Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Cop, The Kid and Shabbat

Veev and I were playing Scrabble this afternoon when there was a knock on the door. At first we thought the noise was coming from the boys upstairs. They had friends over, and were loud as they flipped through baseball cards and did whatever it is that ten-year-old boys do.

But the noise persisted, and we realized someone was at the door. I went to the door, and a woman with a notepad started talking quickly to me in Hebrew. Thinking she was trying to sell me something, I told her I didn't speak hebrew, but she pulled out her police badge, and started to speak in English.

Did you have a bicycle stolen, she asked me.

Yes, a few days ago, I said. My bike had been stolen a week earlier, and after filing a police report for the bike, and my kids roller blades, baseball gloves and hockey equipment, I figured I would never see the police or my stuff again.

I figured the cops were doing some kind of follow up police work, making sure that the area was safe and telling me about a neighborhood watch program.

Instead, they asked me to describe the bike, which I did, which the chick cop wrote down, and left me wondering whether this was really appropriate for a Shabbat afternoon.

I filed a police report I told her, and she asked me to get it. I retrieved the report, and she wrote down the numbers, along with our phone number.

Veev started talking to the cop in hebrew, telling her that we were olim chadashim and were very disappointed that our things would get stolen by a jew.

They caught the guy, she told us, and don't worry, this was not a jewish person.

She was hesitant to tell us at first, but as we talked, some of the details came out. The criminal was a 15-year old arab kid. He was skinny and small, and confessed to a number of small-time robberies in Modiin. He was taking the police throughout the neighborhoods that he robbed, showing where he stole from. The police were not sure if we would ever get our stuff back, but they were going house to house that this kid robbed and talking to the victims to find out what was missing.

Before knocking on our door, they brought him into our courtyard, handcuffed, and had him show them who he robbed. By the time they knocked on our door, he was safely ensconced in the police car.

Later, on our way back from Mincha, my oldest and I passed a police car, and there, sitting very timidly and tiny, skinny as a stick, was a frightened arab kid. Who I hope spends some hard time Israeli prison.

Even if we don't get our stuff back, it was a relief to hear that he was arrested. My kids knew that things had been stolen, and were nervous going out front to play. They didn't know who or what was out there. Seeing the kid in the police car put them at ease that their are not too many hardened criminals running through our neighborhood.


Anonymous The Shver said...

Funny...I don't remember seeing antything re: this major arrest on CNN or FoxNews (or even Jerusalem Post or Ha'Aretz.) But...if a Jewish kid had stolen a bike in an Arab would have been the lead! But then, not a likely scenario, I guess. So much for balanced reporting. Perhaps you should write this up as a screenplay and submit it to Law & Order....

September 02, 2006 9:59 PM  
Blogger Sorah said...

I can totally sympathize. When I was younger, my bike was stolen twice: once from the park and once from our garage. It's an incredibly scary thought that someone has so little respect for other people's personal property. Good luck getting your stuff back!

September 02, 2006 10:12 PM  
Blogger rockofgalilee said...

I find it interesting that someone would steal the bike from the park and hide it in your garage and then steal it again later when they realized that that wasn't the smartest place to hide it.

September 03, 2006 5:22 AM  
Anonymous Lady Cop NY said...

A quick note.... if she heard you refer to her as the "chick cop" ( and understood it).... you might have overheard some new and interesting curses!! (that's considered a very demeaning reference by us, all over the world) One other comment. I'm imagining that, based on your description, this was probably a "poor" kid who was stealing to make " a living", so to speak. Do you really want him to be in jail; with adults ( he will be if he is sent to prison there ) or do you want some "tzedek" (justice)... maybe some court supervision (probation) and help getting a job, so he won't have to steal? Just a thought... especially at this time of year!

September 05, 2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Lady Cop -

Sorry if I offended you with the chick cop comment.

I would love justice rather than punishment. I would love it if the kid came back to my house, and brought my kids baseball glove and roller blades here. It would be justice if he went out and brought my bicycle back. And I would feel justice was served if he came over with my son's hockey equipment.

Until he does that, as far as I'm concerned he can go directly to jail. Maybe it will serve as a deterrant to all those other poor arab kids out there that stealing is not a good career choice. (Not that blowing themselves up is a better career)

September 07, 2006 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Lady Cop NY said...

Hi- I wasn't personally offended... (you didn't say it to me! lol) that was just kind of a "heads up" for you for the future! As far the rest.. in a perfect world returning all those things would be justice... sadly we're not there yet..and when we do get there, no one will be stealing anything and the "human bomb" option will finally be forever gone. Also sadly, sending the kid to jail will only deter HIM... it doesn't work as a deterrent to anyone else, but I certainly understand your feelings!

September 07, 2006 11:08 AM  

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