Monday, October 06, 2008

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

If you think this post is about Obama hanging out with terrorists or McCain's connection to the Keating Savings 'n Loan scandal, then you would be wrong. No, this post is about how every time that I begin to think that I am awesome, God likes to have a chuckle and take me down a notch.

Saturday morning started off innocently. The German and I play this "game" on the weekends. We both pretend to be asleep when the baby wakes up at 7am. We secretly hope that by lying there long enough that the other will get up and feed the kid, or that the kid will just go back to sleep. I used this with my cat; just keep my eyes tightly shut and hope that she would be quiet. Did not work with the cat, doesn't work with the kid. But between the German and I, I won on Saturday.

The Dude was in a pretty good mood and his poor little rear was finally starting to heal. My FIL was coming over to put a gate on our stairs and I decided to head to the store to get a few things. First I stopped by the post office and dropped my absentee ballot in the mail and then I headed off to Rossmann, a local drug store.

I ran into a friend of mine from my baby play group. She was contemplating the vast array of baby food. She had been breastfeeding and was making the switch. Because the Dude's been on solids for several months she asked for my help. I stood with my back to the Dude's stroller and put on my best "knowledgeable" voice. The Dude laughed and played with his stuffed animal and after a few minutes we said goodbye.

After picking up some diapers (the entire reason for the trip out), I went to the check out line. As the cashier rang up my purchase I reached into the side pocket of my stroller to get my wallet. The pocket was open. I had closed that, hadn't I? And my wallet was missing.

At first I was embarrassed. I told the women to hold my items and I went back to the previous store to check and see if I had left it there. I have done this before so it was not that shocking. However, that cashier said that she had definitely seen me stick it back into the stroller. Then the reality of the situation dawned on me. Someone had stolen my wallet. My wallet, which not only had my driver's licence, car registration, ATM cards, health insurance cards, but also 40 Euro in it.

I went back to Rossmann and informed them that someone had lifted my wallet in their store. The women at the store were very helpful and immediately called the police. I desperately tried to get hold of the German. When the cops came in, I was a bit surprised. The cop leaned down and said, "Hi, Christopher." Turned out to be the husband of another woman from my play group. Dude, Wildeshausen is really small.

Both the cop, and later the German, tried not to laugh at me. Why? Because I should know better. NEVER turn your back on your child or belongings for even a minute. I beat myself up for hours because, in fact, I DO know better. I felt like such an idiot. Moreover, I was more upset about having to replace all of those stolen id cards. Screw the 40 Euro, I don't want to have to deal with bureaucrats more than I have to.

Then I got angry. WTF!! Just because I had my back turned, does not make it okay to steal my wallet. And who steals from a child's stroller!?

Later that afternoon the doorbell rang. It was my friendly neighborhood Spiderman, I mean police officer. A women had found my wallet in her bio-trash bin. My wallet smelled like a land-fill but everything was still there. Except the 40 Euro of course.

This morning I read in the paper that another wallet was stolen in a shop just down the street at about the same time that mine was. Hmm. A crime ring here in Wildeshausen? Well, maybe not. But the entire time that I was typing this blog a helicopter was circling. What are they looking for I wonder? Have those master criminals moved up from wallets to cars?


Alice said...

Oh Claire, I'm so sorry to hear this. Honest. And I can relate - to a degree.

Just after moving here last year, I lost my Coach special edition patchwork design wallet. I wish I could say that it was found, but no.

Even if it is stinky, it was only 40 Euro.

BJD did replace it with a new Coach wallet for Christmas last year but it just isn't the same ...

tqe / Adam said...

wow... what a sucky thing to have happen!

Maria said...

I'm glad you got all of your cards back! That would have been a major hassle. Sucks about the 40 euro too, but the cards would have been way way way way way worse.

ian in hamburg said...

I think thieves hang around in stores waiting for you to be inattentive, contemplative (what AM I going to make for supper..?) and then they go for it.

I foolishly left my shopping cart unattended one day a couple of months ago - small backpack in the buggy, wallet in the backpack - turned around and a penner was walking away with it. Made out all innocent like he'd simply switched buggies, hah.

Glad you got your cards back - the money's nothing compared to the trouble of getting them back.

jen said...

Dude, what balls! Seriously, taking the wallet from a stroller, with a kid in it? I'm so sorry. It sucks that we have to worry about stuff like that. Old women are always warning me when I'm picking out produce not to leave my handbag in my cart. I thought they were being overly cautious and really, I want to feel up my fruit without the 10 kilo handbag on my arm.
I guess I'll be more careful now.

Sorry, sweetness. that totally sucks.

G in Berlin said...

Let me join the list: I frequently walk away to grab/weigh produce while leaving my bag in the cart (in my local Liedl, particularly). A cautionary tale that I will take to heart. I am really glad that you got everything back but the money because that is a small price to pay for the warning: I can't imagine the trouble replacing all your cards would have been.

Snooker said...

I'm so sorry for you. It scares me to think what else they could have "stolen" from the stroller.
Consider yourself lucky that being taken down a notch wasn't worse... you got the cards and a stinky wallet back... 40 EUR is not a bad price for such a lesson.