Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You'd better watch out, You'd better beware jolly old man giving out goodies but quite the reverse.............

This morning I attended a meeting - an OWC fundraising meeting in a high end sari shop in Bangalore (Deepam Silks).  It would hopefully be a mutually beneficial meeting (well really beneficial for our charities) in a day that was expected to be fairly uneventful and calm....dream on!!

When we pulled up at Deepam's my fellow OWC VP, A,  left her bigger bag containing her computer in the car and just took her purse. Her driver would remain in the car - you can probably see where this is going. The Deepam security guys/welcoming committee opened the car door for us and ushered us on our way into the shop. We had a fruitful meeting and will be holding an OWC event at Deepams to which I will go armed with camera to try and do justice to the amazing colors and silks.

While still in Deepam's, tho post meeting, A got a call from someone saying they had a bag of hers in their shop and could she come and pick it up. We thought this rather strange as A to her knowledge had not left or lost anything anywhere. We sort of blew him off and continued to peruse the rich and vibrant materials surrounding us. When we got back to the car, still parked outside the shop, A reached for her bag.....gone. A's driver was adamant he had not left the car. Putting two and two together, A rang back the guy who had called earlier. One of his shop's security guards had visited the local public toilet when he saw a bag looking very out of place! He rang his employer and as instructed brought the bag back to that shop. The employer/shop owner had then found A's business card in the bag and called. While looking for a business card or phone number, he discovered that her bag also contained another bag which it later transpired had been taken from another stationary car, complete with sleeping driver but unlocked while the owner was with his mother at the dentist. That second bag was now minus a phone, docking station and some other tech items. A's bag was minus the new tablet computer, a gift from her family for mothers day.

Feeling we were in the middle of some surreal dream - how can a bag be taken from a car with a driver in it?  we went back to Deepams. The only time the car door had been open was when we were being helped out by a couple of guys we assumed to be Deepam's welcome crew. Discussion, debate and we were led up the stairs to a tiny little room - more like a cupboard - Deepam's nerve center, the security camera screens. We rewind and replay, we see A's car pull up, we watch and then bold as brass someone rushes over the car, opens the door, takes the bag and is gone, driver sleeps on. On further scrutiny of the footage and a few replays it is apparent there are two perbs, a watcher and a doer. They watch the car pull up, presumably walk up and down the street several times - ascertain there is a bag conveniently positioned with long straps to grab hold off, the car is not locked and then they wait for the driver to nod off, maybe with headphones on listening to either Bollywood or some hindi chanting and then............the deed is done. The bold as brass, in your face cheek of it is mind-blowing. The simplicity of the plan and the sheer audacity is outrageous.

Purander naps in the car at the slightest opportunity, however short the stop and he quite often has the windows open. How many times have I left my camera or the kids an i-pad, readily available for any passing thief. And come to think of it there have been times Purander has been in the land of dreams in the drivers seat and Wills has got into the car and has been pulling his hair before he wakes up.

Next stop the police station to report the crime. They lambast A's poor driver who did nothing but fall asleep and is reduced to tears. They seem a little power crazed and there seems to be little sense of urgency. In fact it seems that the Cubbon Park area is singularly lacking in any meaty criminal activity today as the two holding cells are empty and the gun racks are full. Both are open. A settles down to write her statement when a very irate business gentleman charges in. Another similar incident - the gang has struck again. He was in a nearby Cafe Coffee Day, his driver next to his car - maybe having a smoke or a cup of chai - but next to the unlocked car. One guy susses out the scene, another appears out of nowhere, opens the door, grabs the previously identified target, and is gone. This time the perbs really did hit the jackpot. This guy was a builder who transacts in cash and must have just sealed a deal. The bad guys really did find Mr Moneybags!

By now I was feeling as if was in an Indian spoof of CSI.

Whereas my heart goes out for A and her loss, and I don't hold out much hope for it's return, it was certainly a day to remember. We sort of solved a crime, didn't catch the bad guys but got 'em on tape.  Detectives in the making!!

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