Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stolen Laptop

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called Steal This Laptop, about how people in the city have developed the tendency to leave their laptops and other valuables lying around unattended.

Not long after that, a police officer at a protest told me what she thought of the most recent arrivals to the East Village, saying, "These people are victims. Stupid. They save seats with their laptops! With their handbags! And then just walk away. That's all we deal with now--stolen laptops."

Even so, I couldn't believe that anyone would actually use a laptop to save a seat. Now an anonymous tipster sends in the following story...

"Tonight I was in the Starbucks at Astor Place. I was looking for a chair and I saw that somebody had saved a good seat at an empty table by placing a laptop bag on it. With the laptop in it. I thought, Who would leave that there?

Anyway, I ordered my coffee and took a seat nearby. I wasn’t paying any attention. My girlfriend came in and we were talking. At some point, two people sat down at the empty table, a guy and a girl. The girl was talking about looking forward to her summer vacation when she started looking around frantically.

'Oh my god,' she said, panicking. 'Where's my laptop?'

She asked everyone sitting nearby, 'Did you see anyone take it?'

Nobody had noticed the laptop and nobody saw anyone take it. The girl was very upset. I felt bad for her. Her boyfriend called the police, but I don’t think that laptop is going to turn up."


CHRIS said...

i see this kind of thing all the time. At the Hungarian Pastry shop on near Columbia Univ., i have seen countless folks do it. If i was a thief, i could own like 30 laptops from that place alone. People just get too comfortable or just don't know any better about the risks in doing this. THINK!! this is New York!!!

diehipster said...

Haven't the hipsters learned yet? Good for those out of place transplanted wanna be urban sheep. Now I know where to get a laptop.

Ewing33Knicks said...

I feel sorry for the NYPD.

I really do.

What kind of an idiot would leave their laptop unattended?

Caleo88 said...

The type of idiots who think this is the suburbs...I have no sympathy for that level of sheer stupidity. Like the whole city is their dorm lounge.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

These same people probably leave their doors and windows unlocked as well. I don't care if it's NYC or Mayberry - who would ever leave anything valuable unattended? Next, people will be leaving their kids alone in the parks...oh, wait..

Barbara L. Hanson said...

Goggla: I was left alone to go to Marine Park every day of every summer. Or to roller skate in the street,or ride my bike to the library on Flatbush Avenue. What happened to me? I developed a sense of self-reliance, and didn't go crying to the nearest adult every time something went wrong. I might point out that, during those years, the city was regarded as far more dangerous than it is now.

Unknown said...

That's not crime, it's accidental charity. My kids have been generous enough to give away watches, calculators, even tasty little homemade lunches. Live and learn, but don't bother the police with it. They have real work to handle.

Richard said...

I will admit to being someone so stupid - when I got an iced tea refill at a Starbucks around Gramercy Park - to have left his laptop bag on the table. I kept looking back until I didn't and then it was gone.

It was an old laptop bag I had been planning to throw out and it had no computer inside it, just some easily replaceable papers with my scribblings on them. I did learn a cheap lesson, although I never bring my netbook anywhere in public. The reason I go to places like Starbucks is to read away from the online world - and I'd taken my book to the counter with me!