Thursday, March 14, 2013

Retrieving pick-pocketed items in Accra, Ghana - Part 3

So I had caused the police to arrest somebody for the first time in my life. I was feeling bad. Dominique Mark was pleading his innocence and asking me how I could have done this to him when he was trying to do a good deed for me. He was being a Good Samaritan. "I was trying to protect myself," I told him. Once the police had arrested him, I was almost powerless. The police is not as sensitive as me, they use the voice of discipline while I use the voice of emotion. He hadn't been judged guilty. Yet. He started swearing that he was innocent and didn't steal anything. Like if he did it, something should happen to him. Hmmm.

We asked him where the guy he was standing at the gate with was. Because I saw him (wearing a white T-shirt) with somebody else (wearing a black T-shirt). Black and white smoke. Dominique Mark claimed he didn't know him, or have his phone number. He had just met him at Paloma and was chatting with him while waiting for me. First red flag. We might need the new Pope for some confessions. Should we tweet @Pontifex? Or if he's too busy at this moment, we should surely get Cardinal Peter Turkson. He's from Ghana anyway.

How did we get here? Are you saying you've missed Part 1 and Part 2? This is a blockbuster series o. Go read and then come and continue.

The driver and I had seen him standing with another person. For him to deny knowing the guy made him very suspect just around the time I was trying to believe he was really a Good Samaritan. The 2 policemen asked him who he was... and his stuttering and answering questions with questions like he didn't know he was the one being addressed annoyed the policemen. I am going to conceal his (Dominique Mark) real name here. He mentioned a different Christian name and an Ewe last name. Wow! So he lied about being called Mark. That's a bad mark on him. "Where do you live?" "Abelenkpe". He had told me he lived in Accra New-Town. I will leave you to judge how close these suburbs are to each other by checking their locations out on Google Maps. His inconsistent stories made me worry. In concealing his identity, let's just call him Mark for now.

At the Nima Police Station, "Dominique Mark, erm okay Mark" started telling his story. He said he was jogging back from the Independence Beach on Sunday morning and when he reached the DHL Office near Kanda, he needed to clean the sand on his hands from his beach trip. So, he looked around for something to use and found a white envelope on the ground. While using this envelope to brush his body, he noticed it contained a few things. He opened it and saw a bunch of cards all belonging to "Yours Truly". That's when he put the cards back in the white envelope and sought me out to deliver the lost ...waaaaaitaminute! stolen items to me. waaaaaitasecond! Pick-pockets stole my wallet on Tuesday night at the Accra Sports Stadium, and decided to pack the cards in it into a white envelope which they placed at the DHL Office in Kanda just before Sunday?

I asked him for his ID card, but he didn't have any. So I asked hm to show us his Facebook account. I was part of the investigative team now. Hwɛ! I loved Inspector Bediako papa! He went to his profile link and lo and behold, he was using a name different from the real one he gave. This Facebook name was that of 'Northerner'. He then said he was a Muslim and this is the name he uses on Facebook. I wondered why he didn't just use this Facebook account to contact me if he was a genuine person but created an alter-ego called Dominique Werner who lives in Burbank, California. He hardly had any photos of himself in this Facebook account but in his cover photo, he had taken a picture with a famous female celebrity in Ghana. If you just thought "it's easy to guess baby!" then you should dedicate time to the Ghana Police Service's CID department.

For some reason, I had to show the police my Facebook account. Uh huh, it was to show them that I had reported a stolen phone and wallet on March 6th. Apparently, "Dominique Mark" had been able to read my posts on Facebook and realised I had reported of some stolen items. He couldn't remember other Facebook posts though. Bummer. If you're reading this, don't freak out. Make sure not to release your home address online. Protect your posts so that trusted people can see them. As for me, I've been posting publicly on Twitter & Google+ for a while. I made one public post on Facebook and Facebook made it the default. Why do social networks always wanna go over us like that! -1 for Facebook.

The police checked his phone's messages and saw a couple of messages about a Canadian ticket. That looked like a message that had fraud written over it. He claimed he worked with his mother. I was given a sheet to take home to write a statement and report to the police station in the morning. "Dominique Mark" was going to sleep in a cell. I felt really bad. But then if I was him, I would move heaven and earth to get some family and friends to come to the station to vouch for my innocence. "Dominique Mark" didn't try to do that. When he was asked, he mentioned his mother. "You won't ask for your father right? You know he would also punish you. So you are asking for your mother". That's what the Inspector said. "Dominique Mark" said he worked with his mother, probably in her business. His mother was never called, neither was anyone else. "Dominique Mark" didn't know the black t-shirt guy's number so he wasn't called either.

I wasn't given my stolen cards that night because I needed to write the statement first. I finally went home and spoke to my parents about what had happened and took their advice on what to do next. Let's just say, my parents rock. One thing was clear, I needed to ensure none of my money had been spent. And I just had to get the phone back. It was a Samsung S2. If "Dominique Mark" returned the phone, I will drop the case and the investigation would end. What did I do next? Part 4 is just around the corner. :-)
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