Posted on 2013-05-27

Backup your data

Minutes ago, this happened.

I was sitting outside PJ's coffeehouse, sipping on an iced latte and reading on my iPad.
My computer bag was open and resting near my feet.

A man on a bicycle rolled up beside me, grabbed my bag, and rode off.
I ran after him as fast as I've ever run in my life, screaming something like: "That's my job man - no recent backup!".
I catch up to him a block and a half later, because fool that he is he doesn't seem to be using the pedals of his bicycle.

I'm about to grab him when he drops the bag on the ground.
I retrieve it none the worse for wear, and he rides off.

Within a minute, one kind stranger who had been chasing the thief down with me had called the police, and another fellow pulled up in a pickup truck and volunteered to chase him down in his truck with me. A minute later two security guards working for the federal building across the street came up to me to let me know they'd caught the whole thing on tape.

I'd left on my iPad sitting on my table when I ran after him; when I got back to the coffee-shop a nice fellow handed it back to me with a smile.

Lessons learned:

  • Back up your data.
    You are one crazy man on a bicycle away from catastrophe.
  • There are more kind people than there are crazy people on bikes.
    Five strangers helped me VS one that tried to steal my bag.
  • Eyewitness testimony is worthless
    I declined to file a police report, because I knew that all I'd be able to tell them was: "A mid forties black male in a hat on a bicycle tried to steal my bag".
    More importantly, I knew that given a line up, I probably wouldn't even be able to pick him out.
    At least for me, the more excited you are, the less likely you'll be able to remember details.