So yesterday I wrote a post on what happened when some guy tried to steal my bike from the bike cage in my office's basement. When I reacted by getting defensive, it was a gut reaction, without much thought put into it. Not just because he was trying to take a bike (though I love my bike, it is replaceable), but also because it is simply wrong to take what isn't yours and I wanted him to stop. I know that DC isn't New Hampshire (or Grenoble, France - site of my last purse-thief thwarting) and he was much bigger than the teenage French purse snatcher I tackled, and it is probably dumb but it didn't dawn on me that he would have a weapon or anything that could be dangerous. He wasn't being confrontational with me; in fact, it looked like he just wanted to get away from me, as he was clearly guilty (seeing as I caught him red-handed) and I'm pretty sure he was tired of hearing me shriek he's trying to steal my bike! he's trying to steal my bike! Should I have grabbed his arm and tried to pull him over to the security office. No - that was dumb. But, to be honest, I am glad that I called him out. You Don't Steal. It Is Wrong. And I don't think people like that should be able to simply get away with it. Had he been confrontational, it might've changed my reaction, because a bike is a possession and I can get a new one, and it isn't worth risking an injury. But he just looked shocked that 1) he got caught; and 2) I started yelling at him and making a scene. I didn't feel scared or threatened - just mad - it was broad daylight and there were lots of people around, so in that sense, luck was on my side.
Unfortunately, the security cameras didn't capture a good shot of his face (but it did confirm for me that I had a good memory of what he was wearing and his build). Hopefully he won't try to steal any more bikes out of the office bike cage. As my co-worker who witnessed the thief-thwarting remarked, maybe he will be too humiliated to come back. After all, he got chased away by a girl half his size. You win this round.