Sunday, January 22, 2012

I was an early victim

Because the school I taught in had a no smoking policy, I had to go out onto the pavement to have a puff on my pipe.

I was out there one afternoon with a colleague enjoying a pipe of my favourite tobacco when three youths on bikes came along the pavement.  As they passed us, one of the cheeky beggars snatched the pipe from my mouth. Within seconds the hooded thieves were gone leaving my colleague and I standing in disbelief. All we could do was watch them disappear down the road.

Figuring that they had just stolen the pipe for a laugh, we followed their tracks in the hope that they may have simply tossed it away but we never did find it.

Unbeknown to the thieves, that was a hand made pipe worth quite a lot of money – I don’t go in for cheap machine made jobs that smoke harsh and bitter. In any case, pipes are like cherished friends – each with its own characteristics – they give a lifetime of pleasure to the smoker. None of my current pipes are less that twenty years old and each has got better as the years have progressed except of course that one!

Moving on many years from that sorry incident, people in the streets of London and for all I know other cities as well are suffering the same problem that I did but this time it is mobile phones that are being stolen. In particular it is smart phones that cost several hundred pounds that the thieves on bikes are targeting. The modus operandi is the same though; the thieves spot a victim and then ride past snatching the phone as they go. The phones are quickly switched off and the SIM cards are removed preventing services like “track my  iPhone” from working.

Eventually, the phones are shipped to countries where the phone barring service won’t block the operation of these handsets. The price of a stolen iPhone in India is high so that is where many end up.

It may look cool and impress people to walk along the street with your iPhone pressed to your ear but it is risky. Far better to use one of those geeky handsfree cables and keep the phone in your pocket. You may look as if you are talking to yourself but at least your phone will be in a safe place. Alternatively, get yourself a ten quid Tesco phone like Pam did – no self respecting thief would dream of snatching one of those. 

As for using a flashy 3G iPad in the street, well that would simply be asking for trouble.

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