Retrieving pick-pocketed items in Accra, Ghana - Part 5
I was angling my way through work on Tuesday but I was distracted. I was recounting the story to various people and hoping I could close this "Retrieving pick-pocketed items" chapter. I was tired of going to the police station. I had been warned that these things could take a while. The police wanted to end the investigation and move on to other things. I was tired. I know you are also tired from reading 4 parts of an entertaining suspenseful story. This is part 5, the last part to join 1, 2, 3, and 4. You catch. You catch? As in, you catch say you catch? Okay, on to the story.
Sometime after 2:33pm, I received a call from the policeman who had been on the case. Or should we call him investigator? He's an Inspector though. I've seen his Facebook account. I once saw him use Tango to make a call on his PC. He's not eazzy koraa! If you see where this Eazzy reference is coming from by reading the earlier parts, you are observant paa! The policeman said I needed to bring a receipt proving that I bought the phone so trigger the payment from the Suspect. Chai! Do you have the receipt for the last phone you bought? Couldn't the investigator use this tweet below or just check my Facebook posts from March 6th? Is that not evidence enough that I had a phone that was stolen? Or the receipt is needed to show that I also didn't steal the phone from someone else? Chai! (Sorry, I am listening to this song at the moment, they say Chai in it).
2:33pm. My phone & wallet were stolen in #Accra last night, but I still love you #Ghana. Happy independence day! #Ghana56 #233moments
— Ato Ulzen-Appiah (@Abocco) March 6, 2013
I went to see the folks I had borrowed the phone from to get a receipt. In fact, if I had my new Google Nexus 4, I wouldn't be borrowing phones sef. We looked through the details of past phone purchases and couldn't find anything for an S2. We found one for a Samsung S3. ɛdeɛbɛn asɛm koraa ni! Am I going to go tell the Police that it was actually an S3? No, because it was really an S2. The S3 costs more anyway and the Suspect is not going to pay the 1400 GhC price. I had to give the folks time to look for the correct receipt. Eventually, details of the boughtment was found and I was going to get a invoice. I went to the Nima police station armed with the serial number for the phone and news of an invoice. "No, we can't use an invoice", the inspector said. "Anyone can create an invoice". Sigh. I called the folks and broke the news to them. "We can get a receipt tomorrow morning", I told the inspector. "Okay, bring it tomorrow then".
I was worried that the Suspect would be in the police cell another night after the ordeal of Monday. "He's been granted bail". Okay, I asked about bail granting in Ghana on Monday. I'll expantiate on this in a special police blog post. The Suspect was released on bail but he didn't have to pay anything. Someone just had to guarantee that when the Suspect was needed for the investigation, this someone will have to produce him. So
Yeah, I am ending the blog post now. No need to come back for the next post because a new day came.
Wednesday morning, I went for the receipt for the S2. I went to the police station and handed the receipt. The inspector handed me a brand new Samsung Galaxy S2 in a box. Complete with a charger, earphone, everything! It was a black S2 though. Cardinal Peter Turkson hadn't become the first Black Pope. Black smoke had become a popular thing to say. I'd take a black S2. I had to check the phone to make sure it was genuine though. Some of the people in the room started a debate on whether all "Made in China" goods are bad. One policeman was confident the phone was fake. I put the S2 on, and went through the various steps. Same steps I went through when I had my previous cool Android phone. I was satisfied.
I was given a statement to fill. This is the statement you write to end an investigation. You know how I like to write? So write I did. After about 10 lines, the policeman asked, "Ah, but you could have written just 2.33 sentences (okay, he didn't say 2.33 but you get the point :-D)". I finished off the statement with the sentence "I have received my stolen cards and a new phone and I would like the police to end this investigation". I had to wait for some small paper work and then I was free to go. I had a brand new spanking phone! Whether the Suspect was spanked for this phone to be bought matters a lot! I thanked the police force- 1 inspector, 2 policemen and 1 district commander. I told the police force I had even more respect for them
I sat down with 1 of the policemen and the district commander in her office. I introduced myself, the work I do and how I couldn't believe that the pick-pocketing had happened. I told them about Barcamps. Are you surprised? I want policemen at Barcamps, and even thieves. Okay, I didn't mean they should come steal from Barcamp attendees, abeg. I told them I want to get to the point whereby the GhanaThink Foundation organizes a Barcamp in Nima. Maybe not now, but somewhere down the line. At some point in this whole story, I wanted to talk to VIP's Lazzy (now Zeal) to come talk to the Suspect, to advise him to tell the truth and return my phone. Because Lazzy might be someone he would listen to. (Hey, we can put this in the movie okay?) I told the police I wanted to do what I could help prevent crime. Cos prevention is better than cure. The district commander jokingly said "If you prevent people from stealing, how will we find work? People must steal". LMAO. If you laughed too, clap for yourself. And clap for the police. And clap for the end of this story.
PS: I'd write a blog post about dealing with the police later.