Stolen Penske Trucks: How My Neighbor Makes a Living

A Post By: Michael Gallo

To say that I live in an odd apartment building would be an understatement.  It’s absolutely bizarre.  From the outside, it looks like a warehouse and the inside isn’t much better.  The rooms themselves are nice, but the hallway outside looks like a run down strip mall and looks like what I imagine all dentist’s offices look like in Manhattan, KS.  Ew, thinking about that place is making my stomach hurt.

As if the building wasn’t enough, I also live in a very odd “situation”.  I live in a very “ethnic community”.  Living next to my neighbors is like living in a Tyler Perry movie.  The woman to my right is about 60 years old and the aunt of the lady diagonal from me, who is the cousin of the woman to my left.  Each woman has about 6 kids who also have grand kids.  These kids come over every morning and night (they may never leave, but I’m at work during the day so I’ll never know) and they love to sing gospel music on the weekends.  I’m the only white person.

While this hasn’t spawned a successful rap career, it does make for some entertainment.  Like when my neighbor’s two sons got into a fist fight in the public laundry room.

Alright, so technically I’m not the only white person.  The person across the hall from me is an old Greek guy, but he just smokes in our indoor gazebo (yeah, you read that right, sits in the middle of the hall) and does laundry all the time.

Sometime, I’m going to ask for his take on the eurozone crisis.  He’s always wearing Green Bay Packers pajama pants…

But the best part of our apartment building is the creepy knock off Penske truck that sits in the parking lot all day long.  As soon as it gets dark, the van is gone.  Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but this van is shady.  The following picture is the actual van:

This van definitely raises a few questions.  Like, how is this guy driving this giant ass van without license plates?  Did he take the bottom piece off for more speed?  Why did he scratch the number off of the side?  Where did he “acquire” this van?

This morning, as I was walking out of my apartment building,the Penske truck came screeching into the parking lot, swerved to the left, and then backed into the corner where it would remain for the next 12 hours.  I stood, stuck in place.  Finally, the driver got out of the van.  It was a black guy who appeared to be between 60 and 70 years old.  He limped by me, said, “howzadunnigoomoonin” and then walked into the apartment.  I waited till he was gone and took a picture of the van with my cellphone.  My neighbor was easily doing 50 when he came into the parking.  If I ever saw this van coming at me I would run the opposite direction.

What’s he doing with this van?  Why is it only gone at night, and why does it have all of these odd “modifications?”  The obvious conclusion to jump to is that he’s stealing stuff (cause of the hours, not because of his race). But I think there’s more to this.  I think what we have here is a real life Mystery Machine.

I have 4 guesses as to what he does with the van:

1.   He’s a moving fairy.  Whenever people are moving and have their stuff all boxed up, he comes at night while they’re sleeping and moves their stuff to the new location for them! When they people wake up and find their stuff missing, they can jump up and down together and say, “The moving fairy came!”  And then, when they get to their new house and their stuff isn’t there, it will all make sense again.

2.  Unfortunately, in this day and age, old men just CAN’T do what they want with creepy old vans.  Hence why he completely removed the identity and registration and cruises around all night long with his friends in the back playing poker.  Doesn’t have to deal with the stigma of having a creepy windowless van and him and his buddies get to hang out with out those darn women nagging them all night!  Everyone wins!  Until he backs it up to a convenience store and rips the atm out of it.

3.  This:

That was from Jackass.  That clip is in Japanese.  You’re welcome.

4.  You know how some people work out of the office?  Maybe he can’t find the time or enough peace and quiet at home, so he has set up an office in the back of his van.  He’s like a mobile accountant, who keeps track of how much money he’s made off of stolen car parts.

Ah fuck it, he just robs places and steals shit.


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