OT: I hate thieves

First, I know it is my fault.

I accidentally left my phone in a public restroom. I realized my error within 3 or 4 minutes. Went back, it was gone. It wasn’t turned in. I have a app on it where I can track it from my computer, so once I got back to the office I tried to track it. It won’t work if it is turned off. Of course it is turned off. That means who ever has it is trying to keep it.

Really people? :evil:

That’s the worst feeling. I had a nice pair of sunglasses stolen when I forgot them at a restaurant in Waco during the 2012 super regional. I went back within 15 minutes and they were gone. Fortunately that was before I wore prescription sunglasses. I’d be in big trouble if that happened today.

I hate people who do stuff like that, too. But I also have great faith in the human race for so many reasons that are good. I know lots of stories of people working to get something returned.

Here is a story that I’m proud about. My friend Todd Butler and I were fly fishing on the Norfork River some 10 years ago. We were walking up an island. We stumbled upon a fly rod covered in grass and moss. It was perfect other than needing a little water and a paper towel to wipe it clean.

It was a top end fly rod with a name engraved, probably $850. There was a high end reel, probably $500.

Todd had a cheap Redington, a starter fly rod. The idea of him getting a grand rod/reel combo was definitely a thought.

But what we agreed to do was hunt the owner. First thing, we cleaned it up and found that it was in perfect working order. It had probably been in the water maybe one day (the generation covered that island on most days, but it was exposed on no generation like the day we fished).

Since it was engraved, we thought we had a good shot at finding the owner and eventually we did. It just took about six weeks.

First, I called the manufacturer since they had engraved it on a special order. We got that name and traced the sale to North Carolina. The person who bought it couldn’t be found. I began to think Todd was going to get a new rod.

Then, I put a note on an Arkansas fly fishing forum, with the name. Bingo, that was a hit. About two weeks later a man in Oklahoma City was reading the forum, actually about to write a note detailing how his son had dropped it in a high water fishing trip with a Cotter guide. The resulting email confirmed the owner. He’d bought it from another man five years prior, the man who had it engraved when first built.

So we arranged to ship the rod and reel to the rightful owner. And, the good news, he then purchased a new reel (high dollar) to give to Todd Butler as the reward for helping get the rod/reel combination back to the right man.

The real great news is that the son was relieved. There’s nothing like the guilt of a 14-year-old when he realizes he’s lost (probably forever) his dad’s favorite rod and reel. That was something we were glad to erase. Happy ending.

I’ve seen someone drop a $20 bill in a parking lot, raced and given it back. I’ve seen someone forget to unload everything from a shopping basket as they returned it. Maybe something was in the bottom rack, a large package of dog food. I have alerted the shopper to go back and get it.

We all do these type of things. It makes me feel good to do them. And, I bet many on here are the same way. Keep it up. There is good in the human race. It’s all around us.

Clay’s story reminds me of an event in my own life. On my first trip to Germany I stopped at an ATM in Frankfurt to get some cash. Brain-locked and left the card in the machine. Fortunately I realized it almost immediately and returned to the ATM. And there was my card, sitting on top of the ATM. I would have had some major problems if that card disappeared (not that there was all that much money there to be raided).

A bunch of my family recently went to Peru. There were strikes throughout the country, and we were on a train leaving Machu Picchu, when the tracks were blocked and we were all kicked off the train and told we had to get our luggage and walk to the next town, which was Ollantaytambo. They told us it was about 5 miles, but it turned out we were about 12-14 miles away. On a hot, dusty dirt road.

We pulled the bags for several miles, but we managed to catch a ride on the back of a potato truck, along with about 50 other people. Then we got kicked off again (road block), and after a short walk, some enterprising people from town started showing up to offer rides into town for a few bucks. The sex of us crammed into a tiny station wagon, and it took us into town. We looked like a clown car unloading all of us and our bags, and I quickly laid down my iPhone and a bottle of water on a table at an outside cafe so I could help with the bags.

We walked across town (it’s not very big) and back to our hotel, and when we were in the lobby, I did my usual pat down for wallet, passport, and iPhone. That’s when I remembered that I had laid the phone down on the table. My daughter and I left the hotel to walk back across the town. It had been over 30 minutes, and I was hoping someone had turned it in to the cafe owners. One problem was there were several cafes all in a row, And they all looked the same. They seemed to share the tables. But we walked right back to the cafe and there was my iPhone and water bottle still sitting exactly where I left it.

On a tour on the Incan ruins there, a tour guide told us there was no crime in the town. They depended on tourism, and it was their own code or law that if anybody stole anything, especially from a tourist, they would be kicked out of town.

We’ve all heard of being shortchanged by cashiers and that’s upsetting. But it’s just as upsetting to the cashier if she over changes and comes up short at the end of the night. Do that too often in some places and you start having to fork over the difference out of your own pocket. My wife, knowing that, will go out of her way to make sure she returns any extra money given back to her. Oftentimes, she may not realize it until she gets home, but she will drive back–sometimes 18 to 20 miles–to give back an extra dollar. I am extremely proud when she does that. We could use the extra money, whether it’s a dollar or 10 dollars, but we both figure the cashier could use the job more.

About 25 years ago, my wife dropped a $1,000 tennis bracelet, that had been an engagement gift from me, in the bathroom at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport. She didn’t miss it until we were gone from the airport and at lunch nearby and was really upset. We drove like mad back to the airport and she ran to a security station that was close to that bathroom, this was when you could still go to the gate before 9/11. Sure enough, somebody had turned it in. So there are a few good folks in the world.

Last spring while driving from Gulf Shores, AL to San Diego we stopped at a rest stop somewhere way out in west Texas. A couple was parked nearby and was preparing to drive away when I noticed a money clip had fallen from the gentleman’s pocket as he closed their trunk. I picked it up and noticed it had several hundred dollars in it. I ran after them, tapping on the car and when they stopped I handed him the money. The look on his face was a nice reward, the look on his wife’s face was priceless. (Fellas, we’ve all gotten that look when we’ve done something stupid and followed that up by something dumber.) I’ve felt good about that day ever since and always get a chuckle when I think of the look of reproach on his wife’s face.

When I was in high school, for some reason I had several $2 bills. I will never forget going through a Dairy Queen and ordering an ice cream cone (I think it cost less than a $1 back then!) and handing the lady a $2 bill. She started giving me all this change. I finally figured out she thought it was a $20. My 17 year old self was tempted for about a second to take the money she was giving me, but, thank goodness, I looked at her and said, “Look at what I gave you.” She looked at it again, and looked at me confused. I think she still thought it was a $20 (she might not have ever seen a $2 before). I finally said, “I gave you a $2 bill.” We finally got the change right and off I went.

Had your ice cream melted? :smiley: