Crime – The Effects It Has On Those Affected


12-13-09: Initial Release.

We would be fooling ourselves if we said to ourselves that we live in a perfect world. Unfortunately, we do not and one trait of human society that backs up this image is the proliferation of crime. Today I had a unique experience that I will never ever forget, and by telling this story, I believe it will give insight to the rest of us all how important our lives are, and that its time to get a grip and stop arguing about the trivial things in life.

The Story:

As usual every Sunday morning, I go to church at 10:45am which is not far from my house (about 10 minute drive).  When people get out of church, you are in a happy spirit, right?  You had a mass with God with your fellow churchgoers, and the thought of evil never crosses your mind.  The world is “perfect” when you are lost in the ceremony listening to the Priest and trying to understand his wise words.

Well, today after church I decided to stop by Aldi which is a grocery store on the way home. I pulled into the parking lot, got my shopping cart and went inside.  However, something was really weird.   People were just standing and looking out the windows as if something horrific just happened. I could not be further away from the truth.

One man was on the cell phone talking to what appeared to be the police, and he just kept on saying “There he is, he ran across the street and pass that intersection…” Another man went out the store and tried to go after what I soon figured out was a robber.   Apparently, the robber got into his car somewhere and sped away, but the man who had chased after him got the license plates.

So there I was standing near the entrance of the store, and just looking out the window.  Everybody in the store was just motionless, as if they could not believe what just happened.  After listening to the conversation further, I pieced together that some person (sounds like  late teens in a black jacket with a mask) had robbed a lady by taking her purse and ran out the store. I am not sure if he demanded any money from the cashier, but it was very clear that he had a gun.

If I had stopped by the store and gotten in 5 minutes earlier, I would most likely have witnessed this robbery.  The environment in the store was just spooky.  It felt as if a heavy weight has been placed on all of us, and we were just stunned.  How are we supposed to react?  Do I “pretend” nothing happened and try to continue shopping?  New customers coming into the store also noticed the weird arrangement of people standing around and not behaving as regular shoppers.

“What happened?”  “Oh, a lady got robbed. The police are coming to gather details”.  So eventually the cashier started ringing up the cash registers again and people started to get their groceries checked to go home.  I tried to gather some groceries, but all I can think about was the robbery.  I’m sure everyone else in the store was thinking the same thing.

A few minutes later, the police came, talked to the lady who got her purse stolen, and proceeded to put up the yellow warning tape across the entrance of the store. It looks like the store will be closed down for the remainder of the day to gather evidence?  I know that there are security cameras in the store, so I hope the bastard is on film and is caught.  The bystanders did say they have his license plate number, so hopefully justice will be served.

Now I’m not going to say that a tear or two didn’t develop, because they did.  I know how it felt to be robbed, as I myself was robbed in the summer of 2006.  Long story short: When I was out at a softball game, someone had broken into my apartment and took all my electronic items (computer, external hard drive, camera, speakers, etc) and when I found out it just turned me inside out.  I was never the same person again.

Today I witnessed or was part of another robbery experience, except this time it had happened to someone else and I can relate.  You will never forget it, except this time its more scary to have your purse or wallet stolen. Think about the amount of information you keep in your wallet?  Credit card numbers, debit card, and drivers license.  OMG, the robber has enough information to start his identity theft journey!

Yes, it is very scary, and I myself have been almost caught in identity theft and you never ever want to get caught up into it because it will literally ruin you for life.  It is so scary, just thinking about it right now gives me the shivers.

So what am I saying here?  All I want to say is that so often these days we are just caught up in our own little “world”. We play games, hang out with friends, work on college applications, walk the dog, or just whatever. The minute “chaos” enters your world, all hell breaks loose.  You go to that party, but your friend was drunk and got killed in a car crash.  All of a sudden the memories of having fun at the party is immediately gone with the new memory of your best friend gone forever.

I don’t know what to call these experiences except for life changing moments.  I hope to god you do not have a life changing moment related to a tragic accident, but it might happen. Can you prepare for it?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  But you can definitely help decrease the risk of tragedy happen for sure.

For example, little Tim was playing cops and robbers and what he thought was a toy gun was actually his dad’s loaded pistol and now little Billy is dead from what Tim thought was a toy.  Result?  No loaded guns in the house.  Stuff like this we are in control.

I have a hard time figuring out what must be going on in the robber’s mind.  Think about it. Pretend you have a ski mask, and you are going to your local gas station to rob them and demand money. What is racing through your mind?  Is your adrenaline pumped up?  Heart beating hundred times a second?  Are you sure you can keep your mind clear and focused during the robbery?  What happens if there are complications?  Are you willing to use the gun if you have to?

We play games and watch movies so we have an idea of how it feels to be the bad guy, but it is not the same if you ARE the bad guy committing the crime.  Have you ever been there?  Do you have a history of past deeds, or know someone who does?  How do they have the guts to do what they did?  Don’t they feel bad morally?

Doesn’t it eat away at their minds for years and years until they say, “That’s it, I’m going clean?”  It just bewildering to the mind, and now my whole day is literally on a downlow.

Sure, maybe tomorrow or a few days from now I will spin this around and tell my friends, “Dude, I was at Aldi and there was a robbery and it was awesome!”  Or maybe I will just laugh it off because it brings personal closure. I don’t know.  All I do know for now is that this has changed me, and how I view life and act will definitely change.

Stay tuned as how I changed over the next few days and weeks here.  I will never forget this memory.

Posted on December 13, 2009, in Life, News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I used to live in LA, till i was 18, the place i used to live was 20 minutes off South Gate
    When i was 13, the place was really known for periodical gang wars during the nights for over a week. I still remember, that there were these people with leather jackets who hated a bunch of Mexicans.

    The even worse part, the police actually didn’t take this seriously, because they were not bothered with the bad guys who were blowing each-others tops.
    And the result of the ignorance of the police and the madness that was caused over a week was a ‘murder.’

    A senior, aged 67, who goes by the name Vincent Monfils, was caught in a car robbery, and he was shot to death.. he lived in the neighborhood, and i have seen him a couple of times and he is extremely nice and kind. It was sad and shocking. and it was even on LA times.
    The next thing i knew, we moved out of our house and continued life in another house.

    This is a survey according to 2006, about the crimes in and around SouthGate

    (bad place to live)

    And i wont never forget the experience i had, when i was 13 !!!

    And that same experience, is the same reason why i hate GTA.. Rockstar says its fictional, but as long as i’m concerned , i think atleast 10% of what is epicted in the game itself is ‘real’ to a large extent..

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