It was a dark November evening and at first glance they looked normal. Just two people, with their faces hidden by flowing scarves and their heads shrunk back into their coats. Although their identities might have been hidden, their crime was not.
I was on my way home from a coffee run to “Timmys”. The streets were bare, except for the snow that skipped across the road. When I stopped at the red light, I observed two people in a heated discussion. As they moved apart, I saw it, their booty. As they struggled with it, I had a religious thought, God wasn’t going to make this sin easy. What struck me was the nerve of these thugs? There was no attempt to conceal the stolen item; in fact they actually appeared possessive of it. Maybe, they felt a false sense of security in the blanket of darkness but they were wrong. I could see them and every moral fiber inside me screamed STOP – THIEF!
It was at that moment, I decided to follow in pursuit and make a citizen’s arrest. At the first driveway I pulled in and turned my car around. With a fleeting thought, I realized it was late; actually 11:00 pm. My husband would be wondering in what town I went to get our coffees? Then I dismissed it. A crime was being committed and I had an ethical and social duty to respond. I could see them at the next set of lights, so I pulled my car over and waited. What goes through the brain of a thief? Why do they feel they have the right to take property that does not belong to them?
They were on the move again. I drove slowly and observed them stopping every so many feet to get a better grip of their stolen loot. I passed them, turned down a street, turned around and waited at the corner, with my lights out, but motor running. I began to think how I was going to confront them or would I? I could always see where they lived and phone in an anonymous tip or I could get out my phone and photograph them in the act. Then I realized that wouldn’t work because they would see the flash and I wasn’t sure I could even take a picture at night with my phone.
There they were, moving down the street at a snails pace. I started to question where these people lived. As I drove past them again, I wondered if they might notice it was the same vehicle driving past them every time? I parked at the corner of the next street and looked at the clock on the dash. It was already 11:30 and my two coffees were already stone cold. It was time to reassess my plan.
If I was gone too much longer my husband was going to be phoning the police looking for me and when he found out what took me so long, he was not going to be happy. In fact, he was going to be furious and so would my two grown daughters if they found out. How many times had they said to me – it’s not your problem! If it’s not a matter of life and death, let someone else look after it. Nobody elected you the neighborhood watch!
I made a decision. This time, I would turn my head away from justice and leave the bandits to their ill-gotten gains. Anyways, who knows how far they were going or how long it would take them to get there? So, reluctantly, I turned my vehicle around one last time and headed home, leaving the two criminals to their stolen grocery cart.
Everyone handles frustration differently. Some scream, some throw things around, some cry. You know what I do? Write.
Submitted by Cher Fallon