Saturday, December 23, 2006

Early Present

"Oh My G*d! What is that? Is it a bird?"

"No... I think it's a bunny..."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, it's a bunny... see here's a foot. Oh wait over here is another one. Do you want me to saw them down so you can have lucky rabbits feet?"

"No!! Absolutely not... just clean this up will ya?"

So... last night one of my furry children decided to give me an early Christmas present. In her defense I do like bunnies. I am always exclaiming oh look at the bunny when I see one run through our yard.

However, that said, I would have preferred that said bunny stay in one piece, and alive, instead of the way in which it was eventually presented to me.

Maybe we need to work on our communication skills......

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Part Four - The Conclusion

So, where does all of this end? As it turns out the forgery charges that Jane was charged with were for a credit card that she had stolen so she has yet to be charged with anything relating to their checks.

Detective D. called Hobby Lobby but they do not have video cameras and several of the other places the check amounts were not big enough to prosecute. So, at this point Detective D. says the only way to charge them is to get one of them to confess to taking and/or using the checks. Fat chance huh?

Thus far Jane has shown up for all of her preliminary hearings so she has not been thrown back in jail. Who knows what will become of her and her son now that her husband is safely behind bars. And speaking of her husband, he is in jail with no bond, but there is a bond review hearing set for the 18th of December. We can only hope the judge in that matter is smart enough to realize a flight risk when he sees one.

And as for Jack and Jill? Their house is now locked up like Fort Knox whenever they leave. Jill has lost a little piece of that country innocence and trust in people and that makes her sad. Right now they are not out any money as all of the Big Bank stuff was finally rectified. However, what they are out is possibly more important.

It has taken Jill two or three days in total to deal with all of this. That is two or three days of personal time that she does not get to use this summer to be with her son. And that, that angers her the most of all.

In the end it comes down to what Mark Twain once said:

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

Jack and Jane attempted to help out their fellow man and were in turn "bitten" for their troubles. Next time an opportunity presents its self for them to help someone they may be much more skeptical and less willing to help. I'm not sure if that is societies loss or theirs. I guess only time will tell.

Part Three - The Aftermath

So after the phone calls stopped coming it became evident to Jack and Jill that the only thing they could do now was just sit back and wait for whatever came next. As it turns out, they didn't really have to wait long.

Shortly after the last text message was sent they got a phone call from Detective T. He informed them that they had looked for Jon long enough and were now bringing in the U.S. Marshalls to assist with the search. Their reasoning was that the marshall's spend all of their time tracking people and would be able to put more man hours into it and inevitably catch him sooner.

Detective T. then asked if it would be alright for the marshalls to contact Jack & Jill to gather as much information as they could. Of course Jack & Jill agreed and later that afternoon they spoke with U.S. Marshall P. and gave him all of the information that they had about Jon.

A few more days passed and then Jack and Jill were surprised to see a story on the local news.

November 1, 2006

Des Moines police, Polk County sheriff's deputies and U.S. marshals spent the early-morning hours searching for a man wanted on what they said is an outstanding warrant.

Authorities said they are searching for Jon Doe of Warren County. They would not say what the warrant is for or whether Bridges is dangerous.

Officers were searching an area around the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

While they were disappointed that no arrest had been made Jack and Jill were glad to see that progress was being made in the attempt to capture Jon. At this point Jill didn't really care whether they charged him with the theft of her checks or not.

She was more concerned with the fact that this man knew where she lived and that it was a secluded area . For the first time in the four and a half years that she had lived in their house she was afraid to be home alone after dark. She would rush home from work and lock the doors, concerned that he would try to come back and use their house as a hideout. As far as she was concerned she just wanted to see him put behind bars so she could stop looking over her shoulder.

The next day she received a phone call from U.S. Marshall S. He informed her that he had found her two books of checks. They had been searching a house looking for Jon when they came upon them. He said he had looked under the bed and seen them rubberbanded together. Unfortunately they did not search the rest of the house for the passport & birthcertificates as all they were really looking for was Jon, it was just a fluke that they found the checks.

Still she felt glad to have them out of circulation just the same. The U.S. Marshall told her he couldn't tell if any of the checks had been used and Jill could not remember the exact numbers that had been stolen. Either way, at least Jill knew that from this point forward they could not write any more checks. As it was she had yet to be notified by anyone that any of the checks had been used so she was hopeful that maybe they realized the accounts were closed and never used the checks.

HaHa!! Isn't Jill so funny??

Her first brush with the bad check recovery system began just two days later. On November 4th she received a call from M*astercheck. When she called them back she was informed that they were calling in regards to a bounced check. Since this was her first theft of checks and actually the first check that had EVER bounced with her name on it Jill was a little green in this area. The people on the phone were very nice and told her that she needed to fax them a copy of the police report along with a notice from the bank showing when she closed the account.

