shirt. Clever slimeballs, I must say. Now we often take our wallets from our pants pocket and find a secret hiding place, but I'm sure I will forget it. Well, a few weeks ago, my buddy Jack in Daytona shows me an article in the local paper about a thief caught at the GatorNationals drag race in Gainesville, Florida. Videos showed this guy doing his dirty deeds at the drags. The fans figured it out, spotting him slinking in and out of race rigs. Roughed him up. He spent the night in the ER. Now, while I am not a violent person, that part made me smile. Three wallets and my ex-wife's purse, y'know, and those of many racing colleagues. Vigilante Justice. Fists of Fury. "Maybe that is your guy," says Jack. Maybe, but what are the chances? Lotta crooks out there. Last week I get a call from 941. Daytona. The detective found my race license in that guy's house. Bingo, Scumbag! They need me to press charges. Hell, yes! But you know, there is that subtle worry that this guy is gonna know who I am, and when he gets out... I don't care. He's a burglar, not a psychotic killer. Yet. I appreciate the help of the police, and for once don't just fear the speeding ticket from them. I will do my part to make him suffer his punishment. Will any of us see our money? Ha, prob not. They said a million-plus over the years. But there will be one less creeper creeping for a while. Meanwhile, lock up your stuff, even at a club event. I believe humans are basically good and just, but that lunatic fringe is always out there.
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