California Livin'

It’s a Small World (Social Media Crime Fighter Edition)

Junior S.F.P.D. Officer

And I have the badge to prove it…

Last night, I was leaving dinner with my friends, Marianne Masculino, Cesar Torres and Dane Hurtubise (and Dane’s friend, Ray) when we found a backpack on the sidewalk a half block from the restaurant. As Dane started checking it out, I walked off thinking boys were silly for picking up a backpack from who-knows-where left on the sidewalk in San Francisco. That’s when I noticed a nice small leather bag just a few feet away that I picked up to inspect. The bag contained an iPad and a temporary bank card.

Dane said “There are passports in the bag.”

Marianne said “That’s a folder from the bank when you open a new account.”

Cesar said “There’s a knife* on the sidewalk too.”


We picked up all of the items that were laying on the sidewalk within 10 feet of the empty bag and inspected them more. Moleskine notepad, collected business cards, foreign money, disposable phone, credit cards, underwear**…

We had a name from the passports, David Adewumi, and an email address (thanks unlocked iPad) with a company name. So we did what any normal person who works in the interwebz would…we Googled him. Used to write for VentureBeat, graduate of Penn State, co-founder at innoblue. This guy was like us; entrepreneur, geeky, intelligent. So why was his stuff strewn on the sidewalk of San Francisco?

Because we weren’t sure what we were facing, though all of those CSI and Law and Order episodes we’ve watched helped us create scenarios of what might have happened on the mean streets of SF, we decided to call the police as we had no idea where David might be.

Me to the police, “Hello. I have a non-emergency to report. We found a backpack on the sidewalk with a bunch of other items including and iPad, passports, credit cards. There’s also a knife, but it doesn’t look like it’s been used…but we haven’t really looked at it.” The police told me we could drop it off at a police station or we could wait until an officer arrived, but it may be a while. We decided we’d take it in.

Dane walked Ray to his car a few blocks away while Marianne, Cesar and I sat in my car with the bag, doors locked, being very aware of who was around us. I DM’d VentureBeat alums, Anthony Ha (who I later saw was on his way to Berlin for a much deserved vacation!) and Jacob Mullins to see if he knew David. We looked on Facebook to see if we were ‘friends’ or who we had in common. Dane called us while walking to Ray’s car to tell us he KNEW this guy and had his number in his phone as they met a few years ago in SF. (Cue creepy music)

We collected Dane and drove to the nearest Police Station, which isn’t in the greatest area. As I parked, Cesar advised me to pull up in one of the “reserved for police car” spots. Thankfully I’m smarter than that… We walked in to the deserted police station and took care of business. No really, we all had to use the bathroom so we took turns with the bag while we each went through the metal detectors (observation–guys usually have more metal objects on them than women which set the alarm off!) before the guards took us behind locked doors to the bathrooms. Guess we looked safe enough to let through.

For the next 3 hours, we waited at the police station while they looked through all of the items and logged them. Shortly after we got to the police station, I emailed the innoblue’s “contact us” email address, hoping someone would get it and would know where David was. It was a simple email saying we found his bag and items and were taking them to the police station. We put on our thinking caps to discuss what might have happened. David’s a runner (thanks Google!) so we wondered if he had been mugged and chased the guy down. We kept saying that we hoped he was OK.

Which one am I?!

Three hours is a long time, but we kept ourselves entertained. I tweeted about another case being filed. We sang “Every breath you take” by The Police. We talked about which character from Scooby Doo we each were.We did more research on David (the lead on his About.Me pageis touching). Cesar told the office that we found a number for David’s father and he was escorted behind the glass where he was quickly promoted to IT support because he was the one who actually knew how to turn the iPad on. We documented our visit on Path and assured our friends we were all fine. We were weary of the homeless man who came in (and camped out for at least 30 minutes) to try to get a ride to the hospital.

Solving crime via iPhone.
Cesar doing IT support.

Just as we were about to leave, still with no news on David, I got an email from him. “Someone must have broken into my car. I’m on my way to the police station now.” The police officer called his cell number included in his signature on the email. She was a bit confused saying “Oh, it just said his name but it’s still ringing?” We looked at each other, nodding our heads. Google Voice. We waited around for David to arrive and were relieved to see him walk through the doors a few minutes later, wearing a Hipmunk shirt. We introduced ourselves, with Dane saying they met a few years ago and David remembered Dane’s startup, JobSpice. He was even a loyal customer! David told us he had parked his friends car a few blocks away from a party he was attending at Twilio and checked his email with 3% battery left and saw my email. Crazy!

