Friday, June 17, 2011

Smash and grab

So, I had an upsetting experience last night. 

I was sitting on the bus reading from my Kindle--in other words, business as usual.  I was sitting quite close to the door.  I wasn't paying attention as two teenage girls were exiting the bus, but at the last second, one of the girls dove at me and made a grab for my Kindle.  Only my firm grip on the machine allowed me to keep it.  They both jumped out the bus's door in a fraction of a second, and I could hear them laughing as we drove away.  They exited only two stops before my own.  How delightful, they're neighbors.

Anyone who knows me knows that my Kindle is my most treasured possession.  I was just sick thinking that some dumb kids would grab it on a lark.  Is this sort of crime a common occurrence?  Do those girls have a stack of ereaders, iPhones, and other gadgets piled up at home?  Am I not supposed to read on the bus anymore?  Do I have to sit inconveniently far from the door?  (Actually, I think I will be taking that small precaution henceforth.)

Everyone on the bus saw what happened.  There was a sort of collective look that passed among the passengers, What can you do?  I don't know, but I'll continue to hold on tight.  You might want to do the same.


  1. That is so sad. It is sad because of what it says about humanity. The fact that the girls found it funny and that the bystanders felt there was nothing they could do. Not too many years ago the victim would have hopped off the bus and confronted the girls-an adult giving children a serious dressing down. In today's world that is inadvisable, as it could prove fatal.

    I am glad you hung on to your Kindle and you were unharmed, Susan.

  2. Thanks, Care. I guess it's a good reminder to be careful in the big city. It's been a very long time since I've had to deal with crime, and at least I was lucky this time.

    But you're absolutely right--even if there had been time, I wasn't about to chase those girls. You never know what a stranger will do. A gadget is not worth my life.

  3. Hi Susan:

    I was recently on BART heading toward Walnut Creek for some retail therapy and was standing near the door, checking surfing the internet on my phone to pass time... A BART-official approached me and said, "I won't do that if I were you" - and after I looked over both shoulders, wondering who he was speaking to, I realized it was me. He continued with "there have been a rash of thefts of hand-held devices. people see you are engaged on your device and they know you are an easy target - they grab and run and you are not alert and don't have enough time to react and leave the train." He said it's best if you don't do that activity near an exit. I said thanks for the advice. And have noticed how many people really do this activity near the exits of public trans....

    Just thought I'd pass along this piece of advice....

  4. Thanks, Ann. I nearly learned that lesson the hard way. Let's hope this helps other people who may read it.