They also agreed to fax her a copy of the check so she could give it to the police detective. However, later that day Jill opened up her mailbox and found a letter from M*stercheck. Attached to the letter was a picture of a canceled check written on her big bank checking account. Check number 1130 had been written to Hobby Lobby for $135.61.

While this made her perfect little maybe I got off easy scenario not work so well, what most bothered Jill was the fact that the check had been written on 10/19/06. See as you may remember from earlier in our story (I know it's been a LONG ass story and you may not remember that far back!!) big bank will not call when a check hits the bank. They will only send it back lost/stolen and then you have to wait to be contacted.

This means that unfortunately any surveillance video that they may have had of Jane writing the checks is probably long gone. Making it almost impossible to actually prosecute her for this crime. Great customer service huh?

The next day Jill again opened her mailbox to another surprise. (Yes I'm aware it was a Sunday, the mailman/woman is new and still adjusting to the route so the mail didn't get there until 6:00 Saturday night and it was cold and Jill didn't want to traipse outside and get it.) Inside the mailbox was the letter from M*stercheck (apparently they had called when they put the notice in the mail) and a notice from C*pital Recovery. Check number 1134 had been written to Pizza Hut for 42.38.

So just as before Jill called the company and explained to them what was going on. They told her the same information she had already heard. They would need a copy of the police report and a letter stating when the account had been closed before they could turn the incident over to their fraud department.

On Monday morning Jill opened up the paper and was somewhat disappointed to see the following:

November 6, 2006

Alleged abductor eludes authorities

Jon Doe, the target of a Des Moines manhunt, is also accused of assault. U.S. marshals consider him armed and dangerous.

U.S. marshals conducted a manhunt through Des Moines Saturday night for an accused kidnapper, failing to locate a man on the run who should be considered armed and dangerous, authorities said.

Jon Doe, 30, is wanted in Jasper County on charges of second-degree kidnapping. Bridges is accused of kidnapping and assaulting two adults in rural Jasper County in September, a spokesman said. A warrant for his arrest was issued Sept. 25.

The U.S. Marshals Service joined the investigation about two weeks ago, spokesman Mike Powell said. Sources tipped off deputy marshals to the vehicle Jon was driving and his general location Saturday.

Deputies saw Bridges driving at Southwest Eighth Street and Davis Avenue about 8 p.m., Powell said. Jon fled in his vehicle, sparking a chase through the south side of Des Moines.

"Early in the pursuit, it was questionable whether or not we should even continue ... fearing that it might be too dangerous given that area," Powell said, citing narrow streets and a populated neighborhood.

Police backed off several blocks and eventually found Jons' abandoned car around Southwest Fourth Street and Thornwood Road. Jon had jumped out and had run on foot, Powell said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Des Moines Police Department; and a canine unit joined the search. Officers followed several leads, Powell said, including stops at several locations mentioned by sources during interviews. The search was called off about 11 p.m.

Jon is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 150 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

"He should be considered armed and dangerous in more ways than one," Powell said, noting an investigation into a firearms violation and Jons' propensity to flee.

The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating possible drug and firearm charges, Powell said. It will not charge Jin for eluding police or violating traffic laws stemming from the chase.

While she was glad that they were still hunting for him she would have been much happier if they had been able to actually CATCH him. The next morning Jill received a phone call from one of the U.S. Marshalls. They had found Jack's birthcertificate in the car that Jon had ditched on Saturday. Further proving that Jon and Jane were the people who had broken into their safe.

Later that morning Jill made copies of the notices she had received and also wrote up and explanation of what she knew so far. It appeared as if Jane had been using a fake ID as there was an ID number on the checks that was not Jill's old or new ID number. It also appeared as if she had gotten in the phone book and looked up someone will Jill's last name and just the first initial because that was the phone number that was on the checks. (Can you tell she must have done this before?)

Jill then took a two hour lunch and dropped the copies off at the Sheriff's office. The detective was out until Monday but since the checks had been written three weeks prior Jill was fairly certain one more week was not going to hurt anything. She also got a copy of the police report while she was at the sheriff's office. Once she got back to her office she proceeded to fax letters and copies of the police report to both of the check collection agencies.

By that weekend she had received no more notices and was hoping that maybe all they had written were the two checks. (You know where this is going don't you?) Monday morning (we've made it to 11/13 now) Detective D. called her to let her know that he had received the papers that she had left the previous week.

He mentioned to her at that time that since the checks were written in the city he may have to turn the case over to a city detective. However, he said if he did so the chances of anything getting done about it would be pretty slim because they have SOO many cases. So, he was going to speak with his boss and see if he couldn't keep it in the county office.

