This Only Happens to the “Other Guy”

Randy cooney color
By P.R. “Randy” Cooney
Publisher of the Arizona Journal of Real Estate & Business


It’s Saturday, December 20th 2014 and I’m up at 5:00 a.m., pretty standard. This particular day is a bit different than most – it’s my birthday. I’m feeling good about a lot of things, one of which is to be able to drive my own vehicle again. Four weeks earlier, on Thanksgiving, I was rear-ended and my car had been in the body shop. I step into the garage to start-up my recent, fully repaired vehicle to make a quick run to Circle K. Backing out, I reach for the remote garage door opener, yikes it’s not there, I must have left it in the rental car the day before. No big deal, it’s just a short five minute errand – it’ll be OK to leave the garage door open.

I get to Circle K and purchase a green tea – taking about 3 minutes. I head back home, turn on to my street and there in front of the house is a red car.  Who would be visiting me so early to extend birthday wishes?  Turning into the driveway I notice a stranger in my garage who looks like he was just entering or exiting my home. I jump out of the car to ask what he’s doing? He explains that he lost his dog and thought maybe it was here – I said, “no, you were coming out of my house!” He insisted he’s looking for his dog and claims he’s a neighbor from around the corner.  Suspecting he was trying to find a lot more than a canine, I tell him I’m going to call the police. On that note, he jumps in his car, takes off and I jump in mine to pursue him.  At this point, I’m uncertain if he had time to take anything from my home. I reach for the iphone to call 911, oh no, I left it inside my house – for it was only going to be a five minute convenient store run.   

I lock-in on his license plate numbers while making a quick u-turn and race back to my house to get my  phone – thank goodness it’s still there.  I rush back to my car and by now the suspect is out of sight. I call 911 and describe the suspect, the car and give them the license plate number. I let the operator know that I’m currently driving around looking for the fleeing vehicle and may need some “back-up.” Three minutes into the call, the operator requests that I stay on the line with her and orders me to stop looking for the suspect and return home. When I get back, the police are there in force. They informed me that the car with the license plate numbers I gave them had been stolen a few hours earlier and the driver was wanted for several things – so much for helping this so called neighbor rescue “Rover.”

As the officers walk with me through my house, I’m feeling relief that nothing seems to be taken and I feel very blessed that the would-be home intruder and I didn’t have any sort of altercation in the dark garage — for it is my personal preference, NOT to have the ending of my life be the very same date it originated on.

In hind-sight a few “take-away” lessons:

1. Always take mobile phone with you – you never know when you’ll need it.

2. If you’re in a similar situation be vigilant about observation. I’m amazed what I didn’t notice once I was asked a lot of questions.

3. SHUT THE GARAGE DOOR – ALWAYS. It can happen to YOU in minutes, not just to the other guy.

Randy Cooney is the Publisher for The Arizona Journal of Real Estate & Business, the President of the Success Institute and a licensed Real Estate Broker. Randy can be reached at 480-946-7576 or at To advertise in Arizona’s largest real estate publication, go to, journal publications tab to request a media kit.