In our Bong language there is an aphorism/saying – “churi bidya boro bidya jodi na poro dhora”
Basically it means that theft is a great unless unless and until you get caught.
I have mucho respect for thieves. In general, they are poor people, who instead of moaning and whining about fate and blaming the government, are going out and doing a high risk job.
At least its high risk here in India where if you get caught, there is a high chance you will be beaten to death.
But there is one aspect which is important – the victim.
When the victim is well to do or rich, the financial loss is not that great – we can bear it. The sentimental value of lost objects might be a different matter of course.
But stealing from the poor or the oldies is like taking candy from a baby, cannot be condoned.
Though in the interest of fairness, I must point out that don’t give candy to babies, those wee buggers get spoiled if you give them candy plus it harms their constitutions. If you want to reward them give them carrots – good for vitamin A.
But to come back to point, if you are stealing, at least still from the rich.
By all accounts, if you have to steal, steal from Walmart or Tesco or any of the big boys, but you do not steal from small community shops that run on the honour concept.
You just don’t.
But that’s precisely what some numpties did at the tiny Hebridean island of Canna.
The island’s community shop, which sells gifts, crafts and groceries and is staffed by volunteers, was ransacked on Friday night. The building is usually left unlocked overnight to allow fishermen to use its free Wi-Fi and to buy what they need while resting at the pier overnight.
Payment is made via an honesty box, and shoppers are asked to make a note of what they have taken in a ledger.
The apparently peckish thieves cleared the shelves of sweets, chocolate bars and biscuits, as well as six hand-knitted Canna wool hats made by the shop manager, Julie McCabe.
Not cool thieves, not cool.
Now go back there, apologise and pay for all the stuff that you took.