Tuesday, November 21, 2006



An officemate lost his phone recently. He lost it to thieves while riding the bus. And so:

1. Thieves are predators. They lie in wait for a target. So when you ride the bus, and they see that you’re a viable victim, then they will operate on you. To avoid this, make an impression of being a deadly mark. When you ride the bus try to look at all the faces you see as you walk down the aisle. Don’t move like a zombie with a blank stare. When you sit down, try to glance at your seatmates, then make them see you looking at their hands. A regular passenger will just ignore you, or he/she will think you’re also a thief so no problem there. A thief on the other hand, will make a mental note: he looked at my hand, the hand that I will use to steal. He knows so now is not a good time.

When riding the bus don’t be mechanical: don’t move thinking I’ve done this a hundred thousand times before. The more you get used to a certain action, the more you get relaxed, the more you become an easy target.

2. Sun Tzu the man. Never fight on multiple fronts so keep all your valuable belongings in one location. Some may say this might NOT be a good idea, putting all your eggs in one basket, but then would you rather: watch your back pocket for your wallet, watch your front pockets for your phone and maybe your coin purse and watch your bag for your other important belongings. Your choice.

3. Remember the Law of the Elevator. Notice that when you ride elevators, there seems to be an undeclared rule of personal space that must be followed. When the elevator is jam packed, everyone strives to avoid bumping into each other no matter what. And when elevator space frees up, so does the space between its riders in equal measurements: if there are four left in an elevator, then each will occupy their designated corner.

Now how does The Law of the Elevator apply to bus riding? Not much really, but then know that if your personal space is violated while riding the bus, then something is afoot. You are most prone to theft when getting on or alighting from a bus, more so if there are a lot of people around; the more of your personal space that you lose, the more chances that a thief’s hand will slip through your pockets with out being caught.

My officemate who lost his phone, he got bumped at the back while going down the bus. Some guy also bumped him from another angle while the one in front of him moved slowly so as to give time for the guy behind him to make the move. The theft was over in less than ten seconds.

4. Create a profile of your Seatmate. If it’s a granny with 10 plastic bags or a half sleeping saleslady then relax. If otherwise or if a small alarm rings in your head, then be wary. The best way to stop a thief from doing his thing is to let him/her know that you know. Here are some things you can do:

a. glance at his/her hands (as advised above) and make it obvious that you are looking.

b. keep your belongings close to you. Secure everything that needs to be secured and let the uspected thief see that you are doing this.

c. scratch something in your neck so that you can make a direct look at your suspects face with the imaginary scratching as the excuse. You can also pretend to be blowing your nose to do this. Thieves will desist from the act if they know they’ve been identified by face.

Just be careful. If you’re a guy and you do this to another guy then 2 things may happen (If you’re wrong about your seatmate): he will think your gay or he will think your looking for a fight. Note that this move isn’t advisable if you’re a girl. Use your imagination for the reasons why.

Thieves are all around us and they have their everyday quotas to fill. It’s really up to you if you want to be a statistic and up to them to decide if they want you to be one. So be sharp, be vigilant. But then don’t forget that if it comes to gun/knifepoint, then DO NOT argue. Give your wallet, your phone or whatever the thief/thieves ask/s for. Dying or getting seriously injured because you do not want to part with your valuables is the height of stupidity. You are worth more than anything else in this world.

curiosity killed the cat: www.sea-monkeys.com

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