As I was weeding my way through a pile of police reports recently, I came across one that got me thinking about the mindset of a thief.
A woman came out of a building, saw a man standing by her car, and yelled at him (presumably something to the effect of "What are you doing by my car?"). The man responded with a somewhat vulgar colloquialism, which I'm not going to repeat here, but the gist of it was, "You left your car unlocked."
He ran off, and when she got to her car, she realized her stuff was gone.
OK, I'm not even going to touch the fact that she shouldn't have left her purse and other belongings in an unlocked car. But let's just look at this thief for a moment.
How often does someone catch a thief in the process of thieving? That's a little unique to start with. And then look at what he says. "You left your car unlocked."
It's like an accusation wrapped in a justification cloaked in an entitlement.
"You left your car unlocked" — therefore it's your fault if I steal from you.
"You left your car unlocked" — therefore I'm justified in taking your stuff.
"You left your car unlocked" — therefore whatever is in it is rightfully mine.
Is anyone else a little sickened by this twisted logic? Maybe I just have a tendency to overthink things, but I have a feeling I'm not the only one experiencing some compassion toward this woman who forgot to lock her car and some anger toward this entitled thief.
Anyway, take my thoughts for whatever they may be worth. And please, please lock your doors.