Daeyel wrote:Any advice on handling this situation? My current plan is to observe him closely tonight and/or tomorrow night (he may attend class only 2 times a week) If I see no evidence he has that brand helmet, or his is obviously too old or battered to warrant a brand new bag, then he will be reported. If the instructor(s) conclude he stole my bag, he will be kicked form the program (YAY for zero tolerance policy) and, worse, his employer may have to be informed that he was kicked (if his employer was paying for the education)
The value of the bag is $14 - $20 online. Some may argue that this is a bit steep a punishment, but I disagree vehemently.
I do not want to go to school with, or work with thieves. If he - or that someone else is so willing to steal the $20 bag, you bet they;d willingly steal the $300 helmet I saved for months to buy.
I can have a great deal of patience and latitude towards ignorant errors, honest mistakes, even outright stupid conduct. Doubly so for technical errors that might be an unintended violations of some law or policy. But I have a very hard time working up much sympathy for deliberate theft. Short of having two, very similar items, you simply don't "accidentally" pick up someone's stuff and think it is your own.
Daeyel wrote:The problem is, most everyone could claim that losing their car creates a hardship that affects their quality of life.
We live in a transportation society, where people live up to an hours drive or more from where they work.
Modern day horse theft we might say.
Daeyel wrote:The laws we have now do not work. They should be deterrents. Obviously, clearly, they are not. Rather, they have created a pretty nice work environment.
And that really is the crux of it.
I think I am far more understanding of the "Looters will be shot" signs, and even what I expect is the rare carrying out of that threat, in areas hit by disasters where there simply is no police protection than I would be of using similar force in a situation where the police are available. After all, what choices does a lone home owner have in a post disaster situation when the phones are down and the police are not
going to be showing up? He either gives up his property to the first person who demands it, or he is willing to use force to retain it. How much force he uses could depend on how much the would be thief requires to give up his designs. Where the police are available, more civil methods of keeping the peace and protecting property seem required. But I guess that is getting to be the rub, isn't it. Where are the police generally available and actually doing much to solve or even prevent so-called "petty" crimes?
Cutting off a hand, or even using deadly force to defend "mere" property seems really harsh, even offensively so. But as you so astutely observe, clearly our laws and legal system are not working well to be deterrents against theft or (even worse in my mind as nobody actually benefits at all from) senseless vandalism. For far too many thieves, a few weeks in county lock up or a few months in prison are simply part of the cost of doing business.
It seems that for those who are not physically large enough to use unarmed, non-lethal force against miscreants, a good supply of pepper spray and/or tasers would seem to be in order.