My husband takes a lot of ribbing, mainly for this:

Does he want to see your ass thrown in jail or croon you a Barry White song? Who’s to say?! That photo hits all potential reader demographics.

But recently he got local media attention from WTOP, DCist and Fishbowl when some jackhole on the Metro tried to swipe his iPhone. What the story doesn’t say is that he got ripped off twice.

I was sitting at home that night, not knowing that at that very minute my husband was making like Mssrs. Starsky and Hutch, chasing the perp through the Metro station, when I got a call from his phone. His face appeared on screen but on the other end was a chick who sounded so Midwest nice that I figured her for a Prairie Home Companion extra. She told me she found the phone but couldn’t get it to my husband “before he ran off.” [Editor’s note: At this moment I thought, “before he ran off? He hasn’t run in a good many years, Pippi Gundersson. He saunters. He moseys. He does not run.”]

But here was Miss Fargo 2009 assuring me that she would drop the phone off at the Takoma Park station, her next stop, in a few minutes. When she conferred with an apparent chum that that was the name of the station and then laughed a little I thought, “Huh, OK, kinda weird. Anyhoo.” But I thanked her profusely and figured my husband had just dropped the phone. How nice that this good Samaritan was returning it. The good Samaritan whose name and contact information I did not get.

Problem: the good Samaritan never turned the phone in. I called WMATA police to alert them the phone was on its way to the Takoma Park Metro booth, so there was little chance of it disappearing once it hit Metro staff hands. Moot point. It never showed in the first place.

Robbed twice. First by a garden-variety thug. Next by a twerp who apparently decided her good deed would get her only so far and the $600 phone in her hand would get her much farther. What she had no way of knowing is that I’d majorly splurged to buy the phone for my husband for Father’s Day. That he’d started amassing a collection of photos of our toddler that we can’t get back now. That one of his primary work tools — his source list — was on that phone. That he’d built an impressive music collection on it that he loved to unwind to on his way to and from work.

Not famine, not murder, not anything horrible. Just all a bummer and maddening and unfair.

Everyone assumes that you can automatically track an iPhone when stolen, but that’s only if you’ve pre-loaded the proper app. And my husband didn’t have a password on it, so she’s free to peruse any of the content on the phone. Hopefully she’s stupid enough to take it into a Verizon store to get it re-activated, where a computer will indicate it’s stolen. Hopefully she will also soon have the grown-up equivalent of having your ice cream cone tip onto the sidewalk. I’d like to think I’m bigger than wishing that, but I’m not.

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