Updated Monday, 9am
It all started Sunday evening right after a sports event at Taft High School. A man who had misplaced his iPad quickly activated the device’s “Find Me” software. Activating the iPad’s “Find me” software, the device started giving out its GPS location. And low and behold the iPad’s location showed up on the owner’s phone GPS screen. Rory Alvarez, 40, watched his iPad as it traveled southbound out of Lincoln City. He immediately called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher where the vehicle was. Lincoln City Police swung into action.
Unfortunately, police got caught behind a lot of traffic and had trouble catching up with what they thought was a fleeing thief. They reported the vehicle on the Siletz River Bridge, then Fogarty Creek. Lincoln City still couldn’t catch up.
So they called ahead to Lincoln County Sheriffs units and Newport Police to try to intercept the vehicle.
The GPS coordinates given off by the iPad now had it at Rocky Creek, then top of Foulweather, then Beverly Beach, passing 60th, then 31st and into Newport. Finally, it turned into McDonald’s on north Coast Highway.
At that point police thought they were looking for a red Ford but they saw no sign of one, either in the McDonald’s drive-thru or in the parking lot.
Just then Lincoln County Sheriff’s Sergeant Adam Shanks saw a man starting to get into a blue van who seemed to be a little agitated. Sgt Shanks walked up to the man and asked what was the matter. The driver said he didn’t know why the iPad in his van was sounding a loud alarm and flashing the words “I’m Lost, Call this number ________________.
At that point Sgt Shanks knew he had found the right vehicle. As he talked to the driver he quickly learned what had happened. No crime here. Just unfortunate circumstances.
It seems that James Craig, 57 of Eugene, had earlier left the Taft High School gym after a sports event. As he headed for the door, he spotted an iPad that someone had obviously left behind. Craig said he picked it up and tried to give it to one of the school coaches for safe-keeping. The coach suggested that they open it up get a clue as to who might own it. The page that came up was all about sports at a Eugene area high school.
Rather than leave the iPad in Lincoln City, the two agreed it would be best for the Craig, who also happened to live in the Eugene area, to simply take it home and turn it in to the owners’ school so the owner could get his iPad back as quickly as possible.
So, the Good Samaritan took the iPad to his van and headed out for the long drive home.
Meanwhile the iPad owner eventually came to realize something was missing. His iPad! When Alvarez thought it might had might have been stolen, he activated the iPad’s emergency tracking software on his iPhone that immediately triggered the iPad’s GPS coordinates. There on his iPhone she saw his missing iPad traveling south on Highway 101 nearing the south city limits.
He called 9-1-1.
Police couldn’t catch up because of all the Sunday night traffic. When it became obvious to the officers they were not going to catch up while still inside the city limits they called ahead to the County Sheriff and Newport Police Departments.
As the vehicle entered Newport officers were told it was a red Ford Escape and that it had just turned into McDonald’s on North Coast Highway. But two patrol units saw no sign of any such car in the drive-thru line nor in the parking lot. When Lincoln City emergency dispatch insisted that the vehicle was still there, Sheriff’s Sergeant Adam Shanks figured they had the wrong vehicle description. And he was right.
Suddenly a man walked up to his van, opened the driver’s door and instantly Sgt Shanks could hear an alarm going off. There on the seat was an iPad flashing the words “I’m Lost, call this number__________.”
The call was made. The whole story came out as to what really happened. The man resumed his journey home to the valley and Sgt. Shanks headed north to rendezvous with Lincoln City Police to deliver the device back to its owner.
The moral to the story is that too often no good deed goes unpunished, AND that you don’t assume possession of any portable computer device without imagining that the whole world is looking over your shoulder.