I have owned many different cars in my life- I guess you could say I am something like a car connoisseur. Every time I purchased a car, I always bought car rugs to protect the inside of the car, and a car cover to protect the outside. When I bought my Audi Q5 car covers, I did it out of habit. But I assumed that all car covers were the same, so I did not give much thought to it when I made the purchase.

The Q5 car covers were specifically recommended, so I went ahead and added it to my purchase online, finished the transaction and did not give it a second thought even when they arrived in the mail 2 days later. I simply took it out of the packaging, tossed it over my Audi and kept doing what I was doing.

My Audi Q5 is my play car. Something I ride in when hanging out for the night or fulfilling my occasional role as the designated driver in my group of friends. I always take the time to wash and wax my car inside and out. Even the dashboard glistened. Keeping my car in pristine condition meant serious business and even the kids are not allowed to eat in the car.

My everyday car was a mid-sized sedan-good on gas, efficient and boring enough for the everyday commute without attracting notorious traffic police who are eager to give out speeding tickets on the main boulevard. One Friday morning, while leaving out the house to go to work, I noticed that there was bird poop on the Audi cover, so I snatched it off so it could be rinsed off with a water hose. I did not have time to do that morning, so I figured I would get back to it later after work.

After work, I did not come home right away. I decided to have a few drinks at the bar before heading home. When I got home, I figured I would be driving the car the next morning, which is when I would go ahead and clean the cover as well- so I thought. So, I went in the house, got in bed, and slept well through the night.

The next morning, I woke up and went downstairs to get a glass of water. Before I could put the glass to my mouth, my peripheral vision caught a glimpse of something terribly wrong. The sun was beaming on the pavement. The section of pavement in the driveway where my Audi Q5 usually sits. Why do I see the pavement and not the car? Where is my car?

Just as quick at the glass hit the floor, I was out the door, standing in the driveway- stunned and confused at the same time. I looked around to see if anyone was witnessing this travesty of a crime, not a person or sign of my car in sight. I went inside, grabbed my phone and called the police to report my stolen car. I could not believe what was happening because not only did I live in a nice neighborhood where things like this rarely happen, but also I never heard a sound through the night and could not see how anyone got away without me hearing something. I would have surely given those thieves a fight for their life they would have never gotten away with my car.

The police arrived, ready to protect and serve, and I was still in shock and appalled. I thought of all the places my car could be by now, the condition it could be in. It made me sick to my stomach just imagining my sweet baby Audi coming home in numerous pieces, complete with a body in the trunk. Just the type of trouble I needed in my life.

But do you want to know the kicker? When the police saw the car cover on the ground while taking the report, he had the audacity to ask me if there were Audi car covers on the car when it was stolen. I paused before answering; remembering how last night was the first time ever I left the cover off and promising that it would be the last.

I could not even say yes verbally, immediately feeling a sense of shame and fault. The officer looked at me, emotionless, shook his head in disapproval then continued to write- completely unbothered by my nightmare. Then, he looked up from his notepad and told me this was the third car reported in this area, explaining that they think the rash of thefts were related. Then, just as calmly as he had been speaking, he proceeded to tell me that all of the car owners reported their car stolen had left their cars uncovered and that he believed that was exactly what the thieves were looking for- unprotected cars that were easy targets for joyriding.

I asked the officer “So are you saying that there is a chance that my car would not have been stolen if it had been covered?” The officer said bluntly, almost as if reading from a manual, “Car covers are actually considered effective theft deterrents sir. It is harder for a criminal to scope out the vehicle when they cannot see what is inside.”

“But I didn't have much inside for them to steal besides the radio!” I was actually thinking this and did not mean to say it, but it came out before I knew it.

That is when he said the one thing I will never forget. “Just like it takes you a few minutes to get the cover on, it takes a few minute to get it off. Do not underestimate the value of car covers sir. The Q5 car covers would have kept your car here even if there were cash and jewelry in the car because only you would have known what was in there, and the thieves would not have been likely to take the risk of finding out. In the end, your car is somewhere in the street sir. But don't worry; we will do our best to find it.”