A personal violation

Maria Garriott’s commentary "It was just a purse — or was it more?" (Nov. 1) described having her car broken into and her purse stolen. I can identify with her experience and her feelings.

My wife and I recently returned from a three-week visit to Madrid and surrounding cities in Spain, including Segovia, where we stayed six days. During that time we rented a car and stayed in an apartment in the historic old town. There was extremely limited parking, which forced us to leave our car in a free public lot on the edge of town and walk from there.

On our last day we walked out to get the car and found the passenger side window gone and glass everywhere. Our GPS was also gone. On the seat was a form telling us where the police station was located to file a report. We spoke to a couple of policemen in the area and they seemed not to care.

We called the rental car office and they said they would send over a tow truck and a replacement vehicle. Fortunately, for the first time ever we had taken out tire and glass insurance so the damage was covered. We did get charged a $60 "Damage Admin Fee” and a fuel charge on the first car since we weren't able to fill it prior to the damage. All seemed to be business as usual for them.

While it did cause a delay in our trip and the loss of our GPS, no one was hurt and damage was minimal. The worst is that it has the feel of a personal attack, but we will get over it. An unfortunate lesson was that the little rental car stickers on the front and back windows likely act as rental car identifiers to thieves and targets. That’s why we recommend travelers take out the extra tire and glass insurance on their rental vehicles.

Ronald S. Kolessar

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