| | 11-16-11, 01:11 PM Thread Author #1
Almost got robbed for my Playbook last night UPDATE DEC. 2, 2011
I'm going to tell you what happened and the hard lesson I learned from my experience last night:
I took the Skytrain (Vancouver's rapid transit service) home from work like I normally do. In the past 2 years that I've been taking transit to and from work, I had yet to encounter any criminal activity other than some drunken idiots peeing in bushes around the train stations. For the last couple of months, I've started reading books via Kobo on my Playbook and it's been such a joy to read during my commute to and from work. But because it gets darker sooner during the fall winter months, it was kind of in the back of my mind that reading from my Playbook on the walk home (which was about 12 minutes) from the train station through a poorly lit trail might put me in a vulnerable situation.
So anyways.. last night I get off the train and almost immediately after I left the relative populated security of the station, I can feel someone following me. There are other people on the trail and I knew that would keep me safe somewhat. I still checked over my shoulder if I was being followed and , yeah, the guy made no attempt to pass me even when I walked slower than I normally do, even after 150 yards. And when no one was around, I tried to shake him and eventually got behind him. He stops, turns around and asks me for the time (and if you know panhandlers or anyone with bad intentions), that's the usual opener for them to then ask you for money, politely or not.
I give him the time and he mutters "Do you want to get stabbed, man?". I said "What?!" -"Gimme your iPad." In a half-second of incredulity, I thought in my head "Does this LOOK like an iPad, jackass??" I had two options to this situation: A) call his bluff about having a knife and kick his *** and smash his face in with my Otterbox-encased Playbook or B) do the smart thing and run for my life. I chose B. I yelled "F@#k you!" at him and ran as fast as I could away from him, and he did his best to catch up but 9 times out of 10, I'm going to outrun a cracked out thug. I didn't have to run far when another person came out of the trail and I yelled at him "This guy's trying to rob me!!" This broke off the guy's pursuit and I fumbled through my bag to pull out my utility knife. He vacated the area still threatening to stab me. I thanked my rescuer and he walked with me long enough for me to call the cops.
I met up with the police; they didn't catch the guy but they responded to the situation fast enough though. So now maybe the police will be vigilant enough to check out the security recordings from the train station to see if the guy was following me right from when I got off the train, but I doubt it. I am speaking to a sketch artist to give the guy's description tomorrow. But in the meanwhile, I have to find a new way to get home until I feel like it's safe to walk home that way again.
So here's the lesson I learned: I know now that, like the distraction of texting while driving, I shouldn't read from my tablet as I'm walking home at night. It was safe enough when the sun was still out in the summer but I'm really playing with fire when I try to do it during the fall/winter months. This is common sense and I really should have known better, so this is a reminder to everyone to be safe and wary when using your Playbook or any other tablet in public.
I'm ok and more importantly, so is my Playbook haha. She'll live to see me upgrade her with OS 2.0 in hopefully February.
It had been over two weeks since the attempted mugging and I've stuck to walking my new route home. I no longer walk while reading from my Playbook and I'm constantly looking over my shoulder to see if I'm being followed. I spoke with a police sketch artist yesterday and gave a decent description of the attacker. I thought I'd be done with all of this but -I kid you not- I get off the skytrain and I see the guy that tried to mug me hanging out in front of the station. I had some doubt in my mind that it may not be him so I second-guessed myself and held off calling the cops. I left the station extra wary about whether or not I was being followed and to my relief, I was in the clear. My mind was at ease and I passed the area where I had almost been robbed, but not 40 feet from that spot, I hear arguing behind me. I see a guy fending off a robbery by... guess who... that same ***** that tried to rob me. The guy threatens to call the police and starts chasing the would-be thief. I ran to join in the chase and I follow them into a townhome complex where I meet up with the victim and offered to help him. I think, at that point, the thief thought the victim would be by himself, but when I joined up with the other guy, I see that ******* pop out and run from someone's backyard with a broom handle in his hand. I guess he intended to attack his pursuer but when he saw that there were two of us, he fled. We tried to chase him somemore but he got away. The guy with me called the police and they arrived 5 minutes later. They even brought the K-9 squad this time! The guy with me showed them where we chased the guy hoping the dog would pick up a scent. No such luck. So now I'm talking to the police... again. From what I heard from the victim was that the punk confronted him, threatening to stab him if he didn't give him money. This time, because I had recognized the punk on the train platform, I was able to tell the police where he was standing so that they could review security cam footage from the station to see if they can get his image. The police were pretty happy about my information and they were a lot more attentive this time as opposed to when it happened to me two weeks ago. They told me the attacks have been getting more frequent along this stretch of the skytrain route and that those guys may be organized. My new concern now is that these guys are hanging out at that station undeterred despite being foiled in their robbery attempts. I don't know if they're stupid in that they think they'll never get caught or what. And now I probably have to wear a different jacket and different glasses because that thief may have seen me twice now. Aargh.... and that was my favourite/warmest winter jacket. I swear to you that I'm not making this story up; I was even told by the police that the chances of bumping into that guy were slim :s. I'll keep you guys updated if anything new comes up. Be safe, everyone.