A lunch break turns ugly…

It was a little around 1 p.m. and *Elizabeth decided to take a jaunt down to the local craft shop. The day was a hot one and the sun beat down on the pavement — not a cloud in the sky. Being that me and a few other coworkers also decided to take a trip to the shop as well, not knowing prior that Elizabeth had the same plans, I remember the parking lot being quiet. There were several cars and people scattered in and out of the shopping strip. A normal day. When we entered the store, we bumped into Elizabeth. All of us laughed that we chose the same day to have similar plans for lunch without planning it. We non-verbally agreed the office can be a little stuffy at times — just can’t sit at your desk all day on a nice afternoon.By the time my coworkers and I left, we noticed an ambulance and two police cars. First instinct of course as fellow journalists was to see what was up. Before we even got close to the commotion a paramedic called out my name. Elizabeth was in the ambulance, very shaken, out of breath — looking terrified. We hadn’t left together and when Elizabeth head out to her car alone, she was mugged. We felt horrible that we didn’t walk out together but how do you know such things when you are so off guard — not expecting a robbery in the middle of the day?The guy apparently reached out from a car and grabbed her bag. She fell to the ground.“He took everything,” she said between breaths, her hand grasping her chest.

Elizabeth told us she wasn’t returning to work that day of course and to let the office know what happened. She isn’t a woman to mess with — her husband isn’t exactly a slip of a man.  All we could think of on the ride back to the office was how senseless it all was. We looked around prior to getting into the car and just couldn’t believe something like that could happen there in such a “nice” area.  Isn’t that what everyone says when something like this happens? But you just can’t help saying it just the same.

With today’s technology all Elizabeth need to do is to report all her credit cards stolen and the block on them happens instantly. She couldn’t have had too much cash on hand. Maybe some perfume. Some great dark red lipstick that she always wears. A compact to powder her nose in time for a night out with her husband. How senseless. The mugger probably didn’t get away with much.

What happens to people to make them end up on the wrong side of things?

Elizabeth will return to work. Everyone will ask her how she feels. She will again return home to her family. But what does the mugger have? An inevitable arrest. Time in prison. A record if he doesn’t already have one. What is the point to even taking the risk of such a pointless theft?

Where is the cure for society’s downward spiral?

*Name changed to remain anonymous.

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