Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Van has been Found!

We received a call from local, municipal police sometime around 6:30 p.m. last night, actually two calls.  The first call asked us if we had received all the paperwork from our marathon time in the police station over the last couple of days.  We hadn't...still needed to sign something today.  But the report was complete.  A second call minutes later informed us that they thought they had found our car.

José, our taxi driver brother from church, was here visiting, as was Tania and her family, so Tania stayed with our kids and José took us to our rendezvous with the police.  In a country like Mexico, you never can be too careful.  What if it weren't the police that called?  Or what if it were, but they were leading us somewhere to be ambushed?  Thoughts that you shouldn't have to consider, but that's life in a country where the rule of law is...inconsistent .

We climbed up steep roads to a difficult neighborhood about 20 minutes from where we live, and only 5 minutes from the main highway.  It was a community we had never visited before.  There, parked on a corner, was our grew Dodge Journey.  It looked intact.  A quick examination revealed that even the car's registration and inspection stickers where still in the glove compartment!

At this point we had a decision to make.  Because the papers were still in the car, and there was really no damage to report, we could either just take our second set of keys and go home, or do what was procedure, and have a tow truck take the car to the station, and fill out a report.  The problem with doing it the first way is that we would have to be dishonest about how we found the van, and if anything would be found later in the van (drugs under the the wheels, whatever), we'd have a problem explaining that!  Tempting, though.  We could have avoided what followed...

So I gave the municipal cops a finders fee (they didn't ask for it, but sort of hinted around), and after waiting through dusk and dark, the tow truck finally came, a flat bed, and loaded the van for its trip down the hill to the holding area behind the police station.  A 15 minute trip that cost 3000 pesos, around $225 U.S.  It was now probably 10 p.m.

To condense the story a bit, our van and us were finally released to go home with all the necessary paperwork done (for now) at 3:46 a.m.  That's this morning.  Over the past two days we've spent a total about almost 12 hours sitting in the dismal waiting area while various reports were filed about our car, first because it was lost, then because it was found.  12 hours!  Plus another 3 or so hours waiting on the tow truck.  But hey, it was all worth it!

We still can't drive the van until some more papers are signed.  Perhaps up to two more weeks.  And the bad guys have an electronic key and our address, so we have to disable the van some way, and work on getting new keys.  But hey, we're happy!  Thanks for all your prayers and support!  To God be the glory!

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