A High Speed Theft At Ace Hardware And Grapefruit. How Are They Alike?

By Artur Ciesielski | Essay

This morning during a visit to Ace Hardware at a husky guy and a girl parked to my left in a nice, well maintained, middle class car.

It was a parking space near the front door, it was open, an obvious place to park – closest to the store.

I got two keys made and went to my car opened my boot and fiddled around with a package with a lockset in it.

Unlike most packages, this one came apart fairly easily. Sometimes they are a pain. You know what I mean. I don’t understand why one needs a bulldozer to get into some of these packages. Easy Open Package has not reached the hardware industry.

I pulled out one lock and started to put in the key to make sure it fits.

I hear some screaming.

The husky guy quickly ran to this car and was stuffing a rather large box through the back passenger side seat.

I look and thought he’s not going to get that in there.

At the same time several women ran out – there must have been 5 or 6 women, some very husky themselves.

They were screaming. One was saying. “call the cops, call the cops”, “did you get the license plate” and another or maybe two at the same time were creaming the plate letters and number letter by letter as if 1. to remember it and 2. in hope that someone is writing it down.

I guess no one thought to pull out their smart phone to take a photo or fill it: it did happen quickly though.

Maybe the car was stolen. I don’t know, but the box sat outside the store as a display. It looked light: it may or may not have been empty. I assume it was full of what was on the photo because of the ruckus it caused and the hurried reaction. Had it just been a box I’m sure no one would have given a shit: it might have even caused a few to giggle or laugh at the irony and fruitless endeavor.

So here I am right next to them. I did nothing. Shit, they could have had a gun or knife or what ever. It was not worth any action. It was a box and the contents could not have been worth more than $30.00 if not less.

Later that day.

I had an appointment to show an apartment. The people unapologetically arrived 15 minutes late. That’s not uncommon and usually I would have been long gone, but I was replacing a lock.

After showing the place – they liked it and will probably rent it – I went home.

Driving by my property heading toward the back to park my car I saw a van with several people inside sitting calmly and another guy wandering under the grapefruit tree carefully choosing and picking the best fruit.

I parked in front of him, went up to him and asked if he lived there.

“No”, he replied.

“Are you the owner here”, I asked.

“No”, he replied.

“Did you get permission to pick this fruit”, I made a follow up question.

“No”, he replied.

These looked like nice people. They probably are, yet there were engaging in the same type of activity as the people stealing from Ace Hardware.

From what I saw they had about $30.00 or more of fruit in hand. This is delicious organic fruit from a tree that is cared for by someone, by me in this case. I water it, I trim it – getting cut and pierced by thorns hundreds of time over a year, enough to draw blood, I add nutrients, paint the trunk and support it in what ever it needs.

Yet his reply.

“I just though…It’s here so I though I would just take some…they look so good and and…” he said.

“You’re stealing”, I replied.

I followed with, “Had you asked I would have no problem sharing, but now you’re stealing.”

He started to take the lot of fruit to put it back.

I quickly said, “you can keep that fruit”, but ask next time.

I’m going to ask a rhetorical question: don’t people realize it’s stealing. I wonder if these same people would have stolen like this from a store, yet they though it normal, not a problem, to steel from a fellow neighbor.

I mean. This could have been fruit that I sell to provide food by family. It’s not, but they did not know that.


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