The Doom Wagon

My friend Doc Russia has a fixation about being prepared for any eventuality.  His gun collection is, shall we say, comprehensive — so much so that the last time he rode out with the North Texas SWAT team (a gig he volunteers for, uncompensated), he arrived with his latest toys and one of the guys burst out:  “Damn, Doc!  You’ve got better gear than we have.”  And it’s true.

One of the things that the SWAT guys need is transportation for the emergency doctor who rides out with them — to be more specific, transportation for Doc’s successor, because of course, Doc’s ride (which we his friends dubbed the “Doom Wagon”) could probably not only survive a nuclear blast, but also outlast the cockroaches which would survive that.  Even Keith Richards would shake his head and give up.

For those who are interested in such things, it’s a Toyota 4Runner, although after he’d finished with the mods, it looked like nothing Toyota ever dreamed of.  Here are a couple pics, just for you to get the idea:

All this came from Doc’s need to be prepared for any eventuality:  it’s a bugout wagon par excellence, and as you can see from the latter pic, it carries spare fuel (it has to, ‘cos it be thirsty, mon).  Also inside is a giant medical bag, to save lives, and to take lives (if necessary), a semi-auto rifle in a hidden compartment and a spare Glock 17 in the glove box, along with shall we say an adequate  sufficiency of ammo for both.  Alert Readers will have seen the light bar, and the snorkel for deep-water fording, but would not have seen the massive steel underbody plate, the beefed-up adjustable suspension or the built-in air compressor (to be able to re-inflate a tire in case of a puncture).

So much do the SWAT guys covet this beast that Doc promised to transfer it over to them should he ever have to quit the gig, so his replacement would have its full use.  (It’s even deeded to N. Texas SWAT in his will.)

I don’t know why I’m using the present tense in all this, because last week the Doom Wagon was stolen out of the hospital parking garage while Doc was on duty in the ER.  According to an eyewitness, it wasn’t gone in sixty seconds;  the pro team of thieves (which it must have been) only needed about half  that before driving off in it.

So while Doc was saving lives in the emergency room, some fucking bastards stole his truck.

He’s insured, of course, but that’s not the point.  I’ve been with him almost all the way in his quest to create the perfect utility vehicle — we’ve sat and talked and argued about this option versus that option, weighing cost vs. performance vs. utility and so on — and in the end, all for nothing:  gone to a mope with a crowbar and a screwdriver.

Here’s what’s interesting.  Needless to say, Doc’s medical kit and the two guns with it are also gone, but that’s not what bothers him the most.

You see, his eight-year-old daughter’s favorite water bottle, complete with her name engraved on it, was also in the truck — and when I picked him up from work, he was most upset that he was going to have to explain to her that yes, there are bad people in the world, and because of them, she’ll never see her water bottle again.  It would have been her first experience of evil because like most good parents, he’s tried to shield her from the ugliness as much as he could.  No more.

You don’t  want to hear the details of our revenge fantasies, should we ever lay hands on these bastards.


  1. Some people get on my case because I take a dim view of thieves and would gladly see them whipped until the bones show. People say that’s too harsh, after all it’s only “stuff” which can be replaced. To which I reply that yes, it’s “stuff”. It’s “stuff” I had to work to earn the money to buy, I gave up a portion of my all-too-few hours on this Earth in order to purchase that “stuff”. I will now have to work MORE hours in order to make the money to replace that “stuff”. So they have, in effect, stolen a portion of my life, my existence.

    That’s even before we discuss sentimental value, how do you replace my grandmother’s watch, my father’s wedding ring, MY wedding ring?

    Don’t get my STARTED on scammers, like the one who called a while back insisting that our computer was sending bad data to their server and wanted me to connect to a web site, then called back TWICE when we hung up on him. Considering how many bank accounts that jack wagon likely emptied, being skinned, rolled in salt, dunked into gasoline and set afire is to good for them.

    1. Hear, hear.

      It’s never “just stuff” for people who work for a living.

      It’s the hours you didn’t spend with your grandparents before they passed away.

      It’s the morning your spent in meetings instead of watching your kid learn to walk.

      It’s the evening you had to stay late instead of taking your wife out.

      No. I flat out cannot abide thieves.

  2. I agree with Mark D. Tired of people helping them to stuff that isn’t theirs. We have had a number of car break-ins and garage break-ins in my area. Me thinks one of these helpful folks should be met at 230 am by a concerned citizen packing some heat. Maybe that would at least push those folks to another neighborhood.

    I wonder if your reach as a blogger might help to locate Doc’s vehicle?

    1. I wish. Sadly, the Doom Wagon is SO noticeable, I’m guessing the thing was parked on a lift in a chop shop within half an hour of its theft.

      1. Or just as likely headed for a shipping container bound for the mid-east. A stock vehicle is worth less than the sum of its parts, but a customized vehicle like this wouldn’t be. Being so recognizable means having to get it out of the country ASAP.
        One wonders whether that particular vehicle was targeted by the bad guys.

  3. Doc will either see his vehicle on the news at the site of some shoot out in Mexico between drug lords and/or police/and or military (if you can tell the difference) or he’ll see it on u tube when some nimrod with baggy pants and a sideways ball cap brags about how he’s a bad azz because he ripped this truck off from “the man”. If Doc’s truck is still in Texas the bad guy will hopefully learn that you don’t mess with cops and you definitely don’t mess with the guys who patch up the cops when they’re hurt.

  4. > a semi-auto rifle in a hidden compartment and a spare Glock 17 in the glove box,

    Given that, I would hope (heh!) the police would make finding the thing a priority.

  5. “According to an eyewitness” you say and this witness did nothing? No yelling at the creature(s) or pulling out a gun?

  6. It might still be in Texas but more likely already south of the border after a fast respray in white to blend with the border patrol and sneak across the border. Hope they catch the bastard(s).

  7. A suggestion for Doc and everybody else – buy a stick shift. Most people these days can’t drive one. Bad guy is left wondering how the clutch works. Unfortunately many vehicles are only available as automatics.

  8. As to the replacement:

    * Alarm systems are a complete waste of money, they’re widely ignored, at best.

    * A couple of discreet cut-off switches are quite effective anti-theft devices. One to deny electricity to the electronic ignition pack. A second to deny electricity to the fuel pump.

    They’re not “un-defeatable”, but they can sure as hell slow ’em down badly enough to bail out for greener pastures.

    And if those fail?

    Lo Jack just flat out WORKS. It’s the best odds out there for a successful recovery, even if they haul it off on a flatbed.

    And I do hope that Doc’s friends on the SWAT Team get to make a successful find and recovery on this one.

    I’d imagine that they’d do so with just a BIT extra enthusiasm, flair and elan?

    Gawd, I hope they get it on video. It’d be Pay Per View worthy.

    On second thought…no. This one might be better with no video evidence, whatsoever.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  9. It takes electronic aids to steal it like that. Typically they follow the vehicle with a scanner to record you locking/unlocking it with the key fob. Then, it takes counterfeiting the key’s recognition chip to the column to get it to start and run. The days of smashing a window and using a dent puller to yank out the ignition switch so you can employ a screwdriver to turn it on and start it ended with the 2000 model year, IIRC.

  10. I will note, as a Texas peace officer, that any officer who spots that rig being driven on a public road has probable cause to pull it over – because it lacks a front license plate.

    That’s even without running the plate to see if it’s stolen – Henry John Boy 2247 if I’m reading right.

    I’ll keep an eye out.

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