I have a general policy of leaving my work car unlocked at all times simply because I don’t like the hassle of having to fix door locks and broken windows when kids break in. I figure they can have the ashtray money so long as I don’t have to chase around finding spares and doing repairs.
Last night was one of those nights. I got up this morning to discover my glovebox emptied and my ashtray taken along with my lunch money. As much as I allow for this you still feel pretty angry that people feel they can get away with this.
Even more annoying was that I could have caught them. It only dawned on me when Danelle told me her car had been done also (but no one wanted her god music!) and then I discovered my garage remote control lying on the road…
My mind rolled back to exactly 2am when I woke to the sound of a garage door going up. I was sleeping deeply at the time but actually remember thinking it was the neighbours across the road having a late one. The hum of the air con and my own grogginess dulled what was a actually the sound of our own garage door going up – and then down again about 30 seconds later.
If only I had clicked… I’d love to have caught them, but then the question arises ‘what do you do?’
I used to consider keeping a large steel bar under the bed for moment like these, but you only have to wack someone once and chances are you will go to jail… Or maybe start a ‘war’ with local teenagers that you really don’t want to have.
My mate Owen who lived in Butler for a few years tells a great story of catching a local teenage tagger spraying bus stops. He followed him, caught him, took his spray can off him and painted him all over – then sent him home. He was a hero at the local residents meeting! And the coppers even turned a blind eye…
It’s a dodgy world we live in now isn’t it, when the law acts to protect the dipsticks rather than the innocent victims?…
We haven’t called the cops (just a waste of both our time) the car is still unlocked tonight, and no, I don’t have an iron bar under the bed… (which isn’t to say I wouldn’t like to crack one of them around the head)
You probably should have called the cops, even if just to advise them that it had happened so they can do some patrols if there have been more in the area.
G’day Hammo. Good post and good question for all of us to go with it.
My car was pinched once. It was not long after my wife and I had returned from our honeymoon. It turns out that 3 local lads, all drugged up, stumbled across it unlocked (I hate keys too, but that is another story). The first thing I knew of it was a copper knocking on my door asking if I owned a brown panel-van; an interesting description for a white 16 seater mini-bus with a burnt sienna strip down the side.
The van had been stolen, taken for a joy ride during which everything that wasn’t bolted down and some things that were were thrown out along Appin Road. The driver’s door was torn off, the engine was seized and it was driven into a tree.
The three offender were in the Campbelltown lock-up. When I went to make my statement the sergeant suggested that there was a night stick on the counter and that the ring leader was in a particular room and he was going to be out the back for a few minutes. While appreciating the ‘suggestion’ I declined.
The upshot was that they were released pending a court appearance. Before the court hearing some rough justice was applied. The ring leader, somewhat older than the other two, was bragging about his adventure in my van to some blokes at the pub. Unfortunately for him some others in the pub knew me, had either been a youth group I had run or had brothers in a group for pretty rough kids that I had also run. The story goes that he was escorted to the rear of the establishment and given a good beating requiring a short stay in hospital and some stitches. I was told that gardening tools had been involved. I think a shovel was mentioned. The other two offenders were not there nor did they associate with this bloke any longer.
A few days latter I got letter in the post. It was from the youngest of the three. In the letter he apologised for his part in the affair. He said that he was very sorry for stealing my car and that he would never take drugs or do that sort of thing again. His return address was on the back of the envelope. I though he was worth a visit.
With no car to drive I took my motorbike. Naturally I had my helmet, jacket and gloves.
He lived out of town a bit on a small property.
I rode in, parked and went to the door. he answered the door not knowing who I was. I asked him if he knew me. When he said no I introduced myself. After shitting himself he realised that I was not there to do any harm to him. His father came to the door and let me in. We had a cup of tea and chat. I accepted his apology.
That was a number of years ago. The bloke who put his mates up to it went on from bad to worse so I am told. He has done some time in jail. He is not well know in his community and probably not well liked either. The young bloke remained fairly true to his word. Last I heard he had married and had a couple of kids, he has a job and, reportedly, is not going to one of the local churches. He is liked and I have heard people speak well of him.
In response to your question I don’t think there is one right answer. However, I would suggest that justice eventually gets done: we chose a path and it will take us to a particular destination. We reap what we sow. Never descend to the level of the behaviour that has caused you offence in the first place. Always be prepared to forgive; it is the only thing that offers any hope in the long run. Don’t hold onto your anger; be angry, act responsibly and work your way through it. being angry and bitter can become a habit if it is your first response to offence and injustice. Once a habit it will eat away at you and your relationships. Choosing to be angry is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
Thanks for prompting me to reflect. I grow when I reflect.
Can I push back on your stereotyping of young people/teenagers Hamo?
Maybe they were teenagers, maybe they were young people (well, let’s face it, most people are younger than us these days!), but then again maybe they were just dipsticks!
then again, maybe they were hungry and hoping to find money to buy a meal because their mum or dad just spent their paycheck on booze, or at the TAB, or just as likely, isn’t home because they are working away on the mines and the kids are looking after themselves.
then again, maybe they were just bored and up to some mischief 😉
I wonder how many people find themselves imagining, whoever it was, that they were males…