So, yesterday I went to South River Walk Park, one of my favorite places, to do some shooting. It was a particularly cloudy which can make for awesome sunsets. I took a few shots of my surroundings, as I always do, and proceeded to get in the car. I was approached by this young Hispanic kid. He was tapping on the window, so I rolled it down a bit to see what he wanted. He asked me what I was filming and why was I taking pictures of him. So I told him I wasn’t, just taking landscape shots and that I never take pictures of peoples faces unless I ask. He was insistent that I had taken his picture. As we talked, his friend came over. I didn’t feel particularly threatened but cautious. This kid didn’t look like he could take a punch and seemed to be obsessed over having his photo taken. He walked to the front and started taking pictures of my plates saying he was gonna call the cops. So I got annoyed and got out of the car to show him the pictures, which I did. He wasn’t satisfied that I hadn’t switched cards and at this point I was done being nice. I realized that I had turned my back on the other guy and I turned around to see where he was. He was nowhere to be seen. So I get in the car and I realized that my phone was gone. I corned the other guy with the car and asked him where his friend was. He of course claimed he didn’t know anything. At this point I sized up the situation. I don’t know where his friend is..I could beat him to a pulp but he doesn’t have anything. I could grab him but I had no phone to call for help, so I went to the next corner and flagged down a guy to use his phone. Mind you, on the way there, I passed 3 patrol vans right around the corner, so says I, they shouldn’t take long to get here. WRONG. I stood there for another 30 mins then it started raining, so I get in the car. A police van, went right past me so I tried flashing them but they kept going. So, I left.
This park is in Trenton at the edge of a cemetery and a few modern condos BUT up the block, the neighborhood changes character. It’s the hood. Very dilapidated..lot’s of poverty and crime, so you can’t just Sally around. And here I am driving the jag as the sun sets like come take it. So my plan was to go home, switch cars, get my iPad to locate it and take my equalizer with me..along with a hammer. During all this, I made phone calls to ATT and a buddy of mine, by accident actually, but it was a good thing. He talked me down. I went this morning to the last known location and sitting there made me realize that this was an act of futility. I went to the police station to file a claim (tried that last night but they never called back).
So what did I learn?
The police are pathetic. When I was at the station the desk officer didn’t even have a form to file the complaint. She tore a sheet of paper to get my info. Let that soak in..a piece of ripped paper.
That part of Trenton is wow. If I didn’t grow up in the hood, there’s no way I would even get out of my car around there.
It’s not worth it. I could have killed either of them, or been killed over a phone.
A hammer is the weapon of choice for people that go after phone thieves. (I discovered this in my Google search of these incidents)
I’ve gotten better with my temper.
Trying to use a Blackberry as a navigator is not the move if you’re driving through really bad neighborhoods
Get insurance..(I thought I had but no)
Photography can be hazardous