Rob a bag, and it’s in the bag

December 20, 2016 - 09:00

It is not unusual in Việt Nam that bag-snatchers go the whole hog.

It is not unusual in Việt Nam that bag-snatchers go the whole hog.

Dirty pigs, you might say, or worse.

But what happens is this: after a successful snatch, the thieves take all the valuables like cash and jewelry, then call the owners and make a generous offer: For a certain sum of money, documents like the passport, ID card and driving license will be returned. The owners are grateful for such big mercies, we can be sure.

Of course, many heartless souls don’t bother with the potential to make extra money by selling documentation important to the owner, not the thief.  

One robber in HCM City confounded everyone recently by going the extra mile to return the stolen goods.

A woman living in District 4 had her bag snatched while walking from her apartment building to her private car to take her child to school.

It was an awful day. All her cash, mobile phone, ATM cards, credit cards and ID card were gone.

The woman had no choice but to report the case to a nearby police station, the first step to applying for new cards, licenses, etc.

As she returned home, we don’t know if she hoped against hope to receive a call from the thief with an offer to return the crucial documents, but if she had, she was in for a big surprise.

When she got back, the building’s security guard handed her the stolen bag. Surprise, surprise.

Then came the mother of all surprises. Nothing had been taken from the bag. Everything was intact – cash, mobile phone, ATM card, ID card.

The security guard recalled that very soon after the snatch, the robber returned to the gate of the apartment building and threw the bag towards the guard, saying: “I am returning the stolen bag. Nothing’s lost.”

Local police are still scratching and shaking their heads.

“It is a rare case,” was the limp response from one of the cops in Ward 1, District 4.

Rare or not, explanations came in thick and fast as netizens responded to the story.

One guessed that the robber had checked the victim’s ID and realised she was one of his relatives.

Some others surmised that he was “insulted” by the low returns on his investment – not enough money and an inexpensive phone.  

If this explanation does not surprise you, try this one for size: The robber was taking a “robbery class” and the snatch was only a test for him to pass the course.

Since he succeeded in robbing his victim, and returned in person the stolen goods in their entirety, we may safely assume that he passed the test with flying colours before flying the coop, as it were. — VNS