The Story of the Stolen Saddle
In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. This is a story, but not their stories, instead this is a story of stolen goods, shifty suspect characters, and why perhaps it is good to have friends in low places. -----
This image will make sense shortly, read on...
This story begins with a kind woman from British Columbia, we shall call her Shirley, who contacted me about a Classic Equine ESP pad that I have had for sale for forever. So long, in fact, I forgot it was even online. She saw the ad and contacted me to purchase it. Shirley doesn't use online banking, and lives in the country, so she said she would head into her closest town and directly deposit the funds into my bank account. I let Shirley know that the saddle pad was at our rental property in a storage room we keep, but that I'd get it the following day and could ship it out. "Hey Shirley, if you want to just head into town tomorrow and send me the money once I have my hands on the saddle pad, I'm totally comfortable with that." "Oh no, no worries, I want to go into town today anyways, just let me know when you ship it out." [Insert narrator - Shirley should not have sent the money] The following day I arrive at our rental property having intended to be there at 9 am but due to the fact I am the world's most awful morning person, I didn't arrive until around 11 am, and of course I'm frazzled and desperately in need of a coffee. I walk into the storage room expecting to see three saddle pads, the ESP pad, along with a Professional's Choice and a Diamond Wood, stacked neatly on top of two tubs filled with horse items from the good ol' days of when I used to have a show horse. They weren't there. "[Insert expletive x 10] I am such an idiot, they must be at my house, I must have grabbed them with Lady's winter blankets. I just drove an hour in shit weather and they are at home." [Insert narrator - but, as our heroine thought about it, she quickly realized that didn't make any sense] I thought long and hard, why would I have grabbed three saddle pads (one, the ESP, that I NEVER use) for a horse that I no longer ride? No, they must be here I thought to myself. I started looking through the storage room, camping goods, christmas decoration, old clothing racks, all these items of little to no value, everything was where we had left it staring back at me, just no saddle pads. Perhaps my tenants were using them as rugs? When they moved in we had told them any old furniture was free game? [Insert narrator - the only rugs on the floors were clearly from Ikea, not the local tack store] I surveyed the storage room one last time, and then... I realized what else was missing... a saddle. Not just any saddle, a friend's saddle. A friend who had entrusted me to sell the saddle for her. A friend who, after an accident, could no longer ride horses anymore. A very well-made saddle, but an older saddle, that I had struggled to sell for it's worth and had left in the storage room for safe-keeping, vowing to try again in the new year. "It's F****** GONE" Up the stairs I stormed, out the door I went, and around the front of the house I arrived to bang on the door of my upstairs tenants. Now, my upstairs tenants are very nice people, but perhaps... ya know.. a little sketchy. I say that lovingly because they have been great tenants, but they are a young couple that often has a young roommate or two sharing the space with them and perhaps a pit bull or two hanging around the back yard. I'm sure you can catch my drift. "My saddle and my saddle pads are GONE from my storage room, where are they?!" My basketball-jersey wearing. face-tattooed tenant who we shall call Tommy blinks back at me, "Uhm, like a saddle that you would like put on a horse?" I realized rather quickly that I would have to switch direction with this conversation. "Tommy, have you had ANYONE here that would have gone downstairs and stolen anything?" "Well, I had to kick out our roommate a few weeks ago, but like, he hasn't even come and gotten the rest of his stuff and he never went downstairs." He points to an errant pile of what I would classify as "garbage" rather than "stuff". I very slowly said, "why would you kick him out?" "Well he wasn't paying rent." I paused, "so he was broke?" "Well ya." Dot Dot Dot, I sighed, "Tommy this pile of garbage is worth absolutely nothing, my saddle and pads are worth atleast $1,000. So if he desperately needed money and he went downstairs and went into our storage room, he may have thought that saddle was worth something and may have grabbed it." "Oh shit man, he probably did. Oh shit, okay, I'll figure out where he's at." [Insert Narrator - It may have taken him a moment, but Tommy was on the case] So, while Tommy was on the case of the delinquent roommate, I called Shirley, my sweet kind ESP-purchaser. I informed her what happened, I apologized profusely, and I promised to go to her banking institution and transfer the funds back to her. She probably thought she was never going to see that money again. Sweet, sweet angel. Then, I began to call pawn shops, I called almost every pawn shop in the city and determined who had saddles and who didn't. Surprisingly, most. Also surprising, pawn shops hold all items for 45 days, so unless this Little Shit-head, (he doesn't get a name in this story), stole it while still living there I was probably