Nobody at the police believed that they would ever find this old Volkswagen van again. The owner had been coming in nearly weekly, begging for them to keep looking. It was obvious that something else was going on with this win. When the police finally found the vehicle, they quickly discovered what was really going on with it.
At first glance, the inside of the old van looked normal; you could see that it had been abandoned in the forest for decades, but nothing else was out of the ordinary. That is until they started to investigate the vehicle a bit deeper. They quickly realized that the owner had not been truthful about why he wanted the van back so badly. He claimed it had sentimental value to him; the officers never believed him, but now they had proof that he had been lying through his teeth.
The police confronted the man that very day, and he knew he had messed up. But he felt so strongly that he had no other choice; he needed to get back what was in the van. But what really was in this old van that one of the gentlemen wanted back so badly for decades, and how did the police even get to find the vehicle?
Over the past few years, local police had been getting extremely annoyed by an elder gentleman who kept coming in nearly every week to ask about his stolen van. He wanted to know if they had found it already and if they were still looking for it.
The answer the officers always gave was the same: the van was on the missing list of vehicles, and if somebody reported it or tried to sell it anywhere, it would show up in their system. But that did not happen yet, and officers also did not expect that to change. They were not actively looking for that car either. They never really did that as it would just simply cost them too much time. They tried to explain that to the gentleman many times, but he never accepted the answer; he found it unacceptable.
Even though the officers would ask the man why he needed the van back so badly, despite him having already been compensated by the insurance, he only gave them the answer that he was just very attached to this old Volkswagen bus. But nobody at the police station was buying that. It was obvious that there was something else going on with this man.
And even though some of the officers had definitely gotten curious about it, they had resigned themselves to the fact that they would probably never find out the truth; the owner would never tell it, and finding the man seemed impossible at this point. It had been missing for decades by now, and most likely, it was rotting away somewhere. If nobody had spotted it anywhere yet, it could be at the bottom of a lake or crushed in a scrapyard.
But the officers would actually turn out to be very wrong about this. It would turn out that the van was actually a lot closer than they could have expected. It would actually show up on their radar in a case of pure coincidence. They couldn’t believe their eyes because they thought that they would never find that missing van.
A hiker traveling through a nearby forest had called the officers to report that he had found a worn-down blue Volkswagen van. He called them because the forest was a protected area, so he asked if the officers could do something to move the van away. The police officers didn’t realize that the van was the one they had been looking for the whole time. Actually, the police didn’t think a lot about it at first.
The officer that answered the call obviously did not make the connection immediately, but when he entered the number plate in the system, he got a hit. It was actually the exact same van as the one they were looking for. But how did it end up there?
After a while, they realized that the van was the one that the older gentleman had been coming in for every week. He described the van so accurately that everybody at the station knew what that vehicle looked like.
But now they had to do something to move the van away from the restricted area in the forest. He quickly called a couple of other officers to report what he had just learned and discuss what they could do next. He was very skeptical about the whole situation, and he wanted to find a solution as soon as possible.
The protocol was very clear about this kind of situation, but did they really want to follow it this time, or was there something different that they could do? They should be calling and informing the older gentleman of their find immediately, but if they were right about there being something else going on with the van, then the man would probably not want them near the vehicle. So they had to come up with a different plan; they had to find out what happened with that old blue van.
And so they decided to keep the van inside the forest a secret because they wanted to find out more about the van and figure out why it was inside the forest. At least they had a chance to look at it themselves. They were going to pick it up that very afternoon, but they didn’t know what they were going to find inside.
So, the two officers headed to the coordinates that the hiker had passed on to them with a small tow truck. It was not an easy spot to get to, as there were no roads leading to these parts of the forest. So they had to find a way to reach the small area where the van was found. They were very curious to see what the man was looking for. But why was the man inside the restricted area of the forest, and why did the vehicle end up there in the first place? One logical scenario was that someone had stolen it and hidden it there to not get caught by the police, but they were wondering what would be in it for the thieves.
The police officers were puzzled over that mystery. After they tried to solve that mystery, they concluded that maybe it was not about the van at all. That man wanted the van so badly because he knew that there was something much more important inside. So the thieves at the time knew that something was inside the vehicle. Who was inside the vehicle?
After a relatively difficult excursion, they finally managed to find the van. As the van was blue, it immediately stood out against the green of the forest, and the police wondered how nobody could have found it before, as it was so obvious. Now they had to investigate the interior place of the van in case they found some evidence.
After a couple of minutes, they found out that the doors of the van were closed, but with a little bit of effort, they could open the door as the logs had decayed over the years. Now it was easier for them to do their research, and they were truly curious to find some clues. The windows were covered in moss, and they had to use a flashlight to see inside the vehicle, even though it was the middle of the day. It was difficult to find anything out of the ordinary.
The truth is that the circumstances were not the easiest for them as the van seemed to be time-worn. There was another difficulty when it comes to searching inside the vehicle; they also had to make sure that they could return it to the owner without him being able to figure out they had investigated it until that moment. The owner had no clue that the officers had found this van.
