A Tale of Woe Regarding an Innocent HP Pavilion Laptop

My laptop is gone and not likely to be returned. After a taxi cab ride from Convention Boulevard to the McCarren airport, the bag containing the laptop was not on the sidewalk. How could this happen? Why wasn't I more careful? Turns out, it's easy.

The first cause of the disappearing laptop was the scheduled flight time of 7:30AM. Since mine was to be an international flight, I had to be at the airport at least two hours in advance. I got a cab at 5:00AM. It was dark. The laptop was in a black bag. All luggage, including the laptop, was placed in the trunk of the cab.

Arriving at the airport, it was still dark and the time was approaching 5:20AM. The luggage was taken out of the taxi and deposited on the curbside. A large pile of bags was deposited. The large trunk of the taxi did not have a light. The lighting at the airport door lit the entrance area, not the parking lane so much.

Within minutes, the laptop bag was identified as missing. The taxi, of course, was gone. Now the laptop search was on. A quick search for Las Vegas taxi companies quickly identified a long list. Which type of taxi had taken me to the airport? I didn't know. When I got in, I was concentrating on putting bags and people into the cab. It was dark. I didn't notice the color of the car. It did have a "Donny and Marie" billboard on the trunk lid.

During the trip, I talked to the cab driver, a nice young fellow. I didn't notice his name or the cab number. All of these particulars would have been useful later on. If I had only known. I did remember several data items like the pickup and drop-off points, the route traveled, the time and amount of fare. These are less useful data items.

One cab company seemed to be similar to what someone remembered they saw printed on the cab. I gave the company a call to report the missing laptop. The operator wanted to know the cab number. I didn't know. Did I know the name of the driver? No. Did I have a receipt? No. The cab company can't help me. Can I leave my name, number and description of the item? No. There is a lost and found department at the company. They don't open until the next morning. The operator still won't take my name or number. They said to talk to airport security who would review the camera and determine the number of the cab for me. I doubt this information immediately.

The now missing laptop has likely been transported back to the Las Vegas strip area in the unknown taxi cab. The driver is unaware that he has the electronic device in the trunk. He likely picks up another fare and travels to another location. Maybe he picks up a passenger and takes them to the airport. At perhaps 6AM, where would anyone go in Las Vegas except the airport? Regardless, it is quite possible that the next fare would not use the trunk. In time, however, the laptop would be found.

Meanwhile, I contact airport security. I ask if they can review camera recordings in order to see when I arrived at the airport. I am given a strange look. Evidently, they don't do that, despite what the cab company said. I do not doubt this. Then I learn that airport security is only concerned with checking travelers and getting them on the planes. I depart the airport on my scheduled flight.

During the flight, I have found memories of my laptop. It was a pretty good unit. Not really fast, light or attractive, but it got the job done. It was quite inexpensive when purchased at the beginning of the year. It had an HDMI output port which was useful for watching Internet streamed shows from Netflix on my large TV. I know that I will miss this feature first. I arrive home.

Once at home, I can use the power of Google to help find people who can help find my laptop. The Nevada Taxicab Authority is a good place to go, according to Google. They have a lost item electronic form. I fill out the form since the office is closed until normal business hours. The state agency advises that they do not collect lost items on behalf of passengers. They do have an administrative code that compels cab drivers to check their cab for lost items at the end of each trip. This code didn't seem to work in my case.

I submit an electronic "Lost Property Online Form" to the Nevada Taxicab Authority. It was a nice gesture. I am not yet hopeful that I will see my loved laptop any time soon. Still, the form was efficient. It asked for various data items that I didn't have, (taxi number, driver name, etc), of course. It provided a ray of hope when it asked for those particulars that were known, but a slim ray of hope.

During the first business day home, I called the taxi company lost and found, for the companies that I thought might be among the right ones. I left messages. No responses as of yet.

The Aftermath
The case of the drive-away laptop establishes that I was simultaneously stupid, unhelped and even both unlucky and lucky. I didn't know enough about my taxi. I did know some information about the trip. I knew about my poor departed laptop, its description, serial number and such. The unit was backed up recently. I did not fully embrace a helpful taxi rider's "Things To Know Or Do In Advance".

The Taxi Passenger's "Things to Know or do in Advance"
In reality, everything that you bring on a cab might be left behind. The chance of recovery is slim, (but I will change this if the laptop is ever recovered). Here is what you should always do before, during and after a taxi cab ride in Las Vegas or anywhere else:

1) Know the name of the taxi company. Write it down in your book. Make sure you have a book and a pen
2) Record the name of the taxi driver and the cab number. Write them down.
3) Fully check the cab for your belongings before you let the cab depart.
4) Make sure your items have your name and contact information on them before they ever go into a cab.

Protect your items because losing them is easier than getting them back.