I Ripped It Off His Back

Yesterday morning – Tuesday, 2 Feb 2010 – I awoke and did my usual morning rituals. Or started to do them, that is. I quickly realised that things were missing in my flat. Wallet. Gone. Camera bag – with camera with lens attached and the fisheye in a pouch in the bag. Gone. Laptop. Gone. A few bottles of wine (from my visit to Sinclairs Gully in the Adelaide Hills last November). Gone. My front door – slightly open. My cats outside the door, freaked out (the dearest kittehs in the world, my Bonnie and Ganzou) as they are inside cats. I bring my kittehs inside and try to soothe them a wee bit but all they wanted to do was run to their favourite spots and just be themselves.

My head is spinning – how the fark did this happen? A burglar, it seems. D’oh!

I finish my morning rituals – dazed the whole time – and do my usual walk to the bus stop feeling incredibly uncomfortable and freaking out about the person(s) that did this and worried that they were still in the area and might return at any time to remove the rest of my possessions from my flat. They shouldn’t have been able to get into my flat – but did. Surely they could do it again?

I get to work, moving like an automaton, do a necessary few work tasks, contact the police and then arrange for a friend to bring me home. When I get home, I have another, closer look around my flat to see if I can notice if anything else has been stolen. Not that I can tell. I then go outside to feed my fish – which I had neglected to do in my automaton-like state earlier in the morning and then I look around my front garden and the verandah. In the corner of the verandah is my garden trollie. In this garden trollie is my laptop. One bit of relief. Photo from my mobile phone below:

Not stolen

The investigating officer will be at my flat to have a look around and take a statement sometime soon and I call the police number (131 444 – should you ever need it) to let them know that I have found my laptop on my verandah but that is all. The investigating officer arrives at some point during the day, looks around, takes a statement. Considerate man who offered me advice on other security measures I might take around my flat to prevent this happening again.

A friend brings around the D40 that I had loaned him as he knows how much photography is a part of my life and that I am doing a Flickr 365 project (ie taking a picture every day, all year) and only having my mobile phone camera was not going to be quite what I was after for my 365 project.

I then have the rest of the day to fret about what has happened, worry about what might happen and generally freak out about life in general. Oh – and there was a bottle of wine – though not from Sinclairs Gully – which took up a large part of my evening.

Terse Rantz

The above image was taken whilst I was walking through my local shopping centre on the way to the bus. I wasn’t intentionally trying to look terse or angry or annoyed – or anything, for that matter – I was merely trying to get used to do the D40 again and trying to get my automatic memory of using the camera back. This will take a while, I thought. Not happy, I was – not happy at all. I think the picture – unflattering though it is – sums up how I was really feeling quite perfectly.

Within 20 metres of taking this shot – maybe a minute at most – I was through the shopping centre and walking out toward the bus stop. I’m approached by a gentleman who spotted me taking pictures on “that little camera” who then told me that he had a “proper flash nigh con” (I write it like that as that is how he pronounced it – obviously not a photographer) for fifty dollars. I asked him what sort it was and he invited me to come around the corner to have a look. My alarm bells were going OFF. As he turned around to lead me around the corner, I spy (with both my little eyes) my camera bag (it’s a back pack) on his back.

Without thinking or hesitating, I grab the centre handhold and drag it down and off his back and yell “That’s my camera you thief – you stole it from my house and I want it back” (I just know there were at least 3 fucks in there, but I’m not sure where – so I shall leave them out). My darling D90 was now in my possession again and I continued to shout at him such that as many people in the area would witness the interaction. He didn’t try to take it back from me. Instead, he merely yelled at me calling me a loser and saying that he’d had the camera for years, whilst he was walking away from me and heading around that precious corner where he wanted to show me my camera thinking he’d make a quick $50. How wrong was he?

I should point out, after having written the above paragraph, that I am not a physically strong person. Anything but, in fact. When there is aggression or violence anywhere near me, I move away as quickly as possible. I was quite surprised by my actions in ripping my camera bag off his bag – it wasn’t planned, I didn’t think, I had no time to think – I just did it. Damned fucktardasshatwannabees!

My heart, as you might imagine, was thumping up around somewhere near my throat and I had to consciously remind myself to breathe. I briefly spoke to a woman that I see almost every morning as I’m heading to the bus and she’s waiting for the shop to open to get the newspaper, trying to help her to understand that I hadn’t stolen anything from this gentleman but was merely reclaiming my property that the fucking thief had taken.

I then cross the road to catch my bus to get to work, still having to remind myself to let air into my lungs and hoping to high heaven that my heart would calm down sometime soon.

First Shot...

I cross the street and get to my stop, sit down and open the bag to see what is there. Amazingly, everything that was in the bag was still there so I pulled the D90 out of the bag and take the shot above. It’s no grand shot and I have not even the remotest thought that it is – it’s merely an “is the D90 working” shot and, fortunately, it is.

I’m so elated that I can’t stop smiling so I have to let several friends know via sms that I have my camera back and I also have to let my Plurkfiends know as they have been incredibly supportive during the past 36 hours when I was full of anger and fear about what had happened. Thank crikey for mobile Plurking.

