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  • Writer's pictureCassie Stockamp

The Oldest Trick in the Book...

Updated: Jul 28, 2019

Of course she got pooped on! Toooo funny!! Wow, these men are really nice. Wait. Why do they have so many napkins? It looks dark over there and I don’t see bathroom signs. Yes, I have the phones. Ok I’ll wipe it off her face. Yes, I have your phone. Why is he wiping my bag so frantically? Why did bird poop spray in this wide pattern? Wait, it’s on me too? Is he trying to hide my bag with my coat? Noooooooooooo!!!

And it was over. In a matter of minutes, it was over and the men had scattered. My daughter bent over and picked up her unclasped purse from the ground and opened it. Both of her credit cards were gone.

I had a sinking feeling as I reached into my backpack for my wallet. And an even larger gasp as I realized it was unzipped... it was all there. I had just taken out a large sum of money from the ATM to take to the Galapagos (cash is king in Ecuador.) The cash and all my credit cards were all intact.

I felt like crying and laughing as I thought about the theatrical little thieves.

As we walked away we started discussing what we could have done differently and ran into a policeman. In our excited stilted Spanish we conveyed that we had been robbed, and he hastily walked us to a doorway in an alley and found our way into a very small police office. We asked for WiFi, quickly cancelled the credit cards and called the bank. Within minutes my daughter received texts and emails asking her to verify four charges including one for $9,995 for tires. Man were they fast, but we got the last laugh. All of the charges were denied, and we walked away with only bruised egos, a lifelong lesson - and a story!


That evening as I laid in bed my mind fixated on the details of the charade again and again. I felt my heart begin to race and my breath shorten as I thought about all of the what ifs...

What if they had taken all the cash?

Our plane was leaving the next day and we needed cash. I wouldn’t have had my debit card to get more cash.

All of my credit cards could have been taken. How would we buy food?

How much of a hassle would it have been to replace those cards while abroad?

And, and, and...

I became conscious of my spiraling thoughts and it felt like I was pulling a heavy wagon as I drug my mind to gratitude.... I made a mental note of all the good in my life at that moment:

We lost nothing.

We learned some valuable lessons.

No one was harmed.

I was traveling with my daughter.

And, and, and....

It helped. My heart stopped racing and my breath slowed. The physical power of changing a mere thought...

We were robbed by three men employing one of the oldest tricks in the book, and I’m pretty confident it won’t happen to us again....

Gratitude for the lesson.

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