Averting crime by way of Hegel

These past three days there’s been construction work going on at basement level at the opposite side of the street, they’re carving out a couple of window squares in the old wall to create a new ground floor flat, and yesterday they got them done and boarded them up while waiting for the windows to arrive. If you’ve seen Grand Designs, you know the windows are always late.

Today, when I was formulating an introduction to Hegel’s Elements of the Philosophy of Right in my written exam, I noticed a couple of gals standing there, one of whom had her arm between the boarding, and fished something out. It looked like a cellphone, so I just guessed she had taken a picture on the inside of the boards, dropped her cellphone and then retrieved it. Then they walked away while, curiously, looking at her wallet.

People are weird and do weird stuff. I always assume this before foul play.

Then, about forty minutes later, I noticed the girls were back at the window! One of them were conspicuously inconspicuously tying her shoelace at a tree next to the window, while the other gal dropped something back in. Then they left, sort of hurriedly. Huh.

Plus five minutes and one of the familiar faces working there came out looking through his wallet and talking to his colleague, pointing at the window, when I realized that the gals had seen his wallet through the boards and decided to steal it!

I grabbed my furious Boston Terrier side-kick Elvis and headed out to talk with them. By then the guy in the grey shirt, whose shit had been stolen, was gone but his coworker was left. I got him out of the flat-to-be (the dust is terrible) and told him what I’d seen; a couple of young, Spanish-looking girls, who’d reached in and grabbed something! I couldn’t see them around, but IF they were Spanish, then perhaps they go to the Norwegian-classes at the nearby school and had decided to do some mischief during a break or something. We exchanged numbers just in case.

While he tried to get hold of grey-shirt, I decided to head up to the school and look for them. This is when I met my furious Homo Sapiens side-kick Lady C, coming home from work carrying the groceries, and got her up to speed. I suggested we headed for the school and she reluctantly agreed.

Elvis decided that crime-fighting aside, it was time to pee, so he jumped into a hedge running around a small park outside a nearby apartment complex doing his thing. I was talking about how shitty thing it is to steal from the immigrant workers who work here for pennies, when I noticed a couple of gals sitting on a table there in the shade smoking a cigarette. "Look! Perhaps it’s them?".
– It’s them?
Lady C was not intrigued. If this was the case, they had moved a mere 150 yards from the scene of the crime. Then again, they had thought that nobody had noticed. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE the nerds at home WATCHING YOUR EVERY MOVE!

We casually walked around the park, C put down the groceries, so I could properly identify them. Elvis farted. It was them, I was sure. I nonchalantly took out my phone and called the other guy’s number, but got a busy-signal. So we circled the park properly, sat down in the grass on a slope behind them, so we could keep an eye on them while I tried to call again.

Then the girls stood up to leave, and Lady C was like: "No fucking way I’m gonna let them get away with it!" headed for an intercept, while Elvis was squealing like a little girl and me following close thereafter (sans the squeals). Must have made some impression.

We caught up with them, and it turned out to be a couple of 17 year old Norwegian biatches. Lady C promptly said: "Hey Girls! We saw that you stole some shit from the window down there, and if you hand it over immediately we don’t need to call the cops."
Their face shone up in the brilliant light of BUSTED! (Jean-Paul Sartre has written extensively about this exact moment.)
The blonde girl just said: "OK!" pulling stuff out of her purse.
Lady C added: "And you don’t do that again!"
And they swiftly left.

I tried calling the other guy but still busy, so we just took the stolen goods (a digital camera and a VISA card) and headed homewards. Luckily enough, the other guy was still there, smoking a cigarette. We told him that we got the girls, and gave him the stuff.
He was dumbfounded, thanked us and said he had to get a hold of grey-shirt.

At this point we just headed home to get the groceries into the fridge, and were chatting about it, and when I got back into the study to continue my introduction I noticed the car was back and grey-shirt was waving at us.

I opened the window only to get showered in gratefulness. Grey-shirt was so happy, because he had a lot of pictures on the camera and this was his only bank account (typical for immigrant workers) with all his money. And do we like beer or wine?

I didn’t feel like doing so much out of it, but we opted for a red wine, because grey-shirt clearly would like to give us something in return. And they were off. It’s in moments like these you realize you just experienced a whole range of concepts in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.

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