Three years ago, at the end of a long night working for a construction company, I returned to the main office in the company box-truck. Before unloading or clocking out, I needed to poop first. I parked in the alley by the rear door and went inside. Just a few short minutes later I stepped back outside to find the entire truck GONE.

I instinctively checked my hip, and the truck key was still with me, hanging from my belt. What the hell?

After contacting my supervisor, I called the police. They arrived within minutes and I gave them as much info as I could provide. I had to list all of the items, tools, and equipment onboard, and that’s when I suddenly realized that I had left my personal phone in the cupholder. The officer’s ears perked up...

But AT&T was unwilling to cooperate, with or without my permission. Then I remembering that I was still on a family plan, and my father would be able to “ping” my phone for a location. I called my father and spent the next few minutes listening to him report the truck’s ever-changing coordinates (give or take a few hundred yards). I relayed the info to the officer, who was relaying all this to the department.

It was late, and my father decided to give me the FamilyMap login, which I allowed the officer to use in the interest of simplifying the process. The truck seemed to stop about 10 miles away, near a lake. Did they find my phone? Did they toss it out the window? For the next hour or so, the phone’s signal kept stationary, but it appeared to be deep within one of several long, narrow properties on the lake, too far to be seen from the road. And the exact address could not be pinpointed anyway.

As I listened to the officer communicate with dispatch, it became clear that several units were closing in on the truck’s last reported area. But because the truck may have stopped for the night, and was probably parked too far from the road to locate quickly, the officer decided to let me go home as it was already after midnight. We both left the office, and I started heading home. But after about 3 miles, I SAW THE TRUCK headed the other way. I turned around and called the cops.

Catching up was easy, and did not require high speeds. The driver was not driving fast nor evasively. He was not being pursued (until I found him, that is). I kept my distance while giving the operator a play-by-play over the phone. The driver pulled right back into the main office, but I kept going, so as to not raise suspicion. I turned around at the very next driveway and made my way back to the office, turning my headlamps off. I could see the truck’s tail-lamps disappear behind the building. I stayed in the front parking lot so I could watch both entrances simultaneously.

The police showed up very soon, and swarmed in both driveways, at least half a dozen of them. I let them know where I was, and they instructed me to wait there in the front corner of the parking lot while they continued around the back of the building from both sides...

After a few tense minutes I saw a flashlight pointed in my direction, lightly bobbing up and down. It was an officer walking towards me, who invited me behind the building. The driver recognized me, and I (barely) recognized him, having worked with him on only a coupleof jobsites before.

Apparently, he had been given a spare key, and permission to use the truck that night by the company owner, who did not tell ANYONE else about all this. When I had arrived at the office and gone inside, the office door had automatically locked behind me. Already having a key to the truck, but not a key to the office, the “thief” had knocked on the door while I was pooping, but gave up after a couple minutes, taking the truck.

And now here we were, surrounded by police who had taken the driver out of the truck at gunpoint. After all this excitement, the officers looked disappointed. Talk about anticlimactic. No charges were pressed, and we all went our separate ways.