Reunited And It Feels So Good

This San Francisco couple bought this van a few months ago for their side business. Next thing they knew, it had been stolen! 

The van then showed up in front of our house and sat there for some time before our across-the-street neighbor brought it to our attention.

(We get a lot of cars parked in front of our house because of the businesses on Leimert, and I don't pay much attention. We have a long stretch of sidewalk out front and we're not bothered by the cars. It's a public street! Go ahead! Park!)

After our neighbor mentioned it, I used the handy-dandy Oak311 app to report it. 

Another thoughtful Oaklander, one who pays attention to the 311 posts, suggested that I try to figure out who owns the van and contact the owner. It's probably a stolen vehicle, he said, and the owner probably wants it back! This other neighbor said that he has successfully reunited several vehicles with the owners. The city folks don't have the bandwidth to deal with abandoned vehicles in a timely matter, he noted, and they are not going to make much of an effort to find the owner, who could eventually end up facing a monster bill from the city for storing the vehicle. What a huge bummer that would be! Can you imagine?

Okay. I figured I'd see what I could do. I walked out to the van in my slippers. On the aide of the van, I could see the ghost of branding past. There had been a company name and phone number, but it been removed. If I looked from just the right angle, I could make out a phone number. It was for the van's previous owner. Fast forward, oh, five minutes or so, the current owners received a call that their van had been recovered. They were so relieved!! By nightfall, the van was gone.

Honestly, it's amazing what a slipper-wearing person can accomplish! Am I right? And a big HEY-HO for strong community!

If you have an abandoned vehicle on your block, consider trying to make somebody's day. See if you can find the owner. :-)