77. This Story Went Viral
My first car was a 1984 Jeep CJ7, a pretty sweet ride for a dirt-poor teenager in the 90s. I was working midnights at a gas station and loaned it to my brother, who was taking a date to a party. I got a call around 1 am from my brother, who told me he had left the keys in the Jeep, and it was stolen. I was devastated.
I was still on the phone with my brother when the thieves pulled my Jeep into my gas station to fill up. As luck would have it, the gas gauge on my Jeep was broken and always read “empty,” and I worked at the only 24-hour gas station in the area.
I pressed the silent alarm and… proceeded to fill up my Jeep (it was a full-serve station). When the thieves were out of the truck, I saw an opportunity to slip the key out of the ignition and into my pocket. They paid for the gas and argued amongst each other about who had the keys last.
The delay was enough for the police to arrive. I had to explain the story to the officer half a dozen times before he understood. The thieves had this stunned look of disbelief on their faces I’ll never forget.
The cops were belly-laughing, telling the story to dispatch, all the while, the thieves sat in cuffs in the back of the squad car. The story made most of the major newspapers the following day.