Friday, July 25, 2014

Isla Vista, circa 2007

Oh the things you find cleaning out the draft folder of your email account. I found this gem from June of 2007. I’ll give you a moment to recover from the fact that that was already 7 years ago (!!). I am assuming that since it was in the draft folder the intended recipient never got it—anyway, it was too good to keep it to myself. Below is the body of the email:

Here's a story for the books. I probably didn't tell you but around the first week of this quarter [Spring quarter, 2007] I was one of many Isla Vistans to experience the tragedy of bike theft. Someone (probably in a drunken stupor) absconded with my treasured green huffy beach cruiser. I didn't notice until Monday morning when I went to my back yard and noticed that something was bike! I realized it was partially my fault for not locking it to something, plus I’ll be going to Ireland soon and don’t need a bike; plus I figured it had already served me the first three years of college, so I got over it and spent this entire quarter on foot. It wasn't too bad actually, I rather enjoyed the quality time in the sunshine walking from this lecture to that one.

So, Thursday. My last day on the campus of UCSB. It's 8:45 in the morning and I receive a phone call as I study for my Italian final at 10. It's CSO (Campus Security Officer) notifying me that they have found my bike. Can you believe it? The last day of class and now they find my bike. Good thing I paid that $6 my freshman year to register that bad boy! So, the officer asks, "Do you own a green beach cruiser?" to which I reply, "Well I did, but it was stolen" "When was it stolen?" he asked, "The first week of April" I said. "What color was it?" me: "Green...Is it still??" there was a pause, I already knew "No, it's been spray painted black." My heart broke when he told me this—I loved that green bike. I guess CSOs are trained to spot spray painted bikes because they are more often than not spray painted for a reason.
So apparently they come across my bike at the chem building. They checked the serial number and registered owner and notice that it doesn't correspond with the person who had it. The officer told me they had to conduct some "investigation" and I could pick it up in a few days. It gets better....

I have been interning for a criminal defense attorney since January and Friday was my last day in the office. I get in around 9 and the phone rings. It's a PNC (potential new client)-some guy saying he needs advice, thinks he needs a lawyer. I take down his name and information and pass it along to the attorney who calls him back later that day. So toward the end of my last day the attorney offers to take me out to lunch as a thank you. We get to the restaurant where a few of his colleagues (he used to be a public defender, so it was a bunch of public defenders) were already eating. They all start talking about whatever cases they're working on and the guy I intern for brings up this client he was hired by today. He said he is being brought up on charges of possession of stolen property.

He describes the client: "So this guy has this bike and he is apprehended by a CSO asking him how he got it and why it's spray painted and if he knows the registered owner—and he didn't really say anything. So the CSO tells him he can be expelled for these charges, but if he signs this statement saying that he had no intent of returning the bike there would be leniency, so he does." The attorney then asks me, "In your experience, have you ever known anyone to take a bike and return it?" I said "No. My bike was stolen and they never returned it. Actually I just got a call from CSO yesterday saying that they'd found my bike" The attorney: "Wait, CSO told you yesterday they found your bike?" Me: "Yeah.." "So when was it stolen?" Me: "The first week in April" He chuckles to himself then says, "I think I might be representing the guy that stole your bike" we all laugh; he continues "Well at least now I know I can represent the guy, it's not a conflict of interest if you don't work for me anymore"

If you’re wondering what happened to my beloved huffy, I must admit even I don’t know. I recall another phone call where I was told I could pick up the bike and asked if I intended to press charges. I said no because as I mentioned since I was going abroad at the end of August, I didn’t see much sense in storing the bike at my parents’ for a year. I also thought I wouldn’t be returning to Santa Barbara, but I hadn’t yet realized the missing credits after my time in Ireland. 

 The scene of the crime (my back yard in IV, 2007)

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