I just got a call from a guy saying he found some documents of mine. Of course, I thanked him, but I didn’t promise I would meet him; instead, I said I’d call him back.

To any of you who care to give advice: Is it worthwhile to go meet this guy? As I explained, the documents are pretty worthless–but maybe there’s a security benefit to maintaining possession of them (to prevent any potential attempts at identity theft)?

Also important for my decision, I think, is whether I believe this guy is the guy who robbed me or is connected to that guy, and not someone who “found” my documents. Over the phone he mentioned an insurance card and my learner’s permit, and he must have the business card, since that was the only thing with my phone number on it. So his story is that he found all my documents, but without the wallet or money.

He said he found them near Salitre Plaza, the mall directly outside of which I boarded the bus. That throws in the wrinkle of possibility that the wallet just slipped out of my pocket as I got on the bus, or that someone picked my pocket before I even boarded. (I removed the fare from my wallet a minute before getting on the bus, so the last place I know I had the wallet was on the street near Salitre Plaza).

Anyway, if I meet this guy, I can get back the few cards and hear more of his story about where he found them. But I’ll also have to spend time to do so, and I’ll be wondering the whole time: Is this guy really a good samaritan who picked my things up and contacted me to return them, or is he the criminal or an accomplice now trying to reduce the violation already committed?

6 thoughts on “Advice?

  1. Can you go with a local guy (or several) or with someone from the police? if they are “innocent” they wont care that you are not alone.

    Good luck!! xx

    1. Police? Ha.

      As for going with a friend or someone else, I could, if I found someone who agreed to go with me. But what would that do? Intimidate the guy into being more truthful?

  2. I agree with Gemma. Go only if you have a friend to go with you. Not trying to be alarmist, but it’s a good precaution and will save you a lot of worry.

    1. Fair enough. Having some company would definitely be safer. Still, though, is there any reason it’s worth the time to go meet him?

      My roommate Diego just told me this always happens. He has lost his wallet a couple times, and someone always calls to “return” the documents. They then expect/demand some more money for the “favor.” If you have your Cedula (Colombian ID) or something else worthwhile, then it’s obviously worth it to pay, I dunno, $10 or so to get that back and not go through the hassle (and greater cost) of applying for a new one. But I didn’t have anything I can’t replace easily, except the wallet, which he says he doesn’t have. So is the risk of identity theft great enough that I should take time, and maybe pay more money, to get back the few cards he says he has?

      1. I don’t think so. I didn’t share this, but in Bosnia, people steal cars, take them to the Serb Republic territory, call you up and tell you to come get your car, and then REALLY rob you when you go to pick it up. Has happened to my uncle three times. Your situation is not as serious, obviously, but I do think it’s pretty sketchy. So, if the documents can be replaced and you can alert your insurance company of what happened, I think it’s not necessary to go meet him.

  3. So sorry to hear about the turn of events. Your second post did remind me of a story my dad told me about when his father was pick-pocketed in Chicago, probably around the 1960s. The real professionals, my grandfather always told my dad, will take your wallet, steal the money and any other valuable things, then mail the wallet and its non-valuable contents back to its owner. Not sure if this situation would be similar, but your story raised suspicions of mine over whether this guy is the one who stole it in the first place, as you had suspected also. Not that we want to jump to conclusions.

    Good luck, and be safe.

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