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I play detective, itt
Skeeve
This week I worked at our store on the East side of town. The manager has allergies and they are remodeling, so we swapped stores for two days while they ripped up her floor tiles. Today I came to work and found the bare concrete floor still wet with stain. So I'm already expecting a shitty day. Since customers can't come inside, I know I'll be expected to take their money at the door and tiptoe through the stain for their purchases. Luckily many of the regular customers know this is going on and stay away, but there are still those that insist on going to "their" store.

Anyway, around 8:15AM a truck pulls in with 6 construction workers. I'm basically hanging outside waiting for customers and have my iPhone with me because everyone knows if i don't answer the store phone, I'll answer my cell. So these guys need to pre-pay for some gas, then decide one of them needs a pack of cigarettes. I leave my cell on the window ledge by the front door and ring up the gas, then go outside to get the guys money and I.D. for cigarettes. While I'm getting the smokes, the guy is finished with his gas and I return with change, smokes and I.D. As they pull off, I notice my iPhone isn't on the ledge and swear at myself for leaving it inside, hating having to walk back across the stain to get it. I go back behind the counter and my phone isn't anywhere in sight.
PANIC! Those fuckers just stole my phone! I look up and they're pulling out onto the Hwy 7 and are too far to away to do anything with. Shit.

I call the police so I can get a report for the insurance. I also call our main office and ask our office manager to text my phone with the following message:

"I'm lost, please call XXX-XXXX for a $50.00 reward"

And I tell her, if they show up to collect, call the police. Hehe

I review the security tape and see which one picks up my phone, and plain as day he's on two different cameras. Busted.

Two o'clock rolls around and no word on my phone. So I resign myself to my loss and drive to the AT&T store and they suspend my service so the thief can't explode my bill with international phone calls. This is when my inner detective kicks in. These guys looked like they were heading to a job site and it was some kinda car pool arrangement. I figured if they were going East at 8am or so, then they should be heading West around 4 or 5. I grab some Taco Bell and drive back out to the East side store. I park facing Hwy 7 and wait. And wait. And wait.

4:15PM there they go! Holy shit, I was right! I put it into gear and drive out to the highway. I catch up to within 2 cars from them and follow them, hoping to get close enough for a tag number. We drive into town and they're still going West. After a mile of so of heavy traffic they pull into a grocery store parking lot. There is also a liquor store. Everyone gets out of the truck and goes into the liquor store. The driver and one other guy comes out and leave in the truck. The guy that stole my phone and the other 3 hang out in front of the store for awhile then they pair up and walk away. I creep across the parking lot in my truck, watching. They stop at little convenience store at the corner of the lot. After a few minutes they emerge and go back to the storefront area. I slide up to the convenience store and ask the clerk if he'll let me use the phone to call the police, which he does. When I come back outside, all four guys are nowhere in sight. I drive around the block once and don't see anyone. I see an alleyway near their last location and decide to drive down it to the next street over on a hunch. Sure enough, about 2 blocks North, I see two guys walking away, one of them being the thief.

I head back to the parking lot to see if any cruisers have showed up yet. None to be found. I return to the street and they're still walking North, now about 5 blocks farther along. I return to the parking lot and see two cop cars at the convenience store. I describe the two guy and their last location and the officer tells me to follow them that way. We get to where i last saw them and they have disappeared. So now the two cruisers and myself start circling the neighborhood. I round a corner and see one officer with a guy that looked similar to my thief with his hands behind his head and being frisked. I pull up and tell them that he is not the guy. The let him go with an apology. Back to the circling.

As we were first driving up the street, I noticed a guy sitting on his front porch so I went back to his house and asked if he had seen to Hispanic males walking by. He said he had and that they had crossed the railroad tracks that were just North of his house. Damn, these guys were moving faster than I was counting on. Anyway I drive West 3 blocks or so to the railroad crossing and start crisscrossing the neighborhood. I haven't seen the police cars in awhile and figure we lost the guy. Just as I was about to go back to the first neighborhood and look for the cops, I come around a corner and see 3 cruisers with their lights on and my two guys. Yay!

As I pull up, ad officer comes to my window and asks if these are the guys. I answer yes and park my truck. Here is how it went after I walk up to the two guys in custody:

Me: Hey guys, remember me?

Them, in unison: No, I don't think so.

Me: Sure, about 8:15 this morning, you all pulled into the Phillips 66 and got gas and cigarettes.

