El Nido, Philippines

to catch a thief.

Getting robbed in El Nido, Philippines.

“I can’t find my laptop.”

Brad came out of his dorm room, looking for the computer he’d left on his bed. Victor had already been complaining that his phone was missing though we had been assuring him he had had it when he came back from the hospital that afternoon after he’d fainted from dehydration.

And then Julien noticed that his phone was missing too.

It was maybe around eleven when we noticed. We had just come from dinner and had been planning an early night to get a good night’s sleep for a tour that we had planned the next day. But now it seemed like no one would be sleeping well at all.

It was obvious that the hostel had been burglarized.

We told the woman who worked there and demanded that she check everyone’s lockers. She opened the locker of a Filipino man who had checked in that day and it was empty. He was gone. We all immediately knew it had to have been him and that everyone’s things were probably already on a bus to Puerto.

Those of us in the women’s dorm checked our things and nothing seemed to be missing. But the next morning I noticed that I couldn’t find the charger to my laptop. I looked through my things three times over. It was gone.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

I felt guilty. Like the entire thing was my fault. I had found the hostel and told Brad where I was. If we had been staying somewhere else it never would have happened. I had suggested we all go to dinner. Maybe if we were in he wouldn’t have had the chance. I had been there when the Filipino guy had checked in. I had pointed out to him where to find the owner. All of mine that was stolen was a stupid charger, it was insignificant, and I was able to take Brad’s because he wouldn’t be needing it anymore. But it still hurt.

We all felt dejected. The next day, after our tour, we all checked out of the hostel and checked into a new place. The owner cried as we all settled our bills. The boys filed police reports with no expectations. Everyone was ready to give up on El Nido.

Brad recalled though that he had maybe installed a tracking software onto his computer and borrowed mine to check his account. It turns out he had and so he reported his laptop as stolen and requested reports.

Later that night he checked his account and there on the screen was a photo of a man using the computer and a screenshot of him on Facebook. From there Brad was able to get the thief’s name, his phone number, and his location.

It was still a long shot, but he took it all to the police in El Nido and then ended up going to Puerto to talk to the police there.

After showing the police all of his evidence and after a lot of explanation, he went with the police to this man’s place and took back his computer (and my charger).

Though apparently they did nothing to arrest the guy or take a statement. But what really can you expect in Asia? And hey, he got our stuff back! And to me, that’s all that matters.

So, in conclusion, remember all to lock up your stuff. Because even if you’ve gone so long without anything happening there is always the chance and not everyone can be trusted. And, if you have a laptop, install this shit now. Because it is awesome. And you never know…

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Tim
    September 9, 2012at1:17 am

    That’s a ringing endorsement right there! Installed that shit.

  • Erik
    September 9, 2012at4:01 am

    I’ve got it installed. I have seen too many posts on how well it work. Glad you were able to recover the stuff.

  • Micamyx|Senyorita
    September 9, 2012at12:47 pm

    Which hostel u stayed at?

  • Jessie
    September 18, 2012at9:00 am

    Love the software! Thanks for sharing it! 😀

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