While shopping at the Escazu feria (farmers’ market), my wife, Jeni, noticed her purse was gone. She quickly retraced her steps through the market while I used FindMyPhone app to locate her phone and purse. I located her phone up the mountain in San Antonio, so we set out looking for it. As I approached the block where the phone was, I thought, this is stupid. If a criminal stole her purse, how am I going to confront them? Bust down their door? We met a friendly shop owner who called the police, and they arrived fairly quickly.
I do not understand police procedures in Costa Rica, but they seemed to indicate they could not help me until I went to San Jose and filed a criminal complaint. All the time I kept thinking Jeni’s phone battery is going to die or the possible thieves are going to realize they could be tracked and I will lose the signal. Eventually, with the help of another shop owner who translated for me, I convinced the police the purse might be lost, not stolen, so we should go now and see if someone is trying to return it instead of filing a complaint. They agreed and I rode in the back of the police car, which is much more comfortable and less intimidating than the back of US police cars. I don’t think they knew what to make of my GPS tracking. Ticos use physical directions instead of street addresses and do not seem to love maps like I do, so we made a few wrong turns as I called out street numbers where the phone was located. I began to think it was going to be a failure. The Apple app is only accurate to within a block, and Tico houses in town are tightly packed. Surely we would not go door to door. After we got out of the car, the police strapped on their vests and had their guns ready, and I felt like I was in an episode of Cops. I couldn’t believe they let a civilian come along, and I wondered if I would be involved in a shootout. We walked up and down the alley ways until the policeman saw a woman working in her yard and told her the gringo lost his phone and they were trying to locate it. She replied that her son found a purse on the bus and was trying to contact the owner. Her son then brought out the purse and phone and I thanked everyone for their help. Meanwhile, Jeni stayed with the boutique owner and noticed the shop has some lovely clothes. Additionally, the owner is very attractive, so Jeni asked her where she gets her hair and nails done. The woman immediately called and set up an appointment with a neighbor she always uses, so that’s another item checked off our list of services to find. So, today, we are grateful for: FindMyPhone (which works but is not perfect); the helpful Escazu police; the friendliness and honesty of responsible people; and the discovery of a good clothing shop and hair/nail salon! The outcome of losing Jeni’s purse was so much better than I first predicted.
My wife was so happy with the haircut