We’re SO glad David is safe and were happy to return all of his items to him. Someone had broken into the car, busted a window, and stole 2 backpacks that were in the car, but left his MacBook in the car. We’re not sure what happened to the other backpack. Maybe another good samaritan found it and has turned it in.

Cesar, Marianne, David, me and Dane

As we left the police station, I realized my car wasn’t across the street. Minor freakout that it had been stolen, until I realized I parked up the street. Maybe I SHOULD have parked in the reserved Police Car spot.

Just another day fighting crime…NBD.

*Not to take away from that dramatic statement above, but it was a ginormous hunting knife in a case that said US Air Force.
**David told us those were his emergency pair…cause you never know when you might need ’em!

Awesomesauce, California Livin'

Hot Shot

I’m not a photographer. The camera I have cost $150 and I barely use it. Partially because it intimidates me. I don’t know how to use it and think I take horrible photos. However, a few weeks ago, our company took us offsite for 2 days and we had a brief lesson from Jerry Courvoisier and Dan Milnor on how to frame the shot with our mind before clicking the shutter button. Then we were released into the wild to take photos.

Not gonna lie…I was embarassed to show people my camera. Everyone else had cameras as big as my head. I had the option to check out a ‘better’ camera, but decided I should get aquainted with my own. Off I went, into the wilds of Healdsburg, CA. And I took photos…lots of ’em. Almost 300 in just over 3 hours.

And some of them were good. Really good:

I even made my first Blurb book with my images titled “What’s this button do?” If you buy a copy, I’ll sign it for you. 😉 The best part, it only took me 2 hours to create a 140 page book. Yes, I’m serious!

California Livin'

California girl

I remember in high school, the kids who could not wait to get OUT of Oklahoma. They were ready to escape and move to ‘the big city.’ Yeah, that wasn’t me. I honestly thought I’d live in Oklahoma forever.  It was great…all my friends were there, it had Sonic and Chick-fil-a, Sooner football, and well, that’s about it.

In 2003, I made the move to Madison, WI for a job. I knew no one in Madison but instantly fell in love with it during my visit for my final interview in early September. Farmer’s market, Badger football, and the fall weather sealed the deal for me. I made the move away from ‘home’ for the first time to this foreign land of cheese and beer. *Sidenote–‘Beer’ to me was Natty Light and Bud Light which I acquired a taste for in college. Thanks Madison for expanding my beer horizons!* Then…winter reared it’s ugly head. No really. In Wisconsin, Winter lasts about 3 months longer then you wish it would.

Madison was alright, but it never really felt like ‘home’ for me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but after 4 and a half years, I’ve made the move to northern California. It’s beautiful here…always sunny, warm, and the happy people definitely adds to the beautifulness.

The trip out here was epic, totaling 3400 miles and 2 weeks on the road:

  • Madison, WI–>Saginaw, MI to visit mom and step-dad one last time. Great timing as my step-dad was rushed to the emergency room the day before I left and our dog died the same day. STRESSFUL!
  • Saginaw, MI–>St. Louis, MO with Mom as she joined me for the roadtrip to Oklahoma. We stayed overnight in St. Louis, where I experienced my first earthquake. I consider it prep for CA, however I slept through it.
  • St. Louis, MO–>Oklahoma City/Edmond, OK where I crashed with my BFF for a week and saw family and friends and even friends’ babies. 🙂 And of course I had Sonic while I was home. I missed Chick-fil-a though.  What was I thinking?
  • Oklahoma City–>Las Vegas with the BFF. We got in late, gambled for a few hours, crashed for a few hours and then got on the road again. I left with the same amount of money I started with which is better than it could’ve been.
  • Las Vegas to San Jose, CA where I met my new roommates (3 great guys) for the first time. San Jose is only a temporary home for 3 months as I have a friend from Madison moving out in August for a job and we’re looking for a place closer to the city. WOOO!

I am really loving California life.  It’s not what I thought it would be. Working with start-ups, I figured it would be competitive, backstabbing, snarky, and mean. However, it’s quite the opposite. People here love what they’re doing, which is something I believe in with my whole heart. I’m sure I’ll post more about this later.

California feels good, but it’s still new. I’m excited to be here, meet new people, and look forward to seeing what California and I can offer each other.