Had a terribly stressful afternoon and evening yesterday. When I spoke to V around 4pm my time someone had just stolen Jin. She had left him attached to the window bars outside her sister's house while she went inside with the oranges she had just bought. When she came out he was gone and an old woman scuttled over to deliver the news that a man on a motorbike had stopped, untied the lead and then driven off dragging poor Jin behind him.
She managed to find a friend with a bike and together they scoured the neighbourhood. She then heard from the Agua Salvavidas delivery team that a German Shepherd was on the loose on the carretera to Ciudad Vieja, but this turned out to be a false sighting. After four fruitless hours of searching, V was feeling utterly desolate. ('Desperrada' quipped her brother later).
It was 8pm here in the UK and we were speaking on the phone as she walked disconsolately home from a search around the southern districts of Antigua. Suddenly she spotted Jin sitting in the passenger seat of a car passing her. She called out and the frantic response of the dog (he leaped over the steering wheel) brought the car to a screeching hault and she then had a very heated exchange with the driver, which I was able to overhear.
That she recognised him (the brother of her niece's best friend) and the fact that she had a witness, albeit thousands of miles away, gave her a small advantage, but people accused of being a thief to their faces are known to respond with lethal force in Guatemala. Somehow she convinced him that his actions earlier had been witnessed by others and that he himself had been identified.
"Take this piece of shit," he said, then pushed Jin out the door and roared off. V discovered that he had taken the dog to the vet to get him some injections and this small investment following the impulse crime no doubt rankled with the heartless dognapper.
Clearly exhausted from his ordeal Jin went upstairs and was allowed the special privilege of crashing out on V's bed rather than his usual alcove in the room next door.
Having Antigua's main police station right in front of our house seems to provide no special advantages when it comes to security. However, since they moved in V has had water at full pressure 24-hrs a day, so there are a few perks.