Patterico's Pontifications


Memo to the Scumbag Sitting in the Row in Front of Us Or Behind Us on the Plane Today on the Flight from Atlanta to New York

Filed under: Scum — Patterico @ 9:51 pm

At the end of the flight, you saw me with a six-year-old child, and you saw me looking for my wallet, which I had apparently dropped on the floor sometime during the flight. But instead of handing it to me, you took all the cash out, and let me walk off the plane without it.

Sure, you turned it into the lost and found after stealing all the cash. But it was too late for us. By the time we found this out, we had long since taken a cab into Manhattan.

[UPDATE: Mrs. P notes that the thief is probably not the same person who turned in the wallet to authorities, and she’s probably right.]

For all you know, my child and I were unable to check into our hotel because of your dishonest actions. (We managed, somehow . . . not that you care.)

The worst part was having to explain it to my daughter — that when people think they can do bad things and get away with it, they very often do.


UPDATE: On the plus side, people have been very friendly in New York. For example, the Baseball Crank bought lunch for my daughter and me to give us a proper New York welcome. Thanks, Crank!

22 Responses to “Memo to the Scumbag Sitting in the Row in Front of Us Or Behind Us on the Plane Today on the Flight from Atlanta to New York”

  1. You’re giving the thief too much credit. I’m quite sure that the person who took your wallet took the money out of it and tossed it somewhere. The person who found it in the Continental terminal and turned it into the Port Authority probably was a good samaritan — not the jerk who stole the wallet in the first place.

    [True: the thief might possibly have discarded it off the plane, such as in a bathroom. I had not thought about that. — P]

    Mrs. Patterico (50c3cd)

  2. I think Mrs Patteric is correct. Why would the thief return the wallet?

    Unless …
    by returning the wallet you think that is the end of the story. Meanwhile , s/he has your creditcard numbers and doesn’t worry about your cancelling the creditcard numbers.

    seePea (d42e04)

  3. I think there’s a bit more to this story that Patterico isn’t telling us. Karma, anyone?

    [You gotta love the Internet. Someone steals your wallet and some cretin starts saying it’s “karma” for some God knows what reason. — P]

    Soriner (329cc6)

  4. Figure it out, Mr. Barrister.

    Some Mexican gets his money stolen by the government, others are outraged for him, but you smugly insinuate he deserved it.

    You get your own money stolen and are outraged.


    [I figured as much. Because I objected to the oversimplification of the facts of a forfeiture case from the Eighth Circuit, in which the government followed duly enacted laws (that many might disagree with) to seize property of a suspected drug dealer who repeatedly lied to the police . . . therefore I *deserve* to have my wallet stolen. It’s “karma,” you see. Yup, like I say, you gotta love the Internet. You get *all kinds* on it. Please don’t comment on my site again. — P]

    Soriner (329cc6)

  5. We can all hope that this person takes the money our esteemed host donated to him, buys a computer, hooks up to the internet, and checks out Patterico’s Pontifications. In the end, your donation will show this man the error of his ways, and, as such, will repay our society many times over.

    Dana (71415b)

  6. I don’t know which is more disgusting — having your money stolen, or having some holier-than-thou smart alec telling you that you deserved it.

    I suppose the thief is — but not by much.

    aunursa (7cbdd0)

  7. Another possibilty: the same person who stole your money handed your wallet in. They considered the cash a ‘finder’s fee’ and, having convinced themselves of their own righteousness, will sleep soundly tonight.

    fidens (e93779)

  8. To the person above who sugggested it’s “karma,” first of all there’s no evidence of the existence of any such thing. Not only are you exceptionally ugly inside, you’re an idiot.

    Patterico, my sympathies about your wallet. You and I disagree on a few issues, and very civilly, I might add, but I couldn’t imagine wishing even somebody I disliked ill.

    Amy Alkon (d5873f)

  9. If nothing else, this post may provide a little insite into how a prosecutor thinks about people in general. Your first instinct was to accuse the very person who turned in your wallet of stealing. You also assumed that the persons immediately in front or behind you stole your wallet. Also not necessarily true.

    This should alert you to a particular character trait of yours that I think is, um, scary in a prosecutor. Namely, a knee-jerk assumption of guilt toward the person you flind closest to the scene of the crime.

    Of course, it’s also a trait that probably self-selects individuals to BE prosecutors, since they think it sounds like a simple, straightforward job of going after the most obvious person connected to a harm done, with a vengeful, rightous certainty that they’ve caught the “scum.”

    On the bright side, it looks like you’ve married someone who balances out that trait well in your personal life.

