I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lost identity (III)

On Thursday evening, after having a pleasant day, i went back to the new apartment at around 6:30pm+ to pick up my mom. We had planned to go to Briscoes, a huge store that sells homeware and home accessories.

When i reached the apartment, mom told me to wait for another hour because she needed to take her medication at that time. While i was waiting at home, a thought popped up in my mind - i was wondering if i should change my handbag before going to the store.

I have two Burberry handbags that i bought during my Japan trip. One is a hobo bag with long strap that i often carry in cross-body style, and the other is a baguette bag that is to be carried with hand or hung on the forearm (the straps aren't long enough to be carried on shoulders). I was using the latter on that day, and it crossed my mind that perhaps i should change my bag because it would be more convenient to use the hobo bag since i could just sling it on my shoulder. But then, somehow i did not act on it, as i thought that i wasn't gonna buy a lot of stuff anyway.

So we drove to Briscoes store at 7:30pm. There were quite some customers at the store that evening but was not particularly crowded. Mom and i shopped around for a while with a shopping basket and then reached the furniture and storage section. I saw a stainless steel shoe rack that was on sale and decided to buy it since i needed one. It was rather big and hence mom went to get a shopping trolley while i waited at that section.

When mom was back with the trolley, i needed to carry the shoe rack with both hands and put it into the trolley. I turned to my mom and said to her, "妈,你拿着一下" ("Mom, carry this for me for a while" - referring to the handbag). This is the part that i couldn't remember clearly - whether i did pass the handbag to her personally or i placed it on top of something and told her to take it. (Now i believe it should be the latter, as i don't think she would simply leave it somewhere if i had handed the handbag to her personally.)

I turned back to carry the shoe rack right after i said the words to her, without really looking at all. After that, i assumed that she was carrying my bag the whole time and we continued to shop around the store happily for another 40 minutes or so (i did not keep track of the time; it might even have been an hour).

When we were finally done browsing the entire store, we were ready to head towards the check-out counter. That was when i looked at my mom's arm and got a shock of my life. The conversation went something like this:

"妈,我的 bag 叻??!!" ("Mom, where's my bag???!!")

She then replied me with a shocking look too, "你没有交给我啊!!" ("You did not hand it over to me!!")

"什么?我刚才叫你帮我拿啊!" ("What? Just now i asked you to carry it for me!")

"你什么时候有叫我拿?" ("When did you ask me to carry it?")

"刚才我抬那个鞋架,要用两只手,我就叫你帮我拿我的bag 啊!" ("Just now when i lifted the shoe rack with both hands, i asked you to carry it for me!")

"我没有听到你叫我拿啊!" ("I didn't hear you telling me to do so!")

By now, can you imagine how flustered i was at that moment of time? I was totally dumbfounded and was thinking to myself, "完了,完了。。。" ("i am doom").

Everything, i mean EVERYTHING, was in that handbag:
  • Wallet - Malaysia IC, Singapore NRIC, Singapore driving licence, DBS credit card, UOB credit card, POSB debit card, UOB ATM card, Public Bank debit card, NZD300+, NTU Alumni Card, and a few of my passport photos.
  • Passport - with my NZ visa stamp in it, and also my SIA and MAS airmiles membership cards in the passport cover pocket.
  • Coin pouch with a few dollars of NZD
  • A card holder that had all the loyalty cards of different merchants (such as Body Shop, Starbucks, etc.)
  • A makeup pouch with my cosmetics
  • Three mobile phones - my X10 mini, Galaxy Tab, and a new company phone HTC One V (which i just got two days before)
  • Car key
  • Apartment key and access card (we need the access card to get through the main entrance)

For ease of changing handbag, i had placed the first four items in a handbag organiser that looked a bit like this:

After the first reaction of panic, i calmed myself down and told mom to split up and look around the store for my handbag. I could not remember clearly where i placed it but i believed it should be at where i picked up the shoe rack. I went back to that section and couldn't find the handbag at all. At that point of time, i was thinking that it would be a mission impossible to search such a big store for a handbag, which probably would have been taken by someone. I decided that i should ask for help.

I then approached a store staff who was just nearby and told him that i lost my handbag with all the important IDs and documents inside. I asked him to help me to look for it and also to check if anyone had found and returned it to the store. While he went off to check, mom and i continued looking around the store for the bag.

Just five minutes later, he came back with the familiar checkered handbag in his hand and asked me if that was my bag. He told me that someone returned the bag to the cashier. I was so relief and was thinking to myself, "thank God that this is not Malaysia."

But boy oh boy, was i wrong! When i gladly took back the handbag from him, i noticed how light it was. I immediately opened it up and noticed that it was almost like an empty bag. I checked carefully and only the three mobile phones and both sets of keys were still there. The handbag organiser and makeup bag were gone, which means that i lost whatever that was in the organiser - my wallet and passport.

By then, it was pretty much confirmed that someone had stolen my stuff. What confused me was that why anyone would steal the things but still returned the handbag to the cashier (and did not take the phones or even the branded handbag). At that time, i could only hope that the thief would take away the money but left the other things in the store or around the perimeter of the store. I shared my thoughts with the staff and asked him if he could help to retrieve the surveillance video so that we could identify where the thief left the things (if he/she did so).

The staff then told me that he would contact his store manager about this and i accompanied him to the cashier where he could make the intercom to his manager. While i was there, an Asian couple saw me and noticed what happened. They then said to me, "Oh, so the handbag is yours? We found it at the luggage section and returned to the cashier. We were actually wondering since when they start selling Burberry bag here! Hahaha..."