The next day Jill returned home from work to find a notice from Big Bank stating that her account was overdrawn because they had paid a $30 fee to M*sterchek. At this point Jill became angry. How could they have paid a fee to this company out of her new checking account when the only information this company had was her old account?

Jill immediately called Big Bank and was informed that when they close an account because of lost or stolen checks they do a lost/stolen transfer. So, any checks are returned but any electronic withdrawals are rolled from one account to the other. WTF? So, Jill had to explain to this person at big bank that this was an error because the fee was for a check which she didn't write. The person on the phone processed a fraud report and told Jill that she would take care of it. At that time Jill also asked her about the two other companies that had contacted her and whether she could make sure they could not do the same thing. The person on the phone assured her that would not happen. She lies...

The next night Jill answered the phone and was confronted with a woman from Gl*bal Payments who wanted to talk to her about a check she had written to NAPA for $79.40. Jill politely informed her that she could talk all she wanted but she didn't write a check to NAPA (by this point she was becoming a little cynical). She then explained the rest of the situation and got a fax number to fax the police report to.

On the 16th Jill just had a bang up day. First she received a call from big bank stating that her account was REALLY overdrawn. At first she was caught off guard until she realized that in all the commotion she had forgotten to deposit the money for her home equity loan. So they had withdrawn it from funds that weren't there. She told the woman on the phone that she would go right then and make the deposit and questioned as to whether this would make everything alright. She was assured that if she went and made the deposit that day the account should be fine. She lies... (are you seeing a pattern here?)

When Jill returned home that evening she was faced with two more notices in her mailbox. There was a second notice from M*astercheck about a second check to Hobby Lobby, this one for $156.67. There was also the notice from Gl*bal Payments regarding the NAPA check. She called M*stercheck to confirm that she didn't need to refax the police report and then made a note to make sure she faxed Gl*bal Payments the next day.

By the morning of the 17th Jill was pretty fed up with all of this bad check crap. She faxed Gl*bal payments their information and then faxed Detective D. the newest statements. Finally she decided just for fun she would jump on the Big Bank website to make sure that things had been taken care of. That is when all the real fun started.

At this point she noticed that there was more money in the account than there should have been. After looking into the detail she was horrified to discover that the M"astercheck charge had not been reversed, they had paid another charge to a company called Ch*ck Recovery, and they had bounced her home equity payment.

She immediately picked up the phone to call them and then re-considered. She knew that she was not going to get ANYTHING accomplished on the phone. So... off to the bank she went. It took two hours to get everything straightened out. Since Big Bank is a national chain there is nothing that can be handled within the branch. The banker has to call the corporate number and then they walk them through filling out forms on-line.

The man who was helping Jill had to call three different phone numbers and explain the situation to three different people. Not to mention she had to first get him to understand that while these companies may have legitimate charges they are charges for forged checks and so no, she was NOT going to pay two $30 charges plus two $33 dollar overdraft charges simply because they linked two accounts that they shouldn't have.

Finally when it was all over they had to close the account completely and open another one that was in no way linked to the first. So Jill is now the proud owner of her THIRD big bank checking account in a month. The only really helpful thing that came of her two hours at the bank was she was able to get copies of all of the checks that had tried to clear her old account. In total there were 9.

The perpetrators had gotten away with approximately $731 and it didn't appear that there was anything Jill could do about it. Just the same Jill faxed the copies of the checks to Detective D. for good measure. She also noticed that one of the checks had her SSN on it. This disturbed her greatly. Jon & Jane had not taken her Social Security card but apparently had written down the number from it.

On Saturday she got another notice from Gl*bal Payments regarding a second NAPA Check for $147.90 and by Monday the social security number incident was really starting to eat at her. When she got to work she got on-line and pulled all three of her credit reports. Luckily there was no activity on any of them.

On the 24th she received notice from S*curity Check, LLC about a $28.09 Kum & Go check and then on the 25th she received two notices from Big Bank. One said they had accepted her dispute of one of the $30 charges. The other one said they were denying the dispute of the other $30. Now please explain to me how they can treat two charges for the same thing in two different manners? After a month of dealing with this shit Jill's blood was just boiling.

On Monday the 27th Jill had to go out of town for training so she was not able to fax anyone regarding the notices she had received the previous week. When she returned home she got on-line and checked out the current inmate listing at the county jail. Imagine her surprise when she saw Jane's name on that listing. It said she was charged with two counts of forgery.

