From One Pocket to Another

My wife fell victim to a cunning group of pickpockets who stole her wallet. What followed was a surprising turn of events, thanks to a strategy suggested by our friend Tony Giorgio.

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jaron summers (c) 2023

As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, my wife once fell victim to a cunning group of pickpockets who stole her wallet.

What followed was a surprising turn of events, thanks to a strategy suggested by our friend, Tony Giorgio.

On August 7, 1998, my wife visited a local supermarket. While shopping, she was approached by an elderly woman who asked for help reaching an item on a high shelf. Obliging, my wife turned her back to her shopping cart. It was during this brief moment that her wallet was stolen.

The realization hit her at the checkout counter when she reached into her purse and found her wallet missing. It contained her identification, credit cards, keys, and about $250 in cash.

The only time her purse was out of her sight was when she was assisting the old lady, and it became clear that this was a planned distraction.

Reporting the incident to the store manager, she was met with indifference. His lack of assistance and understanding was shocking. Later that day, I called the manager, who revealed that this was not an isolated incident.

A group of professional thieves, using an elderly woman as a decoy, had been operating in the store.

Despite this, the store had not taken effective measures to catch them or warn customers.

Taking Tony’s advice, my wife drafted a letter to the Supermarket President. She meticulously described the incident and the items lost.

She emphasized the store’s knowledge of such thefts and their failure to warn her, making a strong case for their liability.

In her letter, she demanded restitution of $562, the total value of her loss. To our astonishment, the store responded by sending a check for the full amount.

Tony, a master dice hustler and a technical advisor for “Harry In Your Pocket,” a film about pickpockets, had guided us well. While I’m no legal expert, I learned a valuable lesson: If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s worth checking if the store has had similar incidents.

Their acknowledgment could be key in seeking compensation. This experience was not just a lesson in recovering from theft, but also a reminder of the unforeseen twists life can offer.

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jaron

Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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