It would have been a very amusing conversation but my mind was in a whirl that time (i think i even forgot to thank them for returning the handbag). I told the couple that i have lost the things inside the bag, including my passport. The lady was shocked and told me that i must quickly go and make a police report.

Later on, while i was waiting for the manager, i went to the luggage section and checked out the area. That was at the side area of the store where the surveillance cameras were not pointing at it. So this is what i think happened - someone saw the handbag sitting somewhere and took it to that area where no one would be looking (not even the camera). He/She opened the handbag and saw the wallet and coin pouch in the organiser and the makeup bag (which was zipped up and one might not be able to tell what it was). In a rush, the person quickly took the organiser and makeup bag and left the store. This means that the chance for my stuff to be still in the store would be very slim.

My deduction is based on logical thinking. You see, when a person is committing a crime, he/she would wanna flee the scene quickly in case being caught. This is especially true in this incident, as the thief would be worried that the owner of the handbag was looking for it and caught him/her snooping into it. He/she would not be so stupid as to stay in the store and check out what were inside the wallet and organiser, and then risked being caught red-handed. Taking away the makeup bag but left behind the three mobile phones also confirmed my deduction because the person must be in a rush and didn't even have the time to check carefully what were in that handbag. The quickest and safest way for the thief was to promptly take whatever he/she thought might be valuable and left the scene immediately.

Anyway, i did go and check out the perimeter around the store but didn't find anything. The staff later told me that his manager wasn't around on that day. He took my details and then left a note on the manager's table about this incident. He told me that there was nothing more they could do for me and i should just go to report this to the police. He also said that if any of my stuff were to surface in the store, which was unlikely, they would contact me.

It was actually quite apparent that they did not wanna dwell further on my issue, especially that it was a busy season for the store. I decided not to waste more time on this and left the store to focus on damage control first.

Ok, now i guess the aftermath and my afterthought of this misfortune would make a part 4 for this post. Well, it is not that i wanna keep everyone in suspense. After all, i am not writing a fiction here but relating a true incident in details, which is not something particularly joyful to do. The problem is that i always blog in the night and it always gets too late for me to continue on with long story.

Alright, bed time! Tomorrow shall be the last bit and i'd tie up all the three long-winded posts to make it coherent.


sigh, sigh, sigh .. reading these really made my heart missed a beat. how i hope it was purposely made suspenseful with the documents actually being found after the fb posts, or the aftermath. it must be hard and painful to relate back the tragedy, well, the preludes hopefully thawed a bit the mood. but, it just ... awful, really awful for the incident to happen, couple with other bad news lately too ... sigh ..

when you mention about lightness, did you still have the ipad? i heard from my ex-boss and friend that the ipad can be tracked if registered and GPS turned on, similar like iphone. It applies to note too maybe. i did not bother about the tracking system on my ipad since i bought it for my mom and it won't be brought out of the house too. Have you played around with it before? i read in forum an incident in cheras that a thief stole a note logged into the owner's fb and use the account for chitchatting, which and where he was caught redhandedly.

another, why was the bag left at the shoe rack section and later appeared in the luggage department? someone must have moved it there. Did the camera record the path between the both sections ? did it manage to capture you or your mom with and without the bag ? and then the bag to the counter. That would be the timeline the mishap happened. to put in the thief perspective, would he risk to bring stolen item to home (actually, many really do) ? when you check out the perimeter, i guess that included checking the bins around, grass, etc etc. if the passport and ids are found, do the police have ways to contact you? of course, you must have already filed the police report. since it is case of thievery, any investigation officer IO assigned to the case? in MY for sure tak boleh pakai, but how about NZ? will they reinvestigate the camera surveilance? is it possible that you made copy of certain section of the record too?

sigh, like you have said, what has happened already happened. it's just that i don't want to give up hope when there's iota of chance, even 0.01 % or 0.01 ppm to recover the documents. but then, sigh ... i might be recreating anxiety only, to reminisce that painful memory when one should let go and move on. the world is still spinning and life goes on, but ... sigh, sigh ...stay strong girl. i'm sorry for what i wrote in previous comment mentioning about hard lesson or something like that. try not to let this incident distract your work, i mean don't think about it at all, treat it didn't happen until you finish work. The outcome will be the outcome for you already did what you should have done. have faith pinpin. cheers.

ah, i misread, no ipad is mentioned. sigh, anyway, stay strong girl. -HY-

my dear, luckily the thief din took away ur apartment and car key, furthermore the car belongs to ur new boss's wife.
Hope the thief throw the ID somewhere and somebody will find and return them to u. I lost my wallet in Giant Plentong b4 and somebody find my wallet with all the cards and ID inside in a drain in a nearby petrol kiosk, they saw my address on my ID and decided to drive to my home and return to me since it is quite near. They are kind people everywhere too.
Stay Strong, Stay Positive.
God Bless You.

Share your cogitation

Tuesday, December 25, 2012 @ 11:17 pm: Lost identity (II)
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 @ 12:59 am: Lost identity (I)
Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 11:59 pm: Merry Christmas
Sunday, December 23, 2012 @ 11:47 pm: An unfortunate event
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 12:25 am: Expensive medical
Monday, December 17, 2012 @ 12:39 am: Busy moving week
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 7:32 pm: The land of the Middle Earth
Sunday, December 09, 2012 @ 8:08 pm: First working week in NZ
Sunday, December 02, 2012 @ 11:51 pm: End of long holiday
Saturday, December 01, 2012 @ 3:02 am: Mom's flight confirmed