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I wuz robbed!, or Why Not To Let Your Guard Down at the Library by gamine humming the songs from "footlight parade"
This is a beautiful library.
But – no kidding – I had my purse snatched while I was doing some research on microfilms. There’s not much room in that area, so I put my purse on the ground between my feet. Apparently, there was an accomplice who made a loud distraction (I remember this guy making this huge noise to my left, getting my and the nearest librarian’s attention) and with those distractions, that’s when this thief would crawl down under tables and snatch bags. That’s how the police explained it to me, apparently they knew this guy would crawl under tables. Oh yes, there were police, but I’ll get to that.
All I know is that suddenly there’s a call for me over the loudspeaker (and I think to myself, “Oh, shit, I’ve been found out, someone must have leaked that I’m an American!”), and an library security officer meets me. Apparently this guy would work with his accomplice, then shove what he could get into a hiding space in one of the stacks. Thank God a nice woman happened to notice what the main robber was doing, then got the officers to separate him from his “bounty” and arrest him.
They found that he had targeted several other people that day – they found other purses and stolen items, including a passport from Japan. The cops came and I had to file a formal report, then cancel all my credit cards. They found my purse, but never found my ID or my credit cards. I was flying back to the US the next day (and did I mention it was Christmastime?), and although the officers were really nice, it was nightmarish.
On the other hand, it reminds me how kind and decent Canadian society is, and especially how friendly and helpful I found the people in Vancouver. The library officers searched through every book on that stack to look if my ID had been squirreled away; the cops gave me their business cards, told me to call if I had trouble boarding in customs, and that they’d let me know if the guy would be go to trial, but that he’d probably receive a very light sentence and be back on the street in 6 months.
So anyway, I hope that other book lovers will watch out. The library is about the LEAST likely place you expect to have your stuff ripped off, and that’s what they’re counting on!over 6 years ago
Free books rock!
I used to buy books like every bibliophile should, but moving to a much smaller apartment in Vancouver means less room for things like books (and more room for things like bikes!)
Also, the joy of saving that money that would normally go to Chapters makes me feel warm and fuzzy.over 6 years ago
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