Yep. That happened to me tonight and I am still a little shaky from it.
I'll be the first one to admit that I live in my own little bubble most of the time in thinking that no one would do me, or anyone else, harm. Or, that they won't steal or violate me or another in such a way. It's sad to say that I like my bubble and false sense of security. But, tonight was a true reminder that there is a difference between being do trusting and paranoid. There are ways to just be "safe" and you still might get harmed or violated, but at least you can do your best to prevent it.
Tonight I had to deliver something to a friend's house about ten blocks away. No big deal. I've walked there in the dark alone, but it was still light out when I left my house. I was three houses into my journey when I notice a young man about a block away smash a car window. I am not sure if I was in shock, or even thinking "Oh, he's locked out of his car and just trying to get in" but I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt (silly me). I started to walk over to him as he ran back to his other car (I don't know what he went back for) and then he ran up to the other one, looked around and reached in and grabbed their GPS system. Somewhere in these five seconds I had decided that he was breaking and entering (and not locked out of his car) and I had run up to the get away car in time to say to the guys "Hey, what are you doing" and reach out and touch his arm in attempt to get the GPS back. (OKAY - STUPID ME. But, reflecting back, I think I only did this because it was still daylight out on a fairly busy street and I saw a man on the other side of the street about two houses away. So, I felt ok. Granted, he could have hurt me, but I didn't think that at the time!!) I yelled to the guy on the other side of the street to call the Police. As I touched his sweaty arm he jerked around and jumped in his car. I then ran behind it on the road as he turned the corner and backed up (again, STUPID ME but I did know I had the energy to jump over the bushes in time to clear his car if he backed up on me) and sped off. I got his license plate and make/model of car. But, was just in shock and felt like I had personally been violated. I had only briefly touched his sweaty arm... but I felt gross!
Meanwhile, two neighbors had come out of their house when they heard me yell about the police and saw me standing there still in shock. It was then that one of them saw I had my cell phone in my hand and said for ME to call the police. ***Ha, ha... here's where you all can have a good laugh at me!! I said back to them "I don't know their number" (me thinking that I didn't have the Somerville Police number.) One of the guys said... "Uh... just call 911". Oh YES. That would be a brilliant idea, wouldn't it! For some reason I was thinking that was only for people emergencies... like someone was hurt. Personally, I think my brain shut off sometime earlier today because it definitely wasn't on for this experience.
So, I called 911 and reported everything. It was great that I got the license plate and I am happy the kid doesn't know which house I live in :) But, I really wish I knew who owned the nice Toyota Camry that now has a broken window. I talked stood around for a few minutes afterwards... kind of in a fog... while their neighbors talked. I answered some of their questions, but then just backed away. ... reflecting on what I had just seen and trying to get back to my house as quickly as possible to wash my hand.
It's such a shame. It really is. I feel bad for the person who's car was broken into, but for that young man as well. There's a much happier and more peaceful way of life... if he only knew.
And, this experience has burst my bubble. .... but, oh, I really liked my bubble. :(