Sunday, 8 January 2012

Have you something worth stealing?

Those bulky high-end TV's were targets but now get left on a snowbank in the hopes of saving a trip to the dump. Bad news for big media companies too:  Burglars (drug-addled and opportunistic) rarely bother any more with CD's, DVD's and tapes because the product is available free (sometimes legally) on the net. (Link is to The Economist).

Remember Fagin teaching kids to steal handkerchiefs?  That was serious business. (See John Dann's Old Bailey testimony in 1787 at the link.  All of Henry Hyam's indictment in the same report deal with stolen fabric. How about one pair of stockings (recovered from the prisoner's feet) and a waistcoat?  Thieves made a living sticking hooked poles through windows to steal sheets off beds.

A typical home has sofas, lamps, crockery, cooking tools,  curtains,  framed prints, beds and linen and none of it very appealing to a thief.  What's left?

"What would you save if you knew a thief was coming tonight?"  That's the same question as "What would you save if you had to evacuate for a forest fire?" - as we did twice.  After securing the lives of people I love, most of my valuables are replaceable cards in a wallet or digital photos and files that fit in my pocket (with copies in the "cloud" and elsewhere).   I'd make sure of my getaway vehicle, then add some old photos of the kids and grandparents and if there's no rush, maybe have a look at favourite furniture.  What's most valuable to me isn't very valuable to a thief and hard to sell.  Perhaps banking passwords are the only interesting target.

Digging a bit deeper, character and ability are the true valuables, next to life itself..  Iago (Othello Act 3 Scene 3):  "Who steals my purse, steals trash .. but he that filches from me my good name, robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed."

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