So they came up with another plan to make sure that everything was going to end up well. The best idea was to quickly load the van onto the tow truck and transport it back to the city. They did not want to bring it back to the police station, as they did not want the gentleman to find out that they had his van now. It’s time to research more about the van. Their plan was under pressure as some other developments escaped from their attention.
The old gentleman was a very present figure in town and usually knew exactly what was going on. In other words, the gentleman, by now, was aware of all the activities going down in the forest. Of course, the gentleman was smart enough to stay distant; he found a way to stay close enough and saw from his safe distance the police transporting something large, perhaps even the size of a van. He decided to tail them, and so a confrontation was inevitable.
The police chose to investigate from a police station in a village nearby. This way, there wouldn’t be much attention to it, and regular police work could still carry on. It didn’t take long before they would benefit from their cautious actions. The gentleman obviously had something to hide. The strange thing was that the gentleman was enough right to involve the police, since he came there weekly to make sure they were looking for the van. On the other hand, he wanted to remain close, perhaps out of fear of what would be found.
As mentioned, the gentleman didn’t make too many friends at the police station, yet there was one officer close to retiring who could relate to the gentleman; they grew up together. Therefore, the officer understood that the gentleman’s misery, but was he a helpful friend or someone who knew more?
Once the officer understood that the van was found and where it was taken, he was aware of the powerful information that was in his hands. He tested his integrity as an officer and his loyalty towards his friend, the ill gentleman. He decided to call the gentleman without being specific about the location of the van. The gentleman admitted that he already knew but lost the trail on the transport. He was grateful for the information, but he also admitted that the only information he needed was the information that was hidden by the officer.
While the old man was desperately trying to find out where the officers had taken his van and putting his senior officer friends under more and more pressure, the police had started to carefully take apart the van in the hopes of finding out something about it. They had no idea that the gentleman knew that they had found a van, that the element of time was getting more and more important.
Here, they were taking their sweet time as they wanted to be able to put the van back the way afterward. The process was long and difficult, and the officers were getting more and more frustrated as they were just not finding anything out of the ordinary. They really expected to maybe find stolen diamonds, money, or even weapons. Anything that could be so important for the man and need to be kept away from them.
The officers continued their search, but they did not know that their time was now basically up. The senior officer had caved into the plead of the gentleman after he explained the truth to him, and he now finally knew where to find his lost van. He raced to the remote police station in the nearby village as fast as he could. All he could hope was that the officers had not found what they were looking for, as that would mean he would have to go through a very lengthy process which he was not here for.
The older senior officer told the gentleman where the van was found. He did not explain why the van was there or what the officers were doing to it. But the man could very well hazard a guess, as he knew what kind of an impression the officers must have had of him. They had to know by now that it was not about the van for him but about something inside. No person in the right mind would come back for a car so anytime, and the gentleman knew that his motives might actually be a bit crazy. But that was not going to deter him one bit.
When he got to the small police station, he immediately saw the police officers tearing his van apart. In such a small station, there was not much room to hide what they were doing. The gentleman sprinted out of his car towards them, screaming for the officers to stop. The two officers immediately recognized the gentleman’s voice, and they knew they had been caught red-handed. They had no idea how this man had found them, but they knew they had to make a strong case for their actions; otherwise, they would have to explain themselves to their commander.
The gentleman wanted to immediately run past the officers to get his old and now torn apart van, but they could not have that. The officers had gone through too much trouble just to let this man take their potential find away from under their nose. They could easily hold the man away from his van and demand that he would fill in the appropriate paperwork for him to get his van back. But then the gentleman would just demand that they would not touch his van until it got processed. This was not ideal for either party. The officers and the gentleman decided to sit down for a second and talk it out with each other. Maybe they could come to an understanding here.
The gentleman admitted that there was something in the van that he was looking for, but it was nothing illegal. An agreement could be reached. The man was allowed to go and get what he wanted from the van as long as the officer could validate what it was. After this, the van could be destroyed for all the gentlemen cared; it could be driven to the van could be even moved now, straight to the dump.
The officers watched in anticipation as the gentleman opened up the glove compartment of the old van, something they had already done, but where they found nothing out of the ordinary. But the gentleman exactly knew where he needed to pull out a small picture album. Tears started to well up in the eyes of the gentleman; the officers had the photo album in their hands before, but did not think anything of it when they looked through it. But this had been what the gentleman had been looking for all these decades.
The album contained the last pictures of his late wife. He always had it in his car so that he could look at them every day before work, never anticipating that it would be stolen. He had wanted nothing more than to get it back, but knew the police would not make a lot of effort for some pictures. And thus, he came up with a plan to come back and report the van every week and be as mysterious about it as possible to try and make the officers curious. He wanted them to think that there is something illegal or at least worth looking for in the van. And his plan succeeded.
The officers were annoyed, but there was not much that they could do about it. They had fallen for a completely legal trick of the old man, and they understood why he had done what he did. At least they would now not be annoyed by him weekly anymore.