Friday, August 1, 2008

My 007 Moment

Late last night, the Warden and I were talking about his missing cell phone. Just to prove a point, I picked up the phone and dialed his cell number, telling him as I did so that it would go straight to voice mail as it does when the battery is dead. As these words left my mouth, I realized that it was ringing. It rang until some wild music picked up on the voice mail.

At this point, I realized that the phone had been stolen. Well, then the fun began. We called AT&T and got the phone cancelled and got a new one ordered this morning.
I'm sorry, but in cases like this, I just can't let it go. First thing this morning we called AT&T to find out that the last call our phone had made was in California. So, the chances of catching this guy and getting our phone back was moot. I guess that the only thing that really perturbed me was that my camera was gone too along with all of #2's scout camp and #4's Cub Scout day camp photos.
My mom used to think of doing genealogy as being a private eye. I guess I got some of that blood from her cuz like a hound dog, I was on the thief's trail. I couldn't stop.

I got the itemized list of calls from our AT&T account and started in. I started with calling the staffing agencies that the guy had called yesterday and Twin City Painting he'd called here in Portland where he'd called right after getting the phone in his hands. No luck. Everyone was very willing to help but nothing.

I ended up counting up his most common numbers and found one in Los Angeles that has been called 57 times in the past two weeks, so I called it. At first, I acted like I was calling a wrong number. All I found out was that I was reaching a woman who sounded as though she might be African-American.

Surprisingly, she called me about an hour later and asked why I was calling her number. Again, I was too chicken to tell her my real reason, so I lied and told her I was looking for someone. After I hung up with her, I got to tracing more of the phone calls via google and's reverse look-up. I found many unlisted numbers, some escort services and a few more staffing numbers. I got to feeling kind of sorry for the guy. What a sorry case he must be. As I looked up the numbers, I got to thinking, "What am I being afraid of?" So, I called her again.

She was super nice and surprisingly helpful. I told her the situation. I also told her that if the guy was her boyfriend, "I'd run the other direction. Do you know who he calls?" Can't believe I had the guts to say that. She said she'd contact him and get back with me. "Oh, and I'm Randi," she said right before she hung up.

Randi called me back about ten minutes later. She said she'd spoken with the guy and that he was in Beaverton, Oregon working for a company that sells house cleaners door-to-door. She said he'd been given the phone by a co-worker who had been arrested about a week ago for stealing an SUV. The arrested co-worker's name was Hollis or Armando and they were staying in the American Inn in Beaverton, and Hollis or Armando had been in room 115. "Oh by the way, can you tell me if he's called any 523 numbers?"
I looked through the list and sure enough he had called the number she was worried about back on the 21st for 3 minutes. She seemed pleased with this info. Don't know what that was about, but it was nice to give back a little bit when she'd been so nice.

I do recall a salesman coming to our door sometime around the time that the guys had returned. I had told the kids to tell the guy that I couldn't come to the door, so he had left.

I asked #2 and #3 today if they remembered the guy. They said that he was African American and fairly young.

I looked up the hotel and found America's Best Inn & Suites in Beaverton online. I called it and the front desk guy was SOOO helpful! He told me that there had been a guy arrested, but he was in room 117. "Currently in room 115 are--" he told me the two guys names in the room. He told me who their boss was and what room number he was in. He asked me if I wanted him to connect me to his room, but I told him I might call back to do that later. He also told me that the company they work for is Sierra Solutions. I thanked him for his help.

After hanging up, I went to the Sierra Solutions website, and what do you know?! Photos of their "top people." Yee haw! Amongst the pics were the manager and one of the men mentioned in room 115. There were also three photos of African-American men. I cut and pasted these on the same document with the phone information and Randi's name and notes from her call.

So, from here, I've spoken with an officer from the Washington County Sheriff's office. He took down the serial number for the camera and told me they'd return it if they found it. He also told me that these salesmen are bad news and that there's all kinds of bad stuff going on at that hotel since they've gotten there.

So, here's my warning for you--no matter where you live--don't buy from door-to-door salesmen. This particular company goes all over the U.S. if not the world.


vaxhacker said...

Wow... I'm calling you when we need any detective work! I remember a guy matching that general description who came to our door selling things too, right at that same time, just after we got back from camp! Oooooh.

Cassandra, reading over my shoulder, says that she thinks Christy took a lot of pictures at day camp and probably has some of Brevin, and I have over 100 from scout camp, several of which I'm sure have Gannon in them. You're welcome to copies if you want.

Darilyn said...

This is crazy. And the way you tell it is hilarious at the same time. I will be extra careful with these people that come door to door? I really need a No Soliciting sign.

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