It was in the front passenger seat of the pickup truck, on top of the Harry Potter CDs that haven’t quite made it back to the shelf where they belong. I kept expecting it to show up, but after it had been missing for 6 days I finally resigned myself to replacing the contents. I was on my way, having taken time off from work and everything, to the DMV in Mariposa to get a new drivers license when I peeked in the truck and saw it.Thing is, I’m pretty sure I didn’t get in that truck between the time that I pulled the wallet out to buy lunch on Friday afternoon until I missed it Sunday when we headed into town for supplies. I do remember accidentally dumping some things out of my new messenger bag onto the ground in the dark one day ? I thought I’d picked them all up but it’s possible that something had slipped under the car. The wallet was kind of dirty when I found it. The truck was unlocked. I wonder if some kind soul walked by, saw the wallet, and dropped it inside the truck for me, keeping someone else from being tempted to steal it. There are a lot of good people in the world that might do something like that.
Tom heard a story on NPR on the tactics that some police officers are using to discourage theft in the NY’s subways. Here’s the set up. They leave a wallet out, and watch. Some poor person picks it up, and if they don’t head directly for the subway kiosk to turn it in, they suddenly find themselves in handcuffs. They interviewed one guy who had been late for his train, and grabbed the wallet and kept going. He said he planed to return it to the owner directly. Of course, any intelligent person would say that, but this guy had a completely clean record and he was released without charges. But he missed his train.
In defense of their policy, the police say that there are people who intentionally prowl the subways looking for things that people might have left behind – cell phones, wallets etc., and they are trying to crack down on this behavior. I wonder what behavior they are actually cracking down on. I wonder if, after hearing that story, the hypothetical person who put my wallet in the truck would have picked it up or left it on the ground to be found by someone else – possibly with less positive outcomes.