To the person who said sorry for stealing my car

Posted: July 6, 2014 in Events, Writing
Tags: ,

My husband and I were snoring when you snuck in over the front balcony of our Yamba holiday unit in the early hours of last Thursday.

Thank heavens Nana didn’t stumble upon you. She’s often up and down during the night. But at 87, she’d had a big day at the Angourie rock pools and slept through it all, her ‘ears’ turned off, and tucked into their case on the bedside table.

So no-one heard you take our mobiles, my laptop, or Nana’s camera with its precious holiday snaps of her grandkids.

There was no-one to stop you slipping the keys to our unit and car into your pocket, opening the garage door downstairs and rolling our station wagon out into darkness.

My mobile wasn’t locked. So I guess you scrolled through my photos. Saw those hundreds of silly shots of the dog and the kids.

And I know you looked at my facebook. Because I found your message when I got home.

fb sorry


Those two little words sent at 4.16am.

Oh sorry.

And I wondered then, what were you thinking.

What made you reach out across the ether, knowing that I’d  find that message in a bottle when it washed up on the shores of my home wifi.

Nana AngourieWas it the photo of Nana, so happy at Angourie, that brought on an attack of conscience? Such a lovely holiday, she kept saying, thank you, dear, for bringing me.

Or was it the night rushing past as someone else drove? Leaving you free to lean your head against the window and wonder about the family who’d wake to find their car gone?

Or was it just that automatic apology that pops out when you intrude on someone else’s space? When you walk into the wrong bedroom by mistake, or open someone else’s facebook page, expecting your own?

I don’t know you, but I’d like to think that you meant it.

You see, I know where you went after you stole my car.Gold Coast

Google+ sent me automatic backups of the photos you took from my mobile.

My husband was so pleased to see that his stand-up paddle board was still safe on the roof racks of our car. He hopes his wetsuit also survived the trip to the Gold Coast (and that funny crate he uses to store all his important bits that no-one else cares about, like surfboard wax, sun block and leg ropes).

We were actually tracking your progress through Broadbeach when the police called this morning to say they’d found our car. Locked up and abandoned down a dirt track at Angourie. In good nick, he said, apart from the tree sap, which will be a bugger to get off when we get it home.

He couldn’t see if the wetsuits were still in the boot. Said there was a plant on the back seat, was it mine? Maybe, I said, it’s a thank you gift from you, for borrowing our car?

So, I’m guessing that you made it back home. I’m glad. Because for some reason, I picture you as a kid, and I worry about the dumb things that kids do. You might have got away with it this time. But then again, maybe not.

It’s not safe what you’re doing, you know. A trip to the Gold Coast isn’t worth it. Stop now. Please. While you still can.



  1. Dimity Powell says:

    Quietly applauding, Chris.

  2. chrisbongers says:

    Funny that after all that’s happened Dimity, getting the car back at all, feels like a win. 🙂

  3. Karen Brooks says:

    Wow, Chris. A great post, but what a thing to have happen and how strange that he FaceBooked you. A thief with a conscience? Hope you are all OK. Karen xxx

    • chrisbongers says:

      We’re all fine, Karen. No-one got hurt and Nana didn’t lose the engagement ring she left on the bathroom sink – that would have broken her heart – so it could have been worse. And for some reason, I see that mystery facebooker as a kid, a girl, but I might be wrong. We’ll probably never know.

  4. Did you get your phone and laptops back? Or wasn’t he/she quite that nice and polite.

    • chrisbongers says:

      Not sure what we’re getting back, Lynne. The car was locked when the police found it, so they won’t be able to get in until the spare key gets down to them. Not hopeful about the laptop and mobiles, but hoping we get the wetsuits and boogie board back!

  5. Mike says:

    Great post Chrissy. Hopefully it goes viral so that the ‘Oh sorry’ person has a better chance of reading it sometime … I reckon your words could make a big difference in his/ her life. Well done.

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