Chad and Daniel made it back from the U.S. on Friday morning. They flew all day Thanksgiving day and their flights went perfectly. They had a driver from Shell meet them at the airport at midnight to drive straight to Shell so they could be home as soon as possible. That's where things started to go less perfectly...
Soon after leaving the airport, the guys passed a motorcycle heading in the opposite direction with it's lights off. Chad commented about how crazy that was, as the driver and his passenger were both wearing black. A few minutes later they entered a very dark, curvy stretch of highway that has not been widened yet, nor does it have any street lights or houses. After a few minutes their driver called out that he thought someone was trying to get into our bags in the rear of the taxi-pickup (the bags were under a tarp and tied down). Chad and Daniel both thought he was crazy until he hit the brakes a little and they heard the chain on the motorcycle as the driver tried to keep from wrecking into the truck. Chad and Daniel's driver took off and they got as far away as possible. They wanted to stop and make sure nothing was missing, but they wanted to get a way from the area, as the duo could have been armed. A few miles away, and once they were back in a lighted area they stopped to check on the bags. Chad was especially concerned, as his pilot log-books were in his carry-on suitcase. Although the tarp was moved and the rope was loose, everything seemed to be there. They were relieved. Not until they arrived in Shell did they realize that one of the duffel bags (Chad's) was indeed missing. They still don't know how the guy could have gotten the bag out as it weighed 50lbs. They assume he transferred from the motorcycle and rode on the rear bumper of the taxi while his partner tailed a few yards back. Once there, he must have loosened the ropes and pulled Chad's bag out, probably tossing it alongside the road for later retrieval.
We're just thankful that nothing worse happened. It is very probable that the thieves were armed, so the situation could have turned out much worse. While we're very bummed that all the purchases we made for Chad to bring back are gone, we know that God protected the guys and all the stuff can be replaced. The joke at the hangar is that Chad won't be wearing any underwear under his uniform, in the near future, as most of them were stolen. Haha!!
Please just pray our insurance will cover the contents of the bag. It wasn't just our stuff that was stolen, but Chad was also carrying some airplane parts for one of Daniel's relatives.