Jill looked for Jon's name but could not find it so she assumed Jane must not have known anyone was looking for her and was out and about going about her business. The one thing Jack and Jill were surprised about was that Jane was only 19. Apparenly heavy drug use must take a tole on your looks because she looked at least Jill's age or older. So, while it wasn't Jon behind bars Jill was certainly happy to see Jane there just the same.

unfortunately by the next morning someone had paid $1,300 to a bail bondsman and she was let free. Many people questioned why they would let her bond out of jail. Jill had only two answers for them. Number one, she's not a flight risk. She's never run from the law before so they can't hold her as one until she does. Number two, they may be hoping she leads them to Jon. As a 19 year old kid it may have been possible that she wouldn't be smart enough to lay low and stay away from Jon for awhile. Since he was who they really wanted they may have been trying to set her up.

Once at work Jill sent three more faxes, an appeal to Big Bank, the police report to S*curity Check, & the remaining notices to Detective D. then she waited. She must have checked the jail listings 20 times that day. Each time was the same. Jane was still out and Jon was not yet in.

It took three more days for the law to catch up with Jon & Jane. They were caught together proving Jane's theory that Jane had probably lead them straight to Jon.

December 1, 2006

A man wanted who was involved in two high-speed chases with police and wanted on kidnapping charges is now back in jail.

Members of the US Marshals and Polk County Sheriff's Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Jon Doe Friday night at a home in West Des Moines. Does' wife, Jane was also arrested. Investigators say she was an accessory and helped hide Jon from the authorities.

Jon was wanted in Jasper County on second-degree kidnapping charges. He is now in the Polk county jail. Investigators say they aren't ruling out more charges against other people they believe helped Bridges avoid arrest.

Unfortunately drug money runs deep with these two. By Monday someone had paid an additional $650 to another bail bondsman to get Jane out of jail. Jon, however is another story. He is now being held without bond where Jack and Jill hope he stays for a long, long time.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Part Two - The Crime

The next morning (We've now made it to Wednesday, October 18th) Jack and Jill were getting ready for work when Jill spotted something shiny on the floor of their office. She walked in to take a closer look and noticed it was a butter knife. Still not catching on to what was happening she picked it up and carried it across the hall to the bedroom.

Jack, what is this butter knife doing on the floor of our office?

I don't know, maybe the dogs... wait. Where are your checks?

They are locked in the drawer of the desk right over.....

It was at that moment that Jill noticed that the drawer was cracked open. She walked over to the drawer and noticed that it had apparently been pried opened. She took out both boxes of checks and dumped them on the bed. The first thing she noticed was that the last book of checks was missing from her big bank checking account.

Lots of things flashed through her mind as she tried to contemplate what to do next. Jack had already gone downstairs and was attempting to call Jon & Jane on their phones with no luck. Finally Jill got out the phone book and had him call the Sheriff's office. She didn't feel it was an emergency situation that required 911 but she still wanted an officer there to take a police report.

About an hour later (yeah... their kind of slow in these parts) an officer showed up to take their statements. Jill was kind of expecting some sort of CSI stuff but instead she got Barney Fife. He looked at the drawer and then noticed that there was a file on the floor. The file, they determined, was the ultimate tool that was used to break into the desk. Since both surfaces were uneven the officer informed her that they could not get finger prints from either of them.

Then Jill walked over to the fire safe. Things on top of the file cabinet had been moved. She informed "Barney" of this but he assured her that they couldn't have broken into that safe and that it was also not a finger printable surface. After examining the room "Barney" gathered both check boxes for possible finger printing and then wrote down all of the details they had about these two.

While they didn't know their last names Jill felt confident in the fact that they knew enough details about them to allow them to be found. It was during this information mining process that the truth about Jon started to come out. Jill knew that he had been in jail from January to April. What she didn't know, that Jack apparently did, was that he was a convicted felon.

During this revelation period Jack also informed the sheriff that Jon had shown him a loaded .38 that he kept in his vehicle. Finally, another piece of information leaked out. Jack thought it was possible that Jon was wanted for some offence in another county. He told the sheriff that Jon had told him that he had paid someone off or something and that the charges had been dropped but he was not 100% sure whether this was true.

After taking all the information down "Barney" informed them that the theft of checks is actually a very minor offense. Since they (and by they he of course meant Jack because Jill did NOT give them permission) gave them permission to enter the house all they really had them for was 5th degree theft. Basically the value of the book of checks and the damage to the drawer. MINOR amounts.

So, he told them that until they used the checks they probably would not be getting any follow up calls. Once they used the checks a detective would probably call them to begin a fraud report. Jack & Jill thanked "Barney" and he headed out to his squad car to begin writing his report.

It was at this point that Jill decided she should probably find out if any of the small bank checks were missing. Since there was not a pad in there saying what the last check should be she called the company she ordered the checks from. They were very helpful and told her what number should be her last check. It was, of course, missing.

Luckily "Barney" was still in the driveway so they headed outside to give him the remainder of the information. Jill then quickly packed up her things for work and began the process of closing bank accounts. She went to small bank first because it was closer and because that's where all of her money was.

