The other night my husband Paul was going along with a relative to meet a guy who had advertised his car for sale on the internet.
Because it was going to be at night - in a distant town - they planned to meet at a parking lot at a mall.
Lot of lights there and people.
When you are buying a car from a stranger and dealing in cash you had better be careful. Or if you're selling one too.
I was too tired to go along, but since I was worried I showed Paul how to use his cell phone camera and told him that while he waited in the car as the transaction unfolded, he could take lots of pictures through the windshield.
(I didn't tell him that if I were there I would then hide the camera under the seat so if they started shooting, they wouldn't find it in the excitement. Haven't seen that on a TV show anyway.)
Also, I didn't want pictures of the car being sold as much as I wanted pictures of the person or persons selling the car.
You see I had read about people getting killed when they met up with guys who had advertised a car for sale.
Paul grinned, as he knew I was thinking about the crime angle and wondered if I would bring a gun? But I told him the only weapon I could use would be a camera.
Anyway, it was with some concern that I stayed home and waited to hear what went on.
Over an hour later I was jolted to alert status when my cell phone rang.
It was Paul. He was sitting in our car safeguarding the cash while the seller and buyer took a test drive.
Just had to wait now.
That's when it got interesting.
After another hour or so I still hadn't heard anything back. Because we have the ability on our iPhones to track them, I clicked on the "app" to find Paul's phone.
It was heading south toward the Iowa border!
He was supposed to go north to get back home!
Now I had to decide if Paul's car had been stolen and he was knocked out or worse... or if he had been kidnapped in it!
So should I call his phone and see if he answers?
If I call and it rings then the kidnappers will know about it and they'll throw it away and I won't be able to track him.
If he left it in the car, the person stealing it will know it's there and throw it away and I won't be able to track the car.
But while I was still thinking through this scenario, I hit the call button and heard it ringing...
Finally Paul answered and explained that after the car had been bought and the buyer and seller exchanged papers, etc., he had left them. But he made the wrong turn onto the freeway and had gone south instead of north. He couldn't change his route for quite a distance. Then he had stopped and gotten some food at a Quik Trip.
The next time I checked his progress on the phone "app" - going on toward midnight - he had stopped at EconoFoods a couple miles from home. (It was a Wednesday - special discount for seniors!)
The ending to this "crime story" was a lot better than some of the TV crime shows.