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Hill Country Living

Van Hunt Goes From CSI To CRS Moment

By Coulter Fussell

This week has been one of those where everything just trucks along like normal and by the end of it you’re not really sure what happened or where the days went. All I can really remember that happened of any significance this week was that my van was stolen from in front of my new store on Main Street.

Yes! Stolen! Can you believe that? As usual, I had been working away all day like a lonesome minion to myself when I walked outside my new place on Main Street to drive home and noticed that my white van was nowhere to be found. I had parked it that morning in front of the Chamber, next to Mickey Howley’s truck. But there was nothing there now. Only an empty parking spot. A deserted rectangle of asphalt where my hand-me-down, mother-in-law’s minivan had once rested. I looked at the empty parking spot for a good minute, scanning every inch of the space, just to be sure the white van was not there. It was not.

I checked down toward my other store and there was Doris’ white van ( my white van’s twin and one into which I have gotten and tried to drive away on numerous occasions, always pleasantly surprised at how clean my van had gotten since the last time I was in it a few hours before) but mine, my actual van, was not there. Where was my white van?! Panic began to set in.

I called my husband, Amos, at the brewery and told him my van was stolen.

“Your van was…stolen?”


“From…Main Street?”

“YES! Right from in front of my new store!! While I was working in there.”

“….Huh….Someone stole your van from Main Street. During the middle of the day. On Tuesday.” I could sense some doubt in his voice.

“Um, yes, they did!! Crime can happen anytime!”

“Well, let me finish some stuff up here and we’ll drive around to look for it in a little bit.”

“What?! No! Someone stole my van and I’m not gonna sit around and finish some stuff up and then drive around to look for it in a little bit! We need to call the police right now!!”

“Oh lord, okay. Just wait. Be there in a minute.”

During the short wait for Amos to arrive I placed a panicked call to Mickey Howley, who had parked next to me that morning, asking him when and where he had been the last time he saw my white van. Of course, he talked about all sorts of stuff completely unrelated to seeing my van but I finally ascertained that he had not seen my van after 2 p.m.

This was very important information as I needed my timeline straight for the police report, the ensuing investigation, any time sensitive forensic evidence that needed to be gathered (I have learned through watching every episode of Forensic Files every made that timing can be very important, especially in terms of entomological evidence) and, eventually, my victorious court trail.

Amos arrived on Main Street in a few minutes. His intention was apparently to still “drive around and look for it” while my intention was to “drive straight to the police station and report my van stolen.”  We took a right down Duncan street, having a very lively discussion about which course of the two actions we should take. This is when I saw my van!

There it was! Parked in front of Fred’s. Can you believe that? Someone had stolen my van earlier that morning and parked it at Fred’s! Right there within eyesight of sweet Ms. Inez!

There is theory floating around my household that I myself actually drove to Fred’s and forgot that I drove there and then just walked back to my store, leaving my van in the parking lot, forgetting that I ever went to Fred’s at all. But there are always naysayers and conspiracy theories out there. I’m just glad I solved this great crime myself and didn’t report it to our busy police force.

Just call me Sherlock Holmes.

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