Losing your stuff because you can’t really exactly very much remember the night before is a big old bummer. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, a good Samaritan swans in to help return your lost items. And in one case, that Samaritan happens to have a penchant for hiding lost property and leaving scavenger hunt-like instructions as to how to collect it.
New York Times Cityroom blogger Alex Vadukul had one of those nights where it’s a feat worthy of amazement that you actually end up at home. Unfortunately, after just such a night out with pals, he realized his laptop bag hadn’t made it back with him.
What followed next was a rigorous investigation of seriously dogged persistence. Alex writes that after ruling out the bar, he figured he left it in a cab or at a late-night burger joint he’d found a receipt for in his wallet. Yep, that kind of night.
The burger place people let him view surveillance footage of himself, sitting at the counter and eventually leaving with his bag to get into a cab. Alas, the medallion number wasn’t visible in the footage, so leaving reports with the city’s lost and found wouldn’t do much.
He then received a mysterious email, after casting a line on Craigslist. Subject: “found your bag.” The body text: “in a cab. want it back?”
The sender didn’t reply to his email, so he dismissed it as a prank. He even convinced a company that provides GPS machines to cabs to try and track the car through his pickup time and location.
Then the mystery deepened with another email from the anonymous person from earlier, with instructions to a certain address, adding: ” you’ll have to decend some cement steps from the sidewalk and duck unde a handrail. Bring a flashlight and get it before it gets rained on.”
Sort of scary, but he decided to go for it. After venturing down into the dark as directed, there it was — his laptop bag with computer inside, leaning against a wall. A note to his benefactor went unanswered, but he did finally trace the cab.
He was told the driver didn’t want to speak to him, and the taxi boss told him not to come back, so he was never able to figure out who exactly had found his property and decided to return it in such a mysterious way.
More work than simply handing over the bag, but kinda fun, eh?
A Lost Bag and a Lost Night, but Not a Lost Cause [New York Times]