Sorry to keep you hanging from part 1 but these stories take some time to write.
Where were we in this story? Ah, yes! We have pulled up the van around the corner of the house. I feel like I can hear my heart beating outside my chest. Internally I am processing, “Is this really happening? Are we seriously sitting feet away from where the stolen iPad is located?!”
I am all ready to storm in but have no clue as to what rights need to be read or anything.
In America, in order to go into a house the police need a warrant under the fourth amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In Haiti, they have similar systems in place but you can expedite the process by instead of asking the Judge for a warrant you can bring the judge with you.
The police officer and judge said they would go in first. I guess that is usual protocol. Pulling from my extensive crime knowledge and superior training which includes programs such as Batman, Remington Steele, Bond Movies, MacGyver, Dark Wing Duck and many more, I have a few ideas of my own.
Recalling some past shows I remember how often you see the police go in the front door and the bad guys run out the back door :-D! Since the house is on a corner, I decide to stake out on the other side, preparing for any sneak escapes out the back.
Not a moment after seeing the police officer and the judge enter the house I see a guy exit the other side. I shout up to him in Creole, “Mesye” (meaning “mister”).
As he continues walking away, he swings a backpack over his shoulder. I immediately think, Could this be the same backpack that the iPad was stolen in?
I begin to walk toward him saying again much louder, “Mesye!”
Is this guy deaf! Is it my imagination or is he starting to walk faster.
Running up to the guy I instantly ask him in Creole, “Do you know of Port-Au-Prince Fellowship? Were you there this morning?”
“No,” he responds.
As I begin touching around his bag, I asked him, “Can I look inside your bag?”
Surprisingly, he was very nice and opened up his bag which reveals only some random objects. Nothing!
Feeling a bit awkward yet still focused on the task, I thanked him and head straight back to the house. I am thinking I will probably have a good laugh about this awkward incident later.
As I approach the house, the police and judge are turning the corner to tell me this is actually the front door to the place. We all enter together into the court yard.
“Wait. What is this place?”
The judge explains part of the situation not saying anything about tracking the iPad. He motions for me to go inside the house. At this point, I am thinking, shouldn’t we be calling for backup or something? Also not understanding why I was picked as the first person to enter the house 😀
Oh, well – Here goes nothing!
I enter the house and begin searching for the iPad. I noticed stuff sitting everywhere. Seemed organized but – wow – there is a lot of stuff. I continue looking not seeing the iPad sitting out in plain sight.
As I enter a room, I see heaps of plastic bins neatly stacked on shelf after shelf. What is going on here? There is sooooooo much stuff very well organized! This is not a typical Haitian house. Then out of nowhere a bunch of women start shouting at me. At this point, I hadn’t even really looked at anyone. I was so focused on looking for the iPad. One woman came up to me and couldn’t believe I didn’t remove shoes. Then I catch it!
This isn’t a Haitian house, these are Koreans! Of course, I hadn’t caught up on the “Top 10 Korean Customs To Know Before Visiting a Korean Home”. Apparently, not removing your shoes is a sign of great disrespect. I am a bit conflicted because aren’t we already invading their home – so removing my sandals seem a bit odd at this point but whatever.
Moving on, I enter the room directly over where the GPS coordinates pointed to on the map when we first located the iPad back at the McHoul’s house. The Judge coming in behind me looks around and is fired up shouting,
“This is justice! This is justice!”
He is saying this because, we both realize that something bigger is going on besides one little iPad. This room is full of laptop computers and equipment! There is computer equipment on the shelves and on the tables. Seriously, there is more stuff in this one house then the entire Heartline mission.
Using a careful eye, I begin pulling back some of the sheets revealing more equipment. My spirit sinks as I realize it would take a month to look through all this stuff. They could have concealed the iPad in one of a million plastic bins. We eventually search the outside workers chambers and a few tent rooms sitting inside the court yard.
Meanwhile, the Korean pastor shows up with a younger guy who is maybe son or protégé. The judge gives them the spiel and immediately the younger guy runs in the house and comes out holding an iPad asking me,
“How did you guys track the iPad here?” He gestured to his iPad, wanting me to show him.
They knew we were looking for the iPad but we hadn’t mentioned anything else. The very fact he asked the question made us realize that they very well had the iPad in their possession. Up to this point, we really weren’t sure if it was a friend, a guest, a worker, etc. They had to be in shock. The emotion is revealing itself by their quick actions and movement.
Without thought I say, “I am not going to show you how I tracked it.” Pausing for a second to come up with something more intelligent, “I will show you how if you can return my iPad.”
There is a large group of people around us and everyone starts multiple conversations, talking and discussing over each other. Barry from the just outside the gate comes up to me and says, “The pastor and the other guy are in the car leaving!” I hadn’t noticed with all the discussion that they slipped out.
Running up to the car I asked, “Where are you going? Are you going to get the iPad back?” The younger guy kind of nods and then they drive away.