    [Are you for real? Yes, the person who turned in the wallet may not have been the person who stole it, as my wife noted. But it was almost definitely someone sitting directly in front of us or behind us. That doesn’t mean there is enough evidence to prosecute any of them, for goodness’ sakes — or I would have confronted them. But I know when I last had my wallet and when I realized it was gone, and you don’t. And it was one of those people. If you have such an antipathy to prosecutors, why don’t you find a different site to read? — P]

    Phil (88ab5b)

  10. teachable moment for your daughter, an opportunity to explain human nature, how you have to be alert among strangers, what prosecutors do and why they’ll never be laid off during a recession. hope you cancelled the old numbers on your credit cards. hope you didn’t have your social security card in there, or the admin password for your blog.
    how do you get around new york city and check into a hotel without any cash or credit cards?

    assistant devil's advocate (5537fb)

  11. Patterico — You have my total sympathy. And “scum” is exactly the right characterization. I had my wallet stolen out of my car about 6 weeks ago; even now, I hope that the perp gets hit by a very large truck.

    Big D (d8da01)

  12. And he/she did it without being elected or passing the bar, the nerve!

    Gbear (c22f1c)

  13. For what it is worth some people will turn in a wallet after removing the cash. They may rationalize this with the claim that if they don’t take the money someone else will before the wallet is returned. This claim is not total nonsense, an old experiment had wallets containing cash handled in to police officers, in most cases the cash disappeared before the wallet was returned. So another possibility is that the person who found the wallet turned it in with cash intact and the cash was stolen later.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  14. When my Grandfather suddenly colapsed on the street from a heart attack back in 1967, bystanders called an ambulance and he was pronounced DOA at the hospital. My Grandmother was later given his wallet but the money(about $50) was stolen. My Grandmother and parents were not that surprised and sort of expected that between the ambulance, hospital and morgue, someone would steal that money. The only silver lining was that my Grandfather also kept a folded $100 bill in a hidden place in the wallet and it was not found by the theives so they did not steal it.

    Fred (8a8484)

  15. I have no idea where the whole wallet discussion came from, but I work for a provincial health insurance company and people often call me in a funk because they’ve lost their wallet and need a replacement health card.

    They usually never think to call the police or check at the post office to see if their wallet has been turned in because they know someone would just keep the money and they figure it’s all lost forever.

    I urge them to check because, once as a child collecting for my newspaper route and once as an adult, I lost my wallet with over $100 in it. Both times the people that found it turned it in (when I was a kid I think it was delivered to my door).

    My friend was once in a funk because she lost her wallet with a couple hundred dollars in it and she thought that it would never be turned in.

    I said there’s a 50% chance an honest person found it and she should check at the local police station.

    Sure enough, she called and it was there with all her money.

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  16. Oops, sorry, just read the post. I had read a comment as my segway.

    Yep, definitely dishonest scum out there. I’ve experienced them too. I am grateful, though, that there are so many good people.

    That’s why, even when broke and homeless, which I have been, I’ve always returned wallets that I have found.

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  17. I work for a small town PD and we frequently get found wallets and purses turned into us, a surprising number of them with the money still intact. A number of times it was a parent with a small child, trying to show their child how to do the right thing.

    OTOH, we have a lot more reported lost wallets and purses which are apparently never recovered.

    roy in nipomo (32cbd4)

  18. I lost my wallet in a lake. 8 years later my mother was contacted by the city of Seattle (I can’t remember which department) with “Are you missing a wallet… with $27 in it?”

    The mind boggled. The lake had been dredged for some reason.

    Al (2e2489)

  19. @chris from victoria, b.c.:
    you read a comment for your segway? i’ve heard of segways but have never actually seen one.
    or did you mean segue?

    assistant devil's advocate (e5e740)

  20. I left my wallet on a plane that landed in LA. A week later I got a call from San Fran. Someone who worked for the airlines found the wallet — empty — floating in a rain-filled dumpster.

    So of course the thief was a lefty…

    They got of in San Fran! Really…What are the odds the city’s lone conservative stole my wallet?!

    John (3e13e7)

  21. I lost my wallet a couple of years ago in Encinitas . I was walking back to my car, rather desperate, when I saw a couple with the wallet. The woman was on her cell phone, calling my home number. They didn’t want any reward — just doing the right thing. Nice to know such people still exist.

    Bradley J. Fikes (f912b4)

  22. Mr Fikes wrote:

    I lost my wallet a couple of years ago in Encinitas . I was walking back to my car, rather desperate, when I saw a couple with the wallet. The woman was on her cell phone, calling my home number. They didn’t want any reward — just doing the right thing. Nice to know such people still exist.

    Great story, but it sheds an interesting light on this: would our unhappy host have written about this incident at all if the wallet had either been turned in to lost and found with the money inside, or had whomever found the wallet on the plane handed it back to him, unpilfered?

    Usually the people who do things right don’t really want any credit for it, but one can credit a good deed without specifying the person’s name.

    Dana (1d5902)

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