One of them: No not us.

Me: I have you on video tape.

Them: Oh yeah! The gas station, yeah we were there.

Me: Where is my phone?

Thief: Um, I gave it to a guy on the job site.

Me: Why did you take it?

Thief: I didn't know who it belonged to, it was just sitting there with nobody around.

This is when one of the officers walks up and cuffs him. Nothing like admitting the crime in front of witnesses. So after filling out some paperwork and signing a citizens arrest warrant against him, they take him to jail and I'm told not to expect getting the phone back since it's probably passed through a few hands by now. Bah, at least the fuckers caught.

I drive to my store for some cigarettes before heading home and Oh My Fucking Gawd!, my phone is sitting on the counter.

There is MORE to this fucking story, LOL.

While I was sitting and watching the highway, the guy that the thief gave the phone to called the number on the reward text. He didn't want the reward, he wanted to make sure the phone got back to the right owner and arranged to meet my boss at the East side store. Just before I saw the truck drive by, my boss had pulled up and went into the store. Before he could come out and talk to me, I was hightailing it out of the parking lot chasing the truck. Anyway, the guy with my phone shows up just minutes after I leave and returns my phone. Since they saw me speed away, they assumed I was following the truck and took my phone to my store and left it with the clerk.

I immediately went to the AT&T store and had it turned back on and all is right with the world again.

I got my phone and the thief is sitting in jail.

I need a beer!
Edited by Skeeve on 05/20/2010 20:11
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
catman
What a story! Whew. I'm amazed that the guy that the thief gave the phone to was so incredibly honest. What a stroke of luck!
 
Theory_Execution
Hmmm, very odd. When my coat got nicked I spent the month after looking for a guy wearing it, I am not sure I would have called the police.

I am still looking out for two tshirts that got robbed 3 years ago (I designed them, they are unique) doubt ill find them tho.
 
seeker
Good job Skeeve. Most times thieves like that get away with it simply because police don't usually regard it as worth their times to really look for them. Often there are just no real clues to even follow up on by the time they get to the scene.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Bob of QF
Wow.... just wow.

Hopefully the thief will get more than just a short jail stay... is not the retail value of an iPhone > $700? If so, I think that escalates it from petty theft to grand larceny-- a stiffer sentence.


Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Hypatia
Excellent work Skeeve, you 'ol gumshoe you. And congratulations on getting your phone back.

I'm kind of surprised the cops took that much of their time to keep looking for the guy. And it really is something that the guy who ended up with the phone was so honest and didn't even want the reward.

Yay. Another happy ending.

Smile



 
derF
OK. Heartless jerk that I may be, upon hearing Skeeves' story and sympathizing with him, appropriately, the other thought that came to mind was that I was amazed that the iPhone didn't have an ap for that situation. Wish I had the computer savvy to develop one!
 
Hypatia
derF wrote:
OK. Heartless jerk that I may be, upon hearing Skeeves' story and sympathizing with him, appropriately, the other thought that came to mind was that I was amazed that the iPhone didn't have an ap for that situation. Wish I had the computer savvy to develop one!


That's a very good point. It would cost a bit more, but why, at this point, can't there be at least an option for a phone GPS feature. These phones are generally pretty expensive, so it seems like it would be worth it.

Of course, that would definitely create more jobs - opportunities for crooks to figure out how to disable the GPS but yet have the phone still be valuable.

[img]http://www.pic4ever.com/images/292.gif[/img] is not a valid Image.
 
Bob of QF
derF wrote:
OK. Heartless jerk that I may be, upon hearing Skeeves' story and sympathizing with him, appropriately, the other thought that came to mind was that I was amazed that the iPhone didn't have an ap for that situation. Wish I had the computer savvy to develop one!


It's an iPhone-- Apple. Why on earth would they add something both so useful and which would reduce the need to buy the latest iPhone....?

<eyeroll>

<evilgrin>
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Skeeve
Actually there is a feature. Of course you have to pay extra for it.

It's called MobileMe, but I wasn't aware when it was offered that it allowed the phone to be GPS tracked. I assumed because it had GPS built-in, they could find it anywhere. I think MobileMe is just an excuse to generate more $$$.

I'm adding it to my service today, if that is what it takes to find my phone if it ever happens again.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
Theory_Execution
All you need do is call up Jack Bower, and hell track it down in under a day, well 23 hours 59minutes and 59 seconds, but whose counting.
 
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