Monday, April 2, 2012

The weed of crime bears bitter fruit

So, our car was stolen last week. Evaporated into thin air in the middle of a nice afternoon, parked on the street one moment, gone the next. It was our “second car,” the one my wife has been using, and nowhere near new, but still quite a shock to find it gone so quickly from our life. Fortunately it was insured, fortunately it was old, and fortunately nobody got hurt (“carjacking” is pretty darned rare here downunder).

But it still highly irritating, to find yourself victimised by some complete stranger, likely some “boy racer” type who’s taken our Subaru and zipped it around Auckland until they run into a tree, or taken it to a chop-shop for spare parts. I don’t imagine we’ll ever see it again, and frankly I’d rather it just disappeared instead of turning up ripped to bits.

For someone who reads an awful lot of comic books about brightly clad heroes beating up the bad guys, I actually haven’t been the victim of much crime so far in life. In fact, I’d pretty much never been robbed/burgled etc. before we moved to Auckland. That’s not meant to be a slam on New Zealand, actually – in America, I always lived in smaller towns, but here, I’m in a city of 1.5 million, and I imagine any equivalent size city in the states has its own problems. Any image you might have of New Zealand as some crime-free paradise is a bit too utopian to really believe.

In the nearly 6 years we’ve lived here, we’ve had one car’s window smashed in (for about $2 in pocket change sitting in the car) and now the other one stolen. I was actually far more irritated over the broken window than I was over the entirely stolen car – mainly because the former incident happened in our own driveway, while we were sleeping, and some worthless dirtbag was rifling through my car. The other happened across town, on an ostensibly “safe” street, so it didn’t feel quite so intimate.

But while I’m annoyed I’d say I recognize that on the general scale of crime this ranks pretty low – I’ve never been physically attacked, and (knock on wood) our house has never been burgled. It does make you feel more sympathy for those who are the victims of crime – and more disgust at the kind of lowlifes who think it’s a lark to steal a man’s car. Sigh. Where's Batman when you really need him?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:43 AM

    Did you not have enough sentimental attachment to this car to take the burgling as a sudden personal loss? To feel a bit misty? It would be ok if you did. When I sold my dead Subaru, I was deeelighted one day to see it parked around town, lookin' good (I'd sold it to a mechanic). It made parting easier. [also, it's pronounced "victimized" and don't you forget it]