I TALKED TO THE THIEF ON THE PHONE
My mechanic called and said, “Your tire was slashed.”
“Someone slashed your tire.”
As I walked up the road to my mechanic’s shop, I remembered the call earlier, from our bank in the States.
“Mr. Sisneros, this is Carla from First Bank, we’re calling to verify a charge to your credit card that seems suspicious. Did you make a large purchase today?”
“Your card was just used at a restaurant in Guatemala for $850.”
“Yea. No. We didn’t make that charge.”
My wife Vonda had a flat tire earlier that day. I was in the village when she called.
“There’s a really nice man changing my tire.”
“REALLY? Let me talk to him…” she passed the phone.
“Hi. Thank you for helping my wife. I really appreciate it.” I was trying to gauge his kindness over the phone. Everything seemed fine.
I told him, “Our mechanic is on his way. He should be there soon.”
He quickly passed the phone back to Vonda.
“He’s a sweet older man. I’ll call you when he’s done.”
Vonda called back a few minutes later to let me know our mechanic was there but that the man helping her had left before finishing, because he had to pick his daughter up from school.
As we put the pieces together, while Vonda was at the store buying lunch for our kids, the thieves noticed she was alone, slashed her tire and followed her down the road until she pulled over.
(The thought of that is unnerving)
The man who was “helping” change the tire, distracted her while his partner got into the van, and stole the card.
Vonda and I felt incredibly vulnerable and incredibly grateful at the same time. THEY COULD HAVE EASILY TAKEN MY WIFE OR WORSE.
Because of the events of that day, we live life differently and it’s helped us stay on the field longer.
- Vonda NEVER travels alone. Ever.
- We don’t have routines that someone else would notice.
- We don’t take large quantities of cash out of the ATM.
- We don’t answer our phones from unidentified numbers.
- We both have the app Life360. We can see where the other is at all times.
Extortion, armed robbery and Kidnapping are real and happen all around us. We’ve driven by dead bodies in the street, many times.