Illustration by Bob AulMy husband, son and I go down to TJ to shop. We drive our car over the border as we always do—except this time my car is stolen. This is not the bad part. This is the bad part: the Tijuana police tell us to kiss the car goodbye, the San Diego police shrug, the California Highway Patrol will do nothing. So we go to our local Huntington Beach P.D. and finally file a report. (We will never say anything bad about the HBPD again!) Four days later, the HBPD call to say our car has been recovered and we must travel to TJ to get it. So we drive to TJ, talk to THREE different departments—and come home empty-handed: our car is on record, officials in each department say, but we need to go someplace else to retrieve it, and everywhere we go is the wrong place. This is a Thursday. On the following Monday, HBPD calls again to tell us that Mexican police have good news: our car has been found. So my husband's Mexican-American friend drives south to TJ in an attempt to find our car. No luck. Now it's not only missing, but it's not even in the computer: Mexico, it seems, has no record of our car. So back on the familiar 5 freeway we go. Days of searching follow. On a Saturday, my husband and his friend spend all day hunting for the car. And they find it. They see the car. A lady actually takes them into the lot to reveal it—it's in almost perfect shape, missing only the battery and radio. But they cannot take it home, she explains, without proper documents, and that office, the proper-documents office, sadly, is closed. Please come back Monday, she says. You know where I'm heading: on Monday, they go back, and they find . . . nothing. Someone has moved the f@#%ing car!

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