I don’t typically write about my daily life here, but this story is too good to pass up.

My wife and I drove to West Newton last Saturday. We parked in front of Harris Cyclery and went to the Farmers Market, followed by L’Aroma and then Sweet Tomatoes. All in all, it was a flavorful way to spend part of our Saturday.

But when we got back to my car, about 90 minutes later, there was an unsigned note on my dashboard from a good citizen saying my car was in a hit and run. Unfortunately, the note writer only caught three letters of the vehicle’s New Hampshire plate (“I can’t remember the rest… It was a light-colored older station wagon…figured I’d let you know.”)

The damage on my sideswiped Prius didn’t seem significant. I thought it might be a couple hundred dollars (later I learned it was $1,181.51).

At first, I wondered if I should even bother filing a report.

But by the time I got home I decided I should call it in.

Fifteen minutes later, Newton Police Officer Adam Gabriel was at my front door.

I told Officer Gabriel what happened, showed him the note and told him that I realized this was a long shot and had even hesitated to report it. The officer agreed; he didn’t have a lot to go by. And who knew where this car with New Hampshire plates was by now. But he said he’d talk to the people at Harris and see if anybody saw anything.  He said he’d call me only if he learned anything.

I never expected to hear from him.

Less than a hour later, my phone rang.

It was Officer Gabriel.  

He had found the white Subaru Outback that had sideswiped my car. It was parked in the municipal lot, not far from the, uh, scene of the crime.

Gabriel then waited there (they call that a stakeout, right?) until the Subaru’s owner came back.  Long story short: the fellow confessed to hitting my Prius and driving off.  

Crime solved. In less than an hour.

My appreciation to Officer Gabriel and our Newton Police.