They were VERY helpful and nice about the whole process. They took down a list of items that were outstanding, made a copy of the officer's card along with the police report number, and then set up her new checking account. They told her that if any of the stolen checks came into the bank they would make a copy of the check before they returned it and promptly give the copy to the officer and to Jill.

From there she headed off to big bank. The process at big bank was just as smooth but Jill did not get the feeling that they would be as helpful. They did close her account and open a new one and they did change the automatic withdrawal information for her home equity loan. What they would not do, however was make copies of the checks and send them to her. It was up to her to contact them. All they would do was send the checks back marked lost/stolen.

Finally at about 11:30 Jill finally made it into work for the day. Although she was not productive in the slightest and spent most of the day talking with people about what happened or fretting over it. As she was sitting at her desk around 3:00 her cell phone rang. She was very surprised when the man on the other end of the phone identified himself as a detective who wanted to talk to her about the theft.

After all, the officer that morning had told her that she would not hear from a detective until the checks had been used and as of that morning when she was in both banks none of them had. After he identified himself Detective T. told her that he thought he knew Jon's last name and that if it was the same Jon, he was looking for him for something else.

He asked Jill if she would be available the next day to look at a photo line up and see if Jon's picture was in it. As luck would have it, she had already made arrangements for someone to come and fix their broken garage door the next morning (so they could lock up their garage and house like Fort Knox) so she was going to be home for a few hours.

He told her he would call her before 10:00 to stop by and then told her the most disturbing piece of news.

If Jon shows up at your house this evening do not speak to him. Call 911 immediately. If this is the same Jon we have been looking for you should consider him dangerous. Please don't take any chances.

Nothing like making a girl feel safe huh?

For the remaining two hours that she was at work all Jill could think about was the fire safe. Why hadn't she opened it when "Barney" was there. What if they had broken into that too? As soon as she got home from work she headed straight upstairs and moved everything from the top of the fire safe. It opened, no key needed and she saw that it had been damaged.

It looked as if they had taken the file and pried it open because there were large groove marks in the plastic around where the lock was. At this point she could tell that there would be no way to repair it and it would need to be replaced. She also noticed that her passport and birth certificate along with Jon's birth certificate were missing.

Jill immediately went downstairs and called the number on "Barney's" card. A receptionist answered and told her that an officer would call her back. When the officer called he took down the newest missing items and said he would add them to the police report.

That night Jill's phone rang. It was Jon & Jane. They were returning her phone call from earlier that day. Not wanting to give away that they knew what was up Jill played dumb and just said she had called because Jane had left her brush and Jon had left some tools at their house. They told her that they would probably not be around for awhile but that they would be in touch later. She wanted to keep the lines of communication open so that hopefully these people could be caught but it was VERY hard to play dumb when she just wanted to jump through the phone and ring their necks.

The next day Detective T. called Jill around 9:00 to tell her that he and another detective would be over within the hour. Jill told him that would work fine. When they got there they briefly asked her what happened and then they looked in the office. They agreed that none of the surfaces were fingerprintable and so their best bet was if there were finger prints on the check boxes.

After that they asked a few questions about what Jill knew about Jon & Jane they brought out two photo lineups. Each one contained about eight people and they told her to look over them and let them know if she saw the people who had been at her house. The first one was of the men and Jill had NO trouble picking out Jon. His face just jumped out at her.

The second lineup was of the women. This one was a little bit harder. She had not really paid all that much attention to Jane as she had only talked to her a couple of times but she picked out a girl who looked like her. The difference was the girl in the picture looked younger, had a thicker face, and different color hair.

After she had identified both of them the Detectives informed her that she was, in fact, correct on both people. It was at this point that some more details about Jon started to emerge. Apparently he was wanted for felony kidnapping, adults not children, and he was a fugitive from justice. They asked if Jack would be interested in trying to get Jon to a central place so they could arrest him.

Jill informed them that Jack had already mentioned that possibility to her and also told them about the conversation that she had with them on the phone the night before. When the detectives left they repeated to her that if either of these people showed up she should call 911 immediately. She told them she would and that Jack would be in touch if he could arrange a meeting.

After the detectives left Jill headed to the D.O.T. Since Jane now had her birth certificate and passport it was possible that she could go to the D.O.T. and get a new license with her picture but Jill's information on it. So, trying to curb off any identity theft, Jill went and had her license number changed and a flag put on her account so that no one else could get a copy of her ID.

Then when she got to work she had to try to get ahold of someone to cancel her passport. The first piece of information she found stated that she had to mail in a form stating that it had been canceled. Jill knew that could take weeks to process and she wanted something with MUCH more speedy results. So, after a little more looking she located a phone number.

