Aug 23, 2012

You're Not Going to Believe This Story...

(post edits in red)
I'll try to be succinct, but we all know that's hard for me...

Yesterday morning Doug's car was stolen while he was surfing.  He had hidden the key in one of the wheel wells and our theory was that someone saw him do it and took the car.  Evidently it's common for car thieves to target surfers because they know the car will be unattended for awhile.  (This is the first time he's ever done that.  And obviously, the last.)

Unfortunately, along with the car, he lost his i-Phone, i-Pad and wallet.  (And tennis racket, gym bag, and wet suit but for some reason I don't care about those particular items.)  SO, thanks to some helpful Facebook tips last night, we installed and remotely activated an app called "Find My iPhone".   Unfortunately, it only works if the phone is powered on and connected to the Internet, and as of last night, it wasn't.  Around 4:30 this morning, Doug got out of bed and called his phone--it still went straight to voice mail.

Then this afternoon we caught a break.  I took my kids to school for their reading assessments (school starts Monday.) and while I waited outside messing with my phone, I called Doug's number.  It rang. (instead of going straight to voicemail.)

I checked the "Find My iPhone" app and BAM, a map came up pin-pointing the location of the phone.
I pulled out the policeman's business card from the day before.  They connected me to the detective assigned to the case, and he asked me to e-mail him a screen shot of the map I had on my phone--which I did.  A few minutes later, the phone was turned off.

Two hours later, the phone was back on-line in the same place.  Doug called the detective to ask if anyone had been out to investigate.  He said local police had not been to the location yet.  And then the phone started moving.

So Doug decided to take my phone and go check it out himself.  (Because he's brave and manly and possibly a little touched in the head.)  His plan was simply to drive by and see if his car was parked on the street.  As he drove, the location of the phone changed and he went to the new location but didn't see our car.  About the same time, a police officer randomly came down the street.  Doug flagged him down and told him our story.  As they were talking, a car in a nearby alley/parking lot started pulling out.  The police officer went over and stopped it.  Within a few moments, he had pulled his gun and had three or four "very sketchy looking dudes" in cuffs.  They had Doug's phone in the car with them.

And Doug watched the whole thing from across the street and took pics and video with my phone.
Gus:  "Are you crazy?"
"I wouldn't say crazy. Maybe an eccentric who looks good in jeans."

Woah.  We ARE Shawn and Gus.
Shawn:  I'm Shawn Spenstar and this is by partner, Gus "TT" Showbiz. Gus:  The extra T is for extra talent.

No word yet on the i-Pad or our car, but I'm THRILLED we may sorta in a round-about way be responsible for some bad guys going to jail.  Actually, I'm just going to assume we single handedly toppled a huge crime syndicate and have now started the ball rolling to stop all crime in Southern California.  Go us!

Hooray for savvy Facebook friends (Christian!) and hooray for cool i-Phone apps!

*Post Edit:  

After identifying his phone and leaving it with the cops, Doug came home.  Someone at work had given him free tickets to the circus.  We decided he would take the three oldest boys and our two nieces and I would stay home with Gray.  While he was driving down town, (around 6 p.m.) a detective called him.  One of the scum bags in custody said the car had been ditched a few blocks from where it was stolen.  The detective said we could go look for it because it might take the cops awhile to get to it.  

Doug considered coming back but I told him to just go and I would look for the car.  I called my sister for a ride.  (Doug had our mini-van.) We got some sweet neighbor girls to come watch Gray and went car hunting.  At the same time, Laura told her fabulous father-in-law Larry and he very kindly started combing the neighborhood in his car.  We were getting a little frustrated but said a little prayer for help and kept looking.  We crossed a busy street and some rail road tracks and started looking farther inland.  

And we found it!  There was much squealing and cheering when we discovered it on the side of the road, in sort of a desolate area, undamaged and unlocked.
Found it!!!  And the sun is setting...

The detective told Doug that if we found it, we shouldn't touch it.  Just call the cops.  So we called the cops, didn't touch it or even open it, told Larry where we were, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally I called the dispatcher back.  I said we were in a sketchy part of town, it was getting dark, and I needed to get back to my kid.  They basically said recovering stolen cars is very low priority, that calls were backed up, and they couldn't tell us if it would be 30 minutes or 3 hours.

