So I’m on the Canada Line, frustrated because my bus was cancelled this morning and I had to wait longer. While waiting at the bus stop, I began to eat my lumberjack sandwich from Safeway. Not the whole thing, just part of it. I did get a seat on the bus and the train, so it’s not so bad.
As I’m sitting on the train, everyone seems to be minding their own business. There are people standing, but it’s not too crowded. There is lots of empty standing room, at least at the first few stops. This young Asian guy who I didn’t really get a good look at was standing by the seats. When the train stopped at Aberdeen, he suddenly froze, crouched down and grabbed the bag that was next to the seats, and ran off the train. The doors nearly closed on him, but he made it.
I looked at the lady who was sitting closest to the bag, but she didn’t seem phased. Then the guy in front of her turned and looked at the floor where the bag once was. It had been his. He looked down and then up and asked “Did he just steal my bag?” And I told him yeah. No one else seemed bothered by it. I’m sure a lot of them didn’t even realize it happened. The guy told me there was nothing in it. Alright, so he made off with an empty bag? I guess that’s not as bad as it could have been. But then he said there were some books and stuff in it. Okay, that’s worse. I wondered why he wasn’t angrier. I think maybe he was in shock.
“Does this happen often?” He asked me. I told him no. I mean maybe it does, but I’d never seen it happen before. And I’d like to think I’m not as ignorant as most people. I told him he should report it, but he said that he didn’t think reporting it would help. He did get off at the next station though. Not sure what he planned on doing. Meanwhile, everyone else continued about their business.
I’m annoyed that no one seems to know what to do in that situation. Or I guess it’s just that no one really cares. If only there had been someone by the doors who could have apprehended the guy. Instead of the obsession with police checking fares all the time, maybe they should be concerned about issues of theft as well. I mean I know not paying your fare is considered theft, but you know what I mean. If the train had been more crowded, he may not have been able to run off like that. Although maybe if it were more crowded, he wouldn’t have had to run, and could have snuck through the crowds. Maybe this does happen often? There’s always those signs about pick pocketers, but no one ever expects their entire bag to be made off with.
I’m just glad that I always, well usually, have my bag(s) on my lap. Where I can see them. And hold them. A person would need to pry them out of my hands before making off with them. This is also a good reason never to sleep on public transit, no matter how tired you are. You don’t want to risk it. I know it’s cynical, but you can’t just blindly trust the people around you. Some places have signs that say “Thieves work here”. I think public transit needs “Thieves ride this train/bus” signs. Not that it would really help. But you know. It might just warn a few people at the very least.
I don’t know what happened to that guy, if he got help or anything. It was a black bag, briefcase looking I think. It all happened so fast so I’m really not sure. Maybe karma’s a bitch and the young guy tripped as he ran out of the station? Except no one was chasing him and no one outside of the train would have known that he had stolen it. The guy who’s bag it was seemed pretty calm, albeit shocked. If it had been my bag, I’d be freaking out. Now I’m paranoid. Beware of bag thieves. And thieves in general. It’s unfortunate, but they may be riding your train or bus right now.