Saturday, January 9, 2010

Almost a snatch-theft victim, Part 2

It seems as if snatch thieves love me. I am beginning to wonder whether I look like a sucker or something.
Barely two hours ago, I almost lost my wife's handbag to a snatch-thief.
I had just parked my car near the football field across the road from Chow Yang in SS2, Petaling Jaya, when the incident occurred at about 8.30pm.
Earlier I had dropped off my wife, kids, father, mum-in-law and the maid outside a restaurant along the same row as Kayu restaurant and had circled the area twice looking for a parking lot.
My wife had left her handbag in the car and she reminded me to bring it along to the restaurant.
It was one of those woven rope bags with wooden handles. I clutched it under my left armpit and held its side with my left hand.
The road was quite deserted and dark. I saw a motorcyclist heading towards me on the other side of the road and did not bother too much about him.
After he had passed me, I thought I heard a bike behind me and I suddenly felt someone grabbing the wooden handles of the handbag.
Instinctively I tightened my grip and when the snatch thief realised he could not pull the handbag from me, he let go, revved the bike and zoomed off. As usual, it was too dark and it happened too quickly for me to even catch a glimpse of him. And don't forget I have multi-focal intra-ocular lens implanted in my ageing eyes which unfortunately don't work so well in the dark.
But I could see he was alone.

That's me showing how
 I held my wife's handbag.

Since I was on the other side of the road, he must have quietly made a U-turn to approach me from behind and grab the handbag which was on my left.
He had grabbed it with his right hand making it impossible for him to rev the bike at the precise moment that he caught hold of the handles of the bag.
If it had been a two-thief team, it would have been a different story since two men on a moving bike would have greater momentum and with the pillion rider doing the snatching, the motorcyclist would have his hand on the throttle and would be able to rev the engine at the right moment.
Since it was my second encounter with snatch-thieves, I did not feel that shaken up after the incident.
And as usual, I will have to give thanks to Allah for keeping me safe and unharmed. And, of course, for ensuring that the snatch-thieves had zero gain.
At the restaurant, my wife told the owner about the incident and he said that things were better when the police pondok (temporary base) was set up in the vicinity.
A few days ago, the police pondok was closed. Naturally, when the cops were away, the crooks came out to 'play'.
Police pondoks had been set up in numerous crime-prone spots recently soon after the Government had announced plans to reduce the crime rate.
The question is - now that the police pondoks have closed, for whatever reason, will the crime rate rise again? Based on my experience, it will.
That means the Government's move to cut crime is only a temporary measure which should result in low marks in its KPI.
The leaders of this nation should get out of their fenced-up mansions and shiny limos, disband  their police escorts, tell their armed bodyguards to go home and truly mingle with the masses to know the reality of the situation.
Crimes are being committed everywhere and the people - especially the urban middle-class folks - are living in fear. That, sadly, is the reality.

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