To the thief who stole my wallet in Costco

You're slick, I've got to admit it. I didn't notice you reach into my purse and take out my wallet. I didn't even realize it was missing until I left the store and couldn't find my garage ticket.

You spent $2000 in Nordstrom's in about 15 minutes, then you hopped on a Metro, shopped a bit more in DC and vanished, the credit cards now useless to you. You clearly knew what you were doing. Did you know Costco wouldn't care? Did you know they would refuse to let the police officer review their security tapes? (Why, you might ask? Because the store was "too big.") Well played.

In the end, Nordstrom's was able to cancel most of the store gift cards you bought, and they did get your picture. You can't count on all national chains to be as indifferent to theft as Costco. Occupational hazard.

You reminded me that I live in a big city. After years of travelling all over the world, it wasn't the gypsies of Rome that stole from me or the poverty stricken souls in Honduras, no, it took complacency in an affluent store in one of the wealthiest counties in the American for me to be robbed. 

When I was home that evening, after working with the police and several phone calls to my bank and credit card companies, I was cooking dinner in my cozy kitchen. I was filled with a tremendous amount of gratitude that no one was hurt, that a warm dinner would be ready soon, that I have my family with me, and that the police officer who's working so hard to catch you was kind and thorough and seemed upset for me (much more so than the manager at Costco.) At the same time, I felt pity for you, my thief. You might think you have a great life, that you're so much smarter than those marks you steal from. That everyone is a gullible fool and that the system is so easy to play. But the fact is, you live an empty life. You take from society. You make the world a slightly worse place to live. And there's a price you pay for that. After the high fades, I bet you're pretty unhappy. The more you take from people, the more you lose from yourself.

More later,