When she called the phone number no one answered. She left a message and waited. Two hours later she had still not received a return phone call. So, she began calling every 10 minutes until FINALLY someone answered. By noon she had her passport canceled. One more hastle off her list.

That night Jack received a text message from Jane saying that Jon had been arrested for kidnapping and that she was going to rehab. She requested that Jack leave her alone and stop calling. Then about 15 minutes later she sent another text message saying that Jack needed to stop being such a nark and calling the police on them.

Jack immediately called Detective T., who did not answer, probably because he was on the phone with Jill. See earlier that evening Jill had noticed one more item that was missing. Her old 35mm camera which had been sitting in a case on top of the fire safe was no where to be found. She quickly checked her digital camera and noticed that someone had taken it out of the case and placed it back in a different manner but at least it was still there.

So Jack called Detective D. who told him that as far has he knew Jon had not been arrested but he would check in on it. He also told Jack that there was no way for Jon to know that Jack and Jill had called the police and that they were most likely just feeling him out. He told him to play dumb.

So he sent a text message back stating that he had no idea what she was talking about and why would he have called the police on them? He got no response. Later that evening Detective D. did call him back and confirm that Jon had not been arrested and that they must just be trying to feel them out. He told Jack to let him know if they heard from Jon again.

On Sunday October 22nd as luck would have it Jon called again. He called Jack's cell phone from a restricted number and did not give any details about where he was. All he would say was that he was staying with family and trying to lie low. He gave Jack some song and dance about how the charge that he thought was dropped wasn't and so he was trying to hide out. (As if he thought if he hid long enough everything would just go away.)

Jack played everything off really well and tried to set up a time to meet with Jon but he didn't really fall for it. He just told him he would call him back later. As it turns out Jon did try to call one more time later that week. Jack missed the call but returned a text message to the phone number only to find out that Jon had been there but had left.

After that... the lines of communication went dark.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Part One - The Background

I have been trying to write this story for over a week now and have been finding it a lengthy process. Therefore, I'm going to break it down into three parts so that you can read it a little easier and I can make sense of it a little easier. Hopefully all three parts will be posted by Sunday or Monday.

The time has come when I feel secure enough in the case against our perpetrators to give you all a few more details. I will not use names... because after all everyone is innocent until proven guilty right??

So sit back and get comfy and let me tell you a little story. It may explain a little of why I've been absent lately.

Once upon a time there was a man and a woman, we'll call them Jack & Jill, and they lived in a big farm house in the country. On October 9th there was a man and his "wife" (for the purposes of the story we will assume she was his wife... who knows if that is true), we'll call them Jon & Jane, who were driving along when all of the sudden they noticed that there was something wrong with their vehicle.

So, being in the area they decided to pull into the driveway of Jack & Jill because Jon used to know Jack. (Or worked with him on a jobsite once or something.) Anyhow, they knew nothing about cars but remembered that Jack liked to work on cars and were hoping he could help them to fix whatever was wrong with their vehicle.

Jack, however, was not home when they pulled into the driveway. Jill answered the door and immediately got a strange feeling about this man at her door. However, his car story seemed plausible so she called Jack on his cell phone and he told her he would be right home. While she waited she headed out to the car in the driveway where she discovered that Jane was also pregnant and due a week ahead of her.

Taking pity on this pregnant stranger and her husband Jill left to run an errand while Jack stayed behind to help with the vehicle. As it turns out the radiator in their vehicle had a leak. Jack attempted to help them plug the hole but with no luck. When Jill arrived back from running her errand Jon & Jane were still in the garage with their vehicle running.

About an hour after Jill got home Jon & Jane finally left. Their radiator was still leaking a little but they thought they could make it home. So... imagine their surprise when 45 minutes later they pulled back into the driveway. For the second time that evening Jill had this strange feeling that something just didn't seem right. After all, it is not like they drove 5 minutes and turned around. What were they doing for that 45 minutes?

However, since it was late and Jill was tired she decided not to ask too many questions and so Jon & Jane parked their vehicle next to the shed and came inside to wait for their ride. After a little chit chat about babies, etc. their ride showed up and they were off on their way.

The next day their vehicle stayed parked in the driveway but they did not show up to claim it. Then on Wednesday Jack called Jill at work to say that Jon & Jane were going to be at their house that evening trying to fix the vehicle. When Jill showed up Jon was out in the garage with Jack.

Sometime around 7:00 or so Jack came in and said he needed to talk with Jill about Jon & Jane borrowing his jeep. He told her that Jon's ex-wife had been admitted to the hospital and Jon needed to get to the hospital to pick up his son. Once again Jill was very uncomfortable with what was happening but Jack had already committed the vehicle so Jill sort of went with the flow.

