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Unlikely Mugger

Scene: Lunchtime crowd on sunny day in NYC.

On my lunch break, I was crossing 34th street on Fifth Avenue in a throng of people. A woman pulls up on my left, pointing ahead of us and says to me:

“He just got something out of your purse.”

Not knowing whether to trust her, I reflexively reach to my bag, surprised to discover it is unzipped.

I look back at her and again she points him out.

Without thinking, in an instant I ran ahead and caught up to him, grabbed him with both of my hands on his shoulders, spun him around to face me and said:

“I think you have something of mine.”

Where this came from I do not know. I was a 110 pound woman in a dress.

Standing face-to-face with my mugger, he was holding a Bloomingdale’s shopping bag up against his chest and then pulled from behind it my wallet and checkbook, and handed them to me.

Then in an unlikely role change, he morphed from Mugger to Boyscout and began looking on the ground, picking up random pieces of paper, offering them to me, and said: “I think I dropped something too”.

I was fine. I had what came for.

He turned and disappeared into the crowd.

I started shaking, wondering: Do I report this now? There was a police car nearby and I went over and told them about it.

They just nodded: “Did you get everything back?”

“I think so”

“Ok so it’s over.”

Which isn’t exactly how I believed THE LAW worked. Isn’t the pickpocketing thing still a crime, even if you pull up your big girl panties, run him down and get it all back?

This was the first straw that eventually led to my exodus from NYC.


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Oct 05, 2021

I like happy endings. You got your stuff back and didn't get hurt.


Oct 03, 2021

Pretty sure those were boxer-briefs


Oct 02, 2021

Love this mugger story, Thug!

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