okay. Then I called the police who informed me that I needed a name if I had a suspect in mind and they would have to dispatch a car to me because they wouldn't be able to process this over the counter at a station. Then, I checked my phone, Tommy had texted me. "Found out where he's at, headed to his house, stand by." Well, I'll tell you one thing, I wanted my saddle and pads back, but I also didn't want to be on the six o'clock news for starting a gang-war over $1,000 worth of equestrian items. Shit. I kindly informed Tommy that the police needed a name, so if he talked to the Little-Shit [Insert Narrator - emphasis on talked] to tell him I was happy to hand his name over to the police if he didn't give up where my stuff was. Then, I headed to pawn shop number one. Pawn shops are very interesting, one could definitely spend a lifetime observing the actions of people who frequent, who shop at, who sell too, and who work at, and own, pawn shops. These people, aren't really my people. Pawn shop after pawn shop I walked in, very kindly and quietly asked to see their saddle selection, none were mine. I was sitting outside of a huge pawn shop in a very seedy area of the city in my truck. The line up inside had been vast. It's the holiday season and these people needed money, for whatever they needed money for. I was feeling sad, for my own circumstance, and for those inside. I was dreading picking up the phone to tell my friend her saddle had been stolen. I was double dreading paying for something I never even owned. I was mad. Really fricken' mad. Then my ex texted me to see if I wanted to go for coffee. Not today Satan, not today. [Insert Narrator - timing is everything] I texted Tommy, "K. I'm done, what's his name? I'm calling the cops." Ten minutes later, I received these text messages. They are too good to edit, they will remain in public record as I received them. "Hey those things do they look like blankets. Well carpets more like door mats." I send him a photo of the door mats saddle pads. "K I'm at his place I found like a seat thing for horses and three door mat looking things. He ain't here so i'm just taking them, yep that's it." Holy. Shit. Tommy just broke and entered into a home and found my stolen goods. Shit. Shit. Shit. "I got it. Man I'm sorry, maybe we should call the cops?" NO TOMMY WE CAN'T CALL THE COPS YOU JUST B AND E'D SOMEONE'S HOUSE. [Insert Narrator - suddenly, Louisa realized that she was an accomplice] So, I headed back to my rental property and lo and behold, there they were, my saddle and three saddle pads, all untouched. Tommy filled me in on the details and, somehow, it get's better. Tommy knew that when the Little Shit moved out, he had moved his furniture to his parents - nice people that live in a nice neighborhood. So what did Tommy do, my readers? He BROKE INTO THE LITTLE SHIT'S PARENTS GARAGE. He found my items, ya know, the carpets and the seat thing, and started to load them in his car when the parents came outside and asked him what the hell he was doing. He informed them he was taking back his land lord's stolen goods. They informed him that the Little Shit had an equestrian friend who he was storing these items for. Tommy informed them that their son was, indeed, a Little Shit and showed them my text messages which included photos of the stolen items. The parents were very upset, they said they knew their son was into some bad things, but were completely taken back by what had happened. Then Tommy says, "So, they want to bring him over here tonight and it sounds like they want to press charges, want to stick around?" [Insert Narrator - Louisa did not want to stick around] Two days later I received this text message from Tommy. "Hey so that kid was really bad into drugs I guess. His parents came over to the house and told me they sent him to detox in BC, they paid a buttload of money for him to go. I guess he had that saddle sold because a couple ended up knocking on their door the next day, asking his parents about it. It's a good thing you messaged me when ya did!" [Insert Narrator - As I said before, timing is everything] and my sweet Shirley? Well I had to call her on the way home and explain the whole story, and told her I would send her the pad in the morning. I mean, what is life if you've never transferred someone money who has proceeded to call you three times over the course of 24 hours with a story like the one above? When I shipped it she legitimately texted me "God Bless You", Shirley definitely thought she was never seeing a saddle pad, or any money back. [Insert Narrator - But, in all things in life, there is a lesson here] The lesson here? 1) Always verify where your purchases came from and if the deal seems too good to be true, and the person seems totally uneducated on what they are selling you - it's likely stolen. Now, if you are a terrible person you may just buy it and walk away with a "deal" but realize that your money is now going to someone that does not deserve it, and in my case, would have funded Little Shit's drug habit. 2) Don't leave valuable goods in an open storage room at a rental property 3) There are such things as Christmas miracles - I mean, I never thought my Christmas miracle would come in the form of basketball jersey-wearing, face-tattooed, pit bull loving, Tommy, but hey - it's a wild world we live in and angels come in all forms, shapes and sizes.