Jack & Jon worked on Jon's vehicle for a little while longer while Jane came in and sat on the couch next to Jill. They talked for about an hour about babies and families and animals. Jane told Jill all about their dog and where they had been living and about her sister who had just twins so she was getting all of their baby stuff, etc.

Once they got ready to leave Jill felt a little more comfortable having had a conversation with Jane and feeling like she knew her a little better. They assured Jill that they had insurance and both had valid drivers licenses. They left the keys to their vehicle in the garage and told her that all of the vehicle information was in the glove box. Jill would later kick herself for not looking for that information and following her gut feeling about these two.

That said, the next day (we've made it to Thursday the 12th are you still with me?) Jill was VERY relieved to get a call from Jack saying that the vehicle and Jon & Jane were back safely in the driveway when he arrived home from work. Jill had to work late but Jack assured her that he would just be in the garage working on the vehicle.

She inquired about Jane and the children as she did not want them alone and unsupervised in her house and was told that only Jane was there and that she would be outside with them. Feeling somewhat comfortable in this knowledge she continued to work. While she was at work Jon and Jack were busy taking the radiator out of the vehicle to try to take it somewhere and get parts.

About 7:30 Jill left work and headed home. She picked up some food and got home around 8:00. Jack came in to eat while Jon & Jane headed out to get parts for their vehicle. They showed back up around 9:45 and Jack went out to give Jon some basic instructions on how to put the vehicle back together. So, imagine Jill's surprise when Jack came back in and told her that they would once again be driving his vehicle home.

At this point they were driving out of the driveway so there was not much she could do. The whole next day at work she pondered what she would do if they did not show back up. Finally about 4:00 she received a call from Jack stating that their vehicle was fixed and was gone from their house and he was just meeting them at their friends house to pick up his jeep.

Hurray Jill thought, this whole nightmare is over and not one bad thing happened!! (Dun, dun, dun.....) You see where this is going don't you?

On Saturday night Jill was exhausted and went to bed early. About 10:00 she heard Jack yelling on the phone and came down to see what the commotion was about. Jack told her that he had called Jane's cell phone trying to get ahold of Jon and Jon had totally flipped out on him. He was going out to the garage to get Jon's tools and Jon was going to come and get them.

About 15 minutes later his phone rang again. It was Jon. Some words were exchanged and some how it was decided that they were going to meet at a gas station by Jack's house to "discuss" their difficulties. Since Jack had been drinking Jill drove him to the gas station the whole time assuring him that if there was any fighting she was leaving and he could gave fun in jail.

There was no fighting, although Jill felt the whole time as if there was something illegal going on. It just didn't make sense to her what was happening and she had a feeling that Jack was not telling her the whole story. Finally after about 5 minutes she went to confront them but Jack headed her off and got in the vehicle and told her to go home.

On the ride home Jack informed Jill that they had asked him if he had a credit card that they could use to register a hotel room to sleep in. He told them no and so they asked if Jill did. Luckily Jack had SOME part of his head screwed on straight when he told them that there was no way in hell Jill would let them use her credit card to register a hotel room. After all... why didn't they just pay with cash? Something didn't make sense.

The rest of the weekend was very uneventful and Monday came without Jill so much as giving it a second thought. As far as she was concerned Jon & Jane were on their way and she would not have to see them again. On Monday night Jack was helping his dad burn leaves while Jill was at home watching TV.

About 8:30 Jill heard the dogs barking. She looked outside but did not see anyone. So, imagine her surprise when Jack showed up at 9:00 and informed her that Jon wanted to come over and work on another vehicle. And imagine her even greater surprise when Jon pulled into their driveway from across the street where he had apparently been lying in hiding while waiting on Jack.

So now Jill's weird shit-o-meter was starting to go off. Things were just not adding up. First they wanted to work on a friend's vehicle. To which Jill promptly said no. She was not letting anyone she didn't know hang out in her garage while she was asleep. Then all of the sudden it was Jane's jeep they wanted to work on and the only people that would be outside would be Jon & Jill.

At this point it was raining and according to Jack they were moving in the morning and needed to get the Jeep in working order so they could use it to haul their things. Feeling defeated and outnumbered Jill gave up and went to bed. She cracked the bedroom window so she could hear anyone coming and going and laid down.

A little after 10:00 a vehicle pulled in which she assumed was the one they were going to work on. Then about 15 minutes later she heard yelling. She got up and looked out the window and noticed Jane standing next to the vehicle obviously quite upset with Jon. She was yelling but Jill couldn't quite hear what she was yelling about.

Then after about 10 minutes she started walking down the driveway and then down the road. Jon sat in the driveway for another 10 minutes or so and then headed out in their vehicle. Jill crossed her fingers that maybe they would just leave and not come back.

