Rising crime and why I want to be a victim
By Nury Vittachi
As food prices soar, crime rates are going up. This is bad news. Well, mostly bad. One good bit is that a revolutionary new type of villain is robbing people all over Asia. Readers of newspaper crime pages are learning about the victims, and sympathetically exclaiming, “Wow, some people have all the luck.”
You see, being robbed by this new type of thief can be remarkably profitable.
You’ve seen the “dumb criminal” stories going around? Like the one about the guy in New York who stole a shipment of meat and discovered he’d nicked 1,000 cow rectums?
Hah! Here in Asia, we have villains that make those guys look like rocket scientists. There’s a new breed of Asian thief which is dumber than any creature in history. These guys have the IQ of rocks, and I mean rocks educated exclusively on a diet of Fox TV News. Not only do these criminals fail to lastingly deprive people of goods, but they manage to transfer their own possessions to their victims.
First, consider a man named Hirose in Japan. He successfully stole a wallet containing 1,000 yen from a man sitting on a bench in Fukuoka province. But he accidentally left his own wallet with the victim --- a genuine 80,000 yen designer one containing 40,000 yen in cash. “I was so intent on getting away that I didn’t realize I’d dropped my wallet,” Hirose later told police. A few more successful robberies like that, and he’d be bankrupt.
Then there was the Malaysian housebreaker who drove his car to his victim’s house, broke in, and started to open the safe. But his victims arrived home unexpectedly and he leapt out of the window to run away.
It was only after he had made good his escape that he realized that he had left his most valuable possessions behind—a box of tools, plus his keys and his car.
Envisioning his life disappearing before his eyes, he went back to the victims’ house and rang the front door bell. The conversation that took place was not recorded in the news write-up but I can imagine it.
“Hi! I’m the guy who just broke into your house and tried to steal all your stuff. Didn’t quite work out as planned, did it? Ha ha, life is funny, right? May I have my things back?”
The householders sent him packing and went to admire their new car.
A gang of house thieves in India also left some tools behind. Stung by newspaper reports that they had been forgetful, the proud villains decided to pretend that this was their signature, and they now leave tools at every robbery, raising their costs considerably.
But most remarkable is the story of a Taiwanese man named Lu Fang-nan, 57, who was innocently riding his motorcycle when a large bundle of money—the equivalent of US$600,000—fell out of the sky onto his head.
He lost control of his bike and crashed, but was not badly hurt.
It turned out that kidnappers had asked for their ransom money to be thrown off a bridge over a highway, thinking this would ensure that they and their pursuers would be on different roads. They’d forgotten that other people use highways too.
Anyway, I’m hoping that one of this new breed of Asian dumb criminal robs me on the way home tonight. I could do with some cash or a new car.