At that point, Laura and I decided to drive home, look for the spare key, (which, Doug told me later, doesn't exist.) and grab Baby Tired Hyper Nekkid Two-Year-Old Gray.  Thankfully, FIL Larry offered to stay with the car in case an officer showed up.  He was our Knight in Shining Armor last night!
Waiting and waiting in Aunt LaLa's car!

Right after we got back, an officer did arrive.  He got the low down and then started "processing" the car.  He was very kind and helpful.  He dusted it for finger prints and swabbed for DNA.  (Totally cool since Laura and I consider ourselves crime scene experts based on our *television viewing habits.)
Dusting for prints...

At one point the officer asked me to come look and see if The Bad Guys had left any evidence.  They had not.  (Besides all of their fingerprints--dummies.)  They DID however leave Doug's Book of Mormon on CD set, his San Diego temple schedule, his 249 empty water bottles, his stack of 700 business cards, his nail clippers and toothpicks and OH YEAH!  HIS WALLET!  
(You know that's right!)  It was in a closed cup holder in the center console.  You have to push down on the top and it pops open.  It's not terribly obvious, but it's also not exactly hidden.  Clearly, these are not the worlds brightest criminals.  Did I mention it had about $80-$100 cash in it?

His i-Pad, full water bottles, (stealing cars makes you thirsty) gym bag, (stupid expensive running shoes!) tennis racket, (it was old and he needs a new one anyway) and wet suit (it was warm so he wasn't wearing it that day) were all gone.  (Remember the cops had already recovered his i-Phone.)  

(His next wet suit will have a pocket or hook for a car key.)

Later we found out from the detective that the i-Pad had been pawned.  (And probably his tennis racket and wet suit too.)  Evidently they're going to try to track it down today.  I'm wondering if we'll have to do that too. 

So that's the whole story.  Up to this point.  (Friday morning.)

Doug is working with AAA to figure out how to get a new key to his car so we can bring it home.  (Yes, we had to lock it up and leave it last night--covered in fingerprint dust because the one key to it is gone.)

He'll be able to pick his phone up from the police after work today.
I'm sure he'll be on the phone in between every patient today calling and un-cancelling things that were cancelled.

Pretty exciting stuff!!!

I don't think I can go back to folding laundry after this exposure to the seedy underbelly of society.  I'm a changed woman.  I think I need to put my feet up and watch a few hours of Psych re-runs and see if I can hone my skills some more.  I'll let you know if I make any more startling discoveries.

P.S.  Doug says we're buying a gun.  I demand a pink one of my own with a bra holster.  Totes saw the perfect one on Pinterest.

(And thanks to a friend boy in college I already know how to shoot and I'm quite good!  Long live that "right to bare arms" amendment--whichever one that is!!!  2nd?  Clearly I'm Shawn--not Gus.)

And they all lived happily ever after!!!
("I've heard it both ways.")

*Laura loves "Border Wars" and I was a big fan of "CSI" back in the day--and am still a fan of "NCIS".  We both love "Psych" which obviously has adequately trained us to be professional detectives.

P.P.S.  Shawn Spencer: Oh, you mean my pilot's license? That's out back in the Cessna. Or perhaps you're referring to my license to kill. Revoked. Trouble at the Kazakhstan border. I could give you the details but then I'd have to kill you, which I can't do because my license to kill has been revoked.


Kylie said...

Okay, that is just awesome. :)

Linz said...

Woo!! Way to be all detective-y!! Awesome!!!

the other Sampsons said...

Yay! I'm glad you guys succeeded!!! Way to go. Christian is thrilled :)
Naomi & Christian

Mark P. said...

You are certainly much closer to finding the car, now that the police have the guys who stole or purchased the stolen phone.

Wes and Tami said...

Em, you guys are my heroes! I thought, and Tami said, as we read this on FB that Doug's course of action is exactly what I would have done. I feel totally valdidated in rushing into rash action with no plan for the near future thansk to you guys. You guys are taking a bite out of crime...

mountainmama said...

You are Shawn and Gus! Very cool story. Just want to know did you go get twice baked nacho's afterwards?

acte gratuit said...

Wes, I know you would have been right there with him if you'd been here. (Morons.) ;)

And Anna: Laura and I treated ourselves to Hot Fudge Sundaes from McDonalds on the way home. (I don't normally like McD's, but their sundaes are DELICIOUS!)
Too bad we weren't in Santa Barbara. We could have gone for the nachos!

Beeswax said...

Nothing good like that ever happens in Gilbert. Congratulations!

Nathan said...

lol! Bare arms!!!