Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Case of the Missing Sneakers

This one is for the Encyclopedia Browns out there. My sneakers are missing from my apartment. Nothing else- no money, jewelry, computer gone- just my sneakers.

I last saw them a week ago Tuesday, when I managed to get up at 5:30 AM and go for a walk. Later that night I saw them again since my colleague was coming over to do a household inventory and I wanted to clean up my room. I remember putting them in my closet.

Tuesday of this week, I got up again at 5:30 to go for a walk. I got dressed and in my early morning haze started looking for my sneakers. I couldn’t find them so I started looking in the usual places. After an hour, I was beginning to think I had gone crazy. No one else had been in the apartment, except people that I know and trust. I don’t have a maid, and the handyman our organization employs (who is trustworthy) hadn’t been there either.

It suddenly occurred to me that I had left the key to the apartment with one of the guards on Thursday. The handyman was supposed to come by and install something in apartment; normally Stella, my upstairs neighbor, hands over the spare key she has. However, Stella and family are on vacation, so I had no one to give him the key. I handed it over to the youngest guard, Doutor. Doutor is my favorite guard- never sleeps on the job and is always on top of things- so I felt comfortable leaving it with him. Beside, I have seen my neighbors give him their keys for safe-keeping while they go to the beach, etc.

When I got home Thursday afternoon, the other guard (whose name I don’t know, so I’ll call him Bebado, aka Drunk) handed me the key and said that the handyman never showed up. This particular guard is my least favorite. He’s drunk half the time and in spite of making repeated requests to change him out, he’s still on the job for some reason. He’s the one who stood by and did nothing as a motorcyclist did a hit-and-run on my car. (Can’t remember if I posted about this, but the motorcyclist was likely drunk and rear-ended my car and got stuck. The whole time the guard was watching this and did nothing to stop him, which he could have considering that they were stuck to my car. Oh, Bebado was drunk too, we could smell it on him.)

Back to yesterday. In the morning as I was leaving for work, Doutor was still on his shift. I asked him if anyone had been in the apartment the last week, said that I was missing something, so if he knew anything to please let me know. I said I didn’t care about revenge; I just wanted my shoes back. He said that no one had been inside because the day that the handyman was supposed to come, he didn’t. He said he would ask the other guard and let me know what he found out.

When I came home for lunch, Bebado was on his shift. I asked him the exact same thing and immediately he said, “The other guy did it, I know!” I asked him how he knew and he said, “Well, I didn’t do it.” He was barely coherent (it could be that Portuguese is not his first language), so I really didn’t understand what he was saying. All I said was that I wasn’t accusing anyone, but that I had no explanation as to why the shoes were missing. I said that I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, but if I didn’t have them back I would have to tell my supervisor.

After all this, I started to doubt myself. Maybe I had absentmindedly put them somewhere else, like the refrigerator? Maybe my cat had been playing with them and scurried them away to some corner? Maybe I had accidentally thrown them away? Last night I looked through literally every nook and cranny of my house and could not find them. I really doubt that I threw them away because I think I would have noticed something heavy like shoes in my small trash cans. The only explanation I can come up with is that someone entered my house and took them.

But… what a weird thing to take! The person would have had to have entered my room, gone into my closet and taken my shoes. Of all the things to take, why sneakers?

My colleague theorizes that whoever took them took them to sell. He suspects Bebado since he has a track record of drinking on the job, and perhaps needed money for booze.

I’m not sure what to think. Either one of the guards or his accomplice is a great burglar or the junk in the water has finally gotten me and I am completely losing my mind.

1 comment:

Lynette said...

Did I ever tell you about my burglary in Honduras? Some kids broke into my place and only took two pairs of old, crappy tennis shoes. And by old, they were shoes I'd had since about the 6th grade and should have thrown out years before! They didn't touch anything else - not even the lempiras I'd left on the table for our cleaning woman.