Creeping in the dark hours

Oh troubled times! In an effort to obtain my iPod or its equivalent value, I made an appointment with the boy’s mother (whom I lent it to, and who now “can’t find it.”) The boy didn’t show. I had expected to receive the money from her and be finished with the issue, but instead I was met with fresh questions. During our conversation, the mother asked how Ben has been behaving lately, and she described how Ben has been asking her for money every day, as he is with his brother also. I described how he leaves the guesthouse in the morning, and doesn’t return until late at night. I said that when I needed help, I turned to my family, and so I had hoped that she might pay for the iPod that Ben has “lost.” She said the didn’t have enough money to pay for it, which was unlikely true, but she made it clear that she disapproved of his actions, and that she was finished accepting responsibility for him. He is 30 years old, after all. Apparently, this isn’t the first time he’s been in a lot of trouble. I told the mother that if I can’t get the money from her, then I’ll just go to the police, because I can’t just sit around and waste my time waiting for the thing to show up. She reluctantly agreed that that was the best way forward.

The next stop was the police station. I filled out a police report, and they asked me if I knew where he would be at any time so they could come and “pick” him. Since he usually slept at the guesthouse, I thought the middle of the night would be fine.

Later that night, Ben returned to the guesthouse around 11:00 PM, and I was alerted to this fact by a friend who was studying outside. Since he had come home, I decided to set my alarm for 3:45 and wait until then.

The alarm rang. I hadn’t really slept. I got dressed and crept out of the guesthouse, past the sleeping security guard. I walked down the road a little, and then jogged 5 minutes to the police station. I woke two officers who had been informed of the plan tonight, and they prepared promptly. We caught a taxi back to the guesthouse. One of the officers woke the security guard to inform him of what was happening. I showed the other officer where Ben’s room was.

The officer knocked on the door slowly, deliberately, forcefully. Ben opened the door in about 30 seconds. The officer told him “I want to see you.” He entered the room with Ben and closed the door, allowing Ben to put on some trousers and a shirt. When he was finished, they came out of the room, and we got back in the taxi.

The way back to the police station was marked by many rhetorical questions asked by the police, and one good point: why hadn’t Ben misplaced one of his things?

In the station, Ben looked at me and asked me if I had met his mother that day. I told him I did, and she told me to bring him here.

The police took his belt, and put him in the cell with several others. It was dark in there, and it looked pretty dirty. I’m glad I’m not there. I ran home and went back to bed.

2 Responses to “Creeping in the dark hours”

  1. Fabes Says:

    PC, so give us/me some more details here. What exactly is the “law” behind stolen propery? Is this cat going to be put away for a few days? Few weeks? Put before judge and have to get you some money? If you don’t get your fair share, what’s the game plan? How long before oyu make a new Ipod out of chicken wire, the sun and your cell phone?

  2. Deb Says:

    I agree, more details needed…did you loan it to Ben or did he steal it? what’s his deal? will he be beaten or locked up for life for this?

  3. pcronin Says:

    Ok, ok. I avoided adding too many details because this issue is really complicated. Ben is the brother (same mother) of the guesthouse manager, and his brother’s father is the owner of the guesthouse. Ben’s mother and the manager’s father are currently married. A couple months back, Ben fell sick with something, and had to be put up. Why not at his family’s house, only a 20 minute public-transport ride away? That’s a fair question, and was left that way by his family many times.

    Over my first week at the guesthouse, I got to know Ben, and he took me around town to show me the ropes. I let him use the iPod now and again, and he brought it back so I could charge it with the computer. But one day, I asked Ben to return it, and he said it was gone. He had left it under his pillow, and when he returned, he couldn’t find it! Some story.

    So, since I had already been to his house, met his mother, and the manager was his brother, I decided to give the family a chance to raise the money to pay for it. Turns out that this wasn’t the first time Ben had been into trouble where his family needed to bail him out. His family chose not to help him out this time. I gave his mom a chance, and I told her that if I didn’t get the money from her, I would go to the police. She said that she didn’t have the money, and encouraged me to go to the police.

    At the police, I filled out a stolen property report, and was told to return later that night to fetch the police at time that I knew Ben would be in.

    I stayed awake later than normal waiting for Ben to return. He came in around 11 pm, and he seemed a little stoned and a little drunk. He was oblivious to the fact that the police were going to collect him that night despite the fact that his brother and his mother both agreed I should bring them. So that was good. I made sure he went to bed, and I stayed awake for another couple of hours to make sure that he was indeed asleep.

    After a couple hours of shut-eye, the creeping began.

    At this point, Ben has been release from the holding cell (there’s a 48-hour maximum time), and given until today to obtain the money for the object that he “misplaced.” I’ll call the station later today to see if he had obtained it. Failing today’s deadline, provided his family doesn’t put up the money, the matter goes to court, and Ben faces real jail time.

    This isn’t a traditional stealing case in which we caught the theif – the difference here is that I let him borrow the item. But still, in the eyes of the law, since he has possession of an object that wasn’t his, and he “misplaced” it, he is still to be held responsible for that.

    To add complication to the matter, Ben’s brother knows the police chief at the station where I brought Ben. Not well enough, I found out, to introduce any monkey business, but still… I was in a delicate position!

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