If you haven’t read my post about it already, I was robbed on Monday. The kids (hereafter referred to as the douchebags or the dbs) who stole from me were apprehended by the police and taken into custody. More on that another time (when I stop being angry, perhaps). My phone was not recovered by the police.
A few people had tried calling me and had let me know that someone had answered my phone when it rang. The police had also tried to answer the phone, and it was answered by a young-sounding girl who quickly hung up.
On Monday evening, I noticed that a couple of my email messages had been marked as read that I hadn’t read yet. First it made me a little sick to my stomach to realize that someone was reading my emails… but then I had an idea. If the person who had my phone was a teenage girl who the dbs handed it to while they were running, she might just be scared and not know if she had committed a crime or could be in trouble. She might also just think that she just got a new phone and hooray! So I did the only thing that I thought might connect to her.
I emailed myself.
To Whoever Stole My Phone:
Please give it back to me. I will be much less likely to press charges if I don’t have to pay $200 for a new phone.
The girl who was robbed today
A little while later, I saw that the message was marked as read. I realized that perhaps I hadn’t done enough. And, if you know me, being proactive and feeling like I’m doing something and not just helpless is important.
So I emailed myself again:
To Whoever Has My Phone:
You did not steal the phone from me–the people who did have been taken into custody. Please just give it to the police–or to anyone–so that I can have it back. There are a lot of photos of my children that I don’t have saved anywhere else. Please do the right thing. There were so many witnesses to this crime that the guys will get in trouble regardless. If you give the phone back, I will NOT press charges against you.
There might even be a reward if you do.
The girl whose phone was stolen today
When I saw that that had been read, I wrote one last email:
To Whoever Has My Phone:
I can tell that you’re checking my email. The police can tell too.
You could take the phone to the Art of Pizza (on Nelson and Ashland) and tell the guys in there that you found it and that they can call the home number and return it to its owner. Or take it to the Jewel on Ashland and Wellington and bring it to their customer service department.
You do not need to get into trouble for a crime that you did not commit. I did not deserve to have my phone stolen from me, and you may not deserve to go to jail for stumbling on stolen merchandise. If you are found to be in possession of it, you are committing a crime and will go to jail. If you return it, you will NOT get into any trouble.
Please do the right thing.
The girl whose phone was stolen today.
I never heard anything back, but all the messages were read. When that last one was read, I changed my email password so she couldn’t access anything else.
Tuesday morning I woke up and suspended my cell phone service. And then I got online and checked my wireless account. The girl had answered a number of calls from my friends and family, and had placed a few calls as well. In addition, she had texted some people–I specifically noticed that she had texted a person who had texted back, and she had responded to that number again. I, in a fit of perverse interest in hearing the voices of people who were close to something that was mine, called some of the numbers. I only got voicemails, but I was hoping to narrow it down to an age range somehow.
A little while later, I got a phone call on my home phone. When I answered, a woman asked who had called her from this number. I explained the situation to her, and said that I had gotten her number from my cell phone records which showed that she had been texting with the person who currently has my phone. She looked through the records and said that someone had texted her asking about a person she knew, she had responded asking who was texting her, and the girl with my phone texted her back with her name.
I asked the woman if she’d tell me the name so that I could get my phone back. She told me that she’d get it back for me. She said she’d get it from the girl after school, and that she’d call me at 4 so we could arrange to meet for me to pick it up. I asked if she was sure, and said that we could involve the police if she wanted. She didn’t want.
So, after school I waited by the phone. Finally it rang, and the woman told me that she was waiting for the girl to bring the phone to her house and she’d call me later when she had it. Two hours later, still no call.
But then she called Kullervo at his office and on his cell, and they arranged a pickup. So, when Kullervo got home from work, he changed his clothes and drove out to the neighborhood where these people lived, and they handed him my phone. (Yes, he took measures to be safe.) They also gave some bullcocky story about not knowing it was stolen and blah blah blah. I didn’t care–I just wanted my phone back (and at the time, I thought that the people who stole it from me were going to be punished).
So, aside from a day with no phone (which is much more fun if it’s done voluntarily, by the way), and the fact that they deleted all 682 of the pictures that I had on my phone (and all of the texts that they sent as well), I have my phone back. They kept my headset, which is annoying, but much less expensive than an iPhone. My phone is turned back on, and the fact that I have it back makes the injustice of the juvenile justice system sting less.