The bus arrives, I get to work, updating a few colleagues with the most recent developments and then contact the police to give them the latest update. I ended up going to the police station for close to a few hours to make a statement as well as have a look at a few photos of potential thieves. Not quite The Bill, this cop shop – but there were more than a few cuties lurking about. Don’t tell them I told you that, okay?

The officers then drive me back to work (sorry folks, unmarked car, so I didn’t get to make the sirens and lights do their magic) and I continue with my work day and then, at lunch time, return to my usual self and go on a fotiez walkabout.

Sky With Golden Grass

The above image was taken during this lunch time fotiez walkabout. I am quite pleased with the way it turned out and, I believe, it captures the warmth and relief that I am now feeling now that my camera is back with me.

What an interesting 36 hours this has been.

PS – The above video was on my camera when I checked it out this evening after getting home. It was taken at 8:58pm on Tuesday, 2 Feb 2010 when the camera was in the hands of the thieving fucktardasshatwannabe. If anyone in Darwin recognises the signage that is visible in the background, I’d be most appreciative if you could let me know via commenting on this post. Thanks!

PPS – the video has been sent to the investigating officer – police forensics may be able to pick up more than I can.

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16 Responses to I Ripped It Off His Back

  1. wendishness says:

    Almost sounds like the dickhead says “at the [insert word] bottleshop” as if he’s on the phone to get a taxi or a pick up from a friend or just letting someone know where he was.

  2. Rantz says:

    Yeah – that’s what I’m thinking Wendy. I’m hoping the police may be able to determine more than what I can.

  3. joanygee says:

    Am so thrilled and delighted you retrieved your camera etc. Marvellous coincidence! Hoping that beasteward gets what he deserve. Glad you frightened him!

  4. Rantz says:

    I’m not so sure I frightened him – but I reckon he realised he’d been caught out. Stupid fucktardasshatwannabe.

  5. billythekid says:

    Dude, I’m on teh edge of my seat reading this, total rawkage!! Theiving scumbag! I bet he was sh|tting himself as well!

  6. nexy says:

    OMG Rantz I am so happy that you got your camera back! Your story is captivating from beginning to the end. So much so that I read the story aloud to JT just now while he is getting clothes ready for work.

    I’m also thankful that you were not hurt when you bravely snatched your camera back!

    *big hugs* to you. I love you 🙂

  7. Jay R. says:

    This is one of the most amazing things I have ever heard Rantz. I am glad you got your camera back without any bodily harm coming to you, though I would have understood if some harm had been visited on the thief. Bravo for standing up to the knucklehead and taking back what was rightfully yours.

  8. Keli says:

    What a rat! And, better yet, what a stupid rat!! Thank goodness that jackass was too stupid to realize the folly of selling stolen property within the local of the scene of the crime.
    A truly serendipitous event. I am so happy for you that you got your camera back and that you did not get hurt in the process.

  9. Abimbola says:

    Glad you got your camera back…

    I find that one becomes quite attached to one’s camera after a while…

  10. AlishaV says:

    I still can’t believe how incredible this was! What you must be feeling! And then be able to rip your camera away from that asshat! Just glad you’re okay, the kittens are okay, and that your camera is back home with you!

  11. Tony says:

    Rantz. Just read this amazing story. I hope you were able to give Police a good description. What an a/hole. Glad you got your camera back. What ‘luck’ he tried to sell it to you. I would not be refering to him as a gentleman. I would not have had the restraint you had. I would have punched his lights out. It makes me so mad just thinking about it.

  12. stephen says:

    Read the whole thing through, at first astonished, yet by end I am smiling at your good fortune rather than your misfortune. Nobody likes being robbed, it’s never fun.
    I cannot imagine the feeling of letting pent up frustration onto the forkingshit who tried to sell your equipment for FIFTY DOLLARS! I bet after you had calmed your nerves and settled your heart, you felt a whole lot better. No doubt the police said a few words about accosting people in the street, but I am sure you are glad you grabbed the scumbag!
    So, did your wallet turn up? Was it also in your backpack?

  13. Rantz says:

    I’m feeling really a bity freakazoidal. Went out to take the CD with the .avi on it that was filmed by the thief with my camera and left in situ to the police station. Saw someone in the distance who might have looked almost like the fucktarasshatwannabe that I took my camera off if. Had to really, really hold my gut…

    @btk – careful you don’t fall of teh edge. 8^)

    @Nexy (cozy)

    @Jay – yep – it’s weird, weird, weird.

    @Keli – serendipity! 😀

    @Abimbola – yeah, it’s part of my body now. I need it. 🙂

    @Alisha – tyvm

    @Tony – thank crikey I came up with fucktardasshatwannabe for this non-gentleperson

    @Stephen – I had no such lecture. Not even a tinge of one. If I had thought about taking the camera off his back, I wouldn’t have done. Instinct, it was. I’m a coward when it comes to violence. Wallet – still gone.

  14. Joe says:

    I appreciate all the zen. I do, I really do.

    But someone needs a good old fashion mauling.

  15. Little Kenny says:


    So glad you’re ok and got at least some of your stuff back. Man I’m stunned. Just stunned. I realize I’m late to this “party”, but still had to say… something.

    Wow. Sending good, warm, clear SoCal vibes down under to ya.


  16. Pingback: G’bye Darwin | rantz

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