No such luck. About 12:00 she heard a vehicle pull in, around 1:00 she heard another and assumed it was the mystery car coming to finally get worked on. Around 6:00 she heard what she thought was the final vehicle leaving so imagine her reaction when she got out of bed at 6:30 and noticed that Jon & Jane's vehicle was parked next to the garage.

Jack's explanation for this was that they were either still in the garage or they had left it and would be back for it later. So Jane got ready for work as usual. When she got outside she noticed something VERY strange. The garage windows had all been covered. It was dark outside for heavens sake, why would they need to cover the windows?

Jack came out and opened the garage expecting to see them inside working on another vehicle. However, the garage was empty and Jon & Jane were no where in site. It is at this point in the story where Jill KNOWS something about these people is off. Her first thought was to go inside and call the police/lock the door.

HOWEVER, what would she tell the police? These people who have done nothing to me are acting strangely can you come and check it out? So she suppressed her negative feeling and headed off to work. When she got home from work the vehicle was gone but when she walked into the house she had an overwhelming feeling that something was not right.

In the bathroom she noticed two used towels and a brush that was not hers. She immediately called Jack and asked them if Jon & Jane had been in their house. It was at this point that she discovered that they had actually been sleeping in their car that morning and that's why it was in the driveway. According to Jack that was because they were moving and just need a place to crash for the one night.

Sometime that morning they had called Jack and let him know what was up and also asked if they could use the bathroom to get cleaned up. Being the sucker that he is he told them that they could enter the house to use the bathroom. It was at this point that Jill blew her top. It was bad enough that they had been outside when Jack & Jill were at work but entering their home when no one was there crossed a line.

Jill told Jack, in no uncertain terms, that Jon & Jane were NOT allowed back at their house ever again. There was something about them that creeped her out and she was done ignoring that feeling. After she got off the phone she walked around the house and took a brief inventory of major items in the house. Jack's wedding ring was there, all of their jewelry appeared to be in place, all major electronics were as they should be, etc. Some of the baby things in the office looked like they had been bumped but that could have just been by the cat. Nothing appeared to be missing.

So Jill decided that maybe her feeling was wrong. Maybe they did just need to use the bathroom.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Some sort of Justice...

On December 1st at approximately 11:00 PM the law finally caught up with our perpetrators. The rest of the story will follow soon... I promise...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Jake's Jeep

I present for your viewing pleasure... or actually your viewing horror. Jake's Jeep....

Yes, he walked away from this...

No... I don't know how...

According to him a deer ran out in front of him, he swerved, hit the gravel, over corrected and tipped it over onto the drivers side in the ditch. He didn't want to call a tow truck, so a farmer pulled him out.

As you can see the front end is now held together by very attractive stripped tape. The roof collapsed down an he had to hook a chain to the bar between the windshield and the door to pull that bar up enough that he could drive it home.

Neither door opens, and speaking of driving home... I have NO idea how he drove an hour home with a windshield that looks like THIS!!
In the end he is damn lucky that the thing that is hurt the worst is his pride. We have spoken here before about his driving record so I won't go into it in any further detail except to say that we have only had this jeep a year and a half. He really liked it and is very sad to see it go.

However, with the baby coming and his driving apparently not getting any better I do not think that we will be able to get him another jeep for awhile. For the mean time when you come to visit us the part of Jake's vehicle will be played by a small cheap car or truck, depending on what we can find. That way if he wrecks it again we are not out much money.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Contractions, Contractions, and oh yeah... some belly pictures

I have updated the baby's site, over there to the right, and so I'm not going to regurgitate the same stuff about all of my fun contractions here that I have written there. I'll just let you browse at your leisure.

I am, however, going to post some belly pictures for your continued enjoyment. When I was in the hospital on Wednesday (see, you haven't gone over and read the other site yet have you and now your are lost. Go on... I will still be here when you get back and then you will feel all in the loop again) Katie asked how long it had been since I had taken belly pictures and I realized that it had been 8 weeks.

Not knowing whether he was going to stay in for another few weeks or decide to be born shortly I decided that I should take these.

Yes, I'm aware that I only look half with it. Please keep in mind that this was after a day of contractions and stress and such so I'm allowed to look out of it!! :-)

As before I've also decided that you should see the full girth from the front so here you go.
Finally, here's the standard comparison picture. And no, I'm not going to give you one of the two frontal pictures. Wasn't it scary enough the first time around?
The main difference I notice in these pictures is not the difference in the size of my belly or the fact that you can see that I'm starting to gain a little water weight in my face. It's the roundness of my belly. Sometime in the last 8 weeks I have began to carry around a basketball instead of a slightly flattened volleyball.

Now, all of you just cross your fingers with me that we will have at least two more weeks of belly pictures before the little man decides to make his grand entrance.