Salim Bhabhrawala is used to the occasional neighborhood crime. There was a homicide around the corner a few weeks ago, and an arson nearby just last week. Lately, cops have swarmed his area of NoMa, where he’s resided for four years. But despite their increased, roaming presence, they could not protect Bhabhrawala from becoming the victim of a crime so unexpected and brazen, he felt the need to share his story with the city.
“Over the weekend on Friday/Saturday night between approximately 11:30p and 8:30am, about 3 or 4 gallons of gas were stolen from my vehicle,” he wrote this morning to the Metropolitan Police Department First District listserv.
Around 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, Bhabhrawala left his home, near the corner of 3rd and M Streets, Northeast. He got into his car, turned the key in the ignition, and noticed that his fuel level was low.
“I knew immediately that something was wrong because I had about a half tank the night before. I got out of the car and noticed that my gas tank was open and my garden hose was gone,” he wrote.
He quickly found “about 90 percent of my garden hose,” a cut section, by an abandoned liquor store around the corner, Bhabhrawala said in an interview this morning. Putting two and two together, he figured out that his own hose had been utilized to siphon out his gas. He didn’t call the police, but he mentioned the incident to his neighbors and decided to post a note on the listserv just “to see if it happened to anyone else.” (So far, no responses.) He also promptly visited a nearby AutoZone to buy a locking fuel cap.
So, is this karmic retribution for his gas-guzzling ways?
For his part, Bhabhrawala wanted to clarify that he doesn’t commute to work, and probably drives no more than 6,000 to 7,000 miles annually.
Later, he adds: “It’s not a huge deal. It’s not like I feel like I’m the victim of some massive crime. I just think it’s funny for $15 bucks of gas for someone to go through all this energy and effort. I can’t imagine if they got caught.”