Feeling violated after being robbed

April 08, 2016

By the time many of you read this, most likely, I will have been in court in Half-Way Tree playing the role of complainant in a case involving the theft of my cell phone by a gang of vagrants about two weeks ago.

On the night of March 23, I was at the traffic light at the corner of Holborn Road and Trafalgar Road when a bunch of vagrants approached my car. One of them grabbed the phone from the front seat of my car and fled. I gave chase, but I was unable to retrieve my phone.

The police, who arrived on the scene within five minutes of the incident, also chased the culprits, but were unable to apprehend any of them as they fled into a gully on Ruthven Road. Days later, I got a call from the police saying they had a suspect in custody.

This is the reason I was in court this morning.

I am hoping that the process will be swift and that justice will be served.

In the interim, I had come to terms with the loss of my phone, and more important, what was contained within it - interviews I had recorded for stories for work, memos of ideas that were in development, and pictures of my kids and family. The story of my life in the past year was on that phone, and the sanctity of it has been breached. That is what disturbs me the most about the incident.

When someone steals something from you, you feel violated. When someone steals something that has so much of what is important to you, the feeling of being violated increases exponentially. My sons, my wife, my sisters and brothers-in-law are all very important to me. Pictures that I take of them are from private moments that have special meaning.

The fact that someone else has access to them makes me sick.

The thought of some paedophile staring at my kids or some serial rapist eyeing my wife with malicious intent scares the hell out of me. Since my phone was stolen, it almost feels like I have to be a hundred times more vigilant, a thousand times more wary of the potential dangers that lurk within Jamaica's increasingly volatile society.

This 'tiefing boy' took something from me that is more than just the physical instrument that was resting in its Otterbox casing on the front passenger seat of my car. When he grabbed than phone and ran, he took with him a big chunk of my life that I can never truly say is mine anymore. He also took with him the relative safety of my family, and that makes me angry as hell.

Almost every day since the incident, I have seen ways in which I could have prevented the incident from happening. If only I had only kept my windows rolled up prior to arriving at the stop light. If only I had followed my mind and driven elsewhere. 'If only', words that continue to haunt me and will continue to do so for as long as I live.

Having this case settled with the perpetrator being locked away for hopefully a long time will do little to ease my fears because while he remains caged, the possibility exists that information about me and my family that was on that phone still roams free. And I can't tell how much that terrifies me.

Send comments to levyl1@hotmail.com.

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