A victim robbed me


By James Meaney

That little raincloud that follows me everywhere I go soaked me with a very unnecessary, very torrential downpour last weekend. I had to bear witness to my mum being close to tears as thieves stole personal belongings from our rental car. The correlating theft and drug problem is a very real and very pressing issue in Hawaii, and even though my family got robbed, who’s the real victim?

Since having my phone stolen outside Foodland just a mere two months ago and my luck not improving at all since, it didn’t surprise me when I found that someone broke into the trunk of my parents’ rental car and stole all of our stuff. My temporary mistrust of the human race has once again been transformed into a full-blown nihilistic, self-loathing, “I hate everything” downward spiral.

My parents were visiting the island for a well-deserved break, away from the grey skies of London, and into the clear blue of the Pacific Ocean. They rented a car on their last day and we drove to North Shore. We stopped in Haleiwa so my mum could do some “stuff shopping” and my dad could say, “aloha” to every passing person in the most English accent imaginable. After, we drove northbound up Kamehameha Highway; parked down a little road near Laniakea Beach in hopes to see turtles on the beach. After a disappointing 15 minutes, we headed back to the car as my mum insisted, “The turtles don’t like us either.” Turns out it’s not just the turtles that didn’t like us as all of our seemingly safe items had been stolen out of the trunk on the car.

Good job thieves, what a way to really screw up a day.

In all honestly, I don’t care a great deal about my stuff. My keys? I already got new keys cut. My shoes? I have other shoes. My I.D.? Well, now I can actually follow up on my fabricated claims and finally get “off the grid.” Most importantly though, my faith in humanity has been shattered.

After living in the majestic and gorgeously calm Hawaii for nearly two years now, my state of mind is more relaxed than it would be if I were still living and working in London for example. But to see my mum on the verge of tears and my dad so angered by the actions of other people was heartbreaking, I even felt guilty and ashamed of the island I temporarily call my home. What kind of person would steal belongings out of someone’s trunk and not think about the consequences?

I’d like to assume that whoever decided to steal an English driver’s license that struggles to work almost anywhere anyway, is because they were of “not sound mind,” in other words, on hard drugs. It’s a much more comforting thought to think that some junkie who didn’t know what he was doing stole my stuff, rather than the world famous North Shore of Oahu being terrorised by the anarchic youth of tomorrow.

If the assumption, and hope, that whoever stole my stuff is a drug addict turns out to be true (which I’ll never find out), I feel more sorry for the perpetrator than myself. I have good health and family who will support me until the day I die and great friends who will lend me money if need be. The thief on the other hand —and we’re still assuming they’re a drug addict,— lives alone breaking into cars desperately trying to feed an addiction while sleeping rough every night, with a government that does nothing to support and help him through his addiction. As a victim of the robbery, I sincerely hope that whoever stole my stuff is a junkie and not some bored kid with nothing better to do. I hope that all robberies get reported and the statistics wind up so high that the state eventually has to do something to help those who have to steal in order to feed their addictions.

The war on drugs failed. It’s not failing, or doing poorly, it failed. Hawaii has the highest homeless people per capita in the U.S., and while I’m not small minded enough to accuse every homeless person of being a junkie, it’s exasperating to not want to put the two together. With that being said, and as my tourist parents as theft victims, why isn’t anything else being done about it? Why isn’t the state protecting its tourists from theft by first protecting the homeless from their drug addiction?

Drug addicts are the ones who are hurting; they’re diseased by addiction, and I’m not going to be a petty victim who plays a real one. Yes, it is a bloody shame my belongings got taken, and let’s say for arguments sake that it was a junkie that stole it. It saddens me more that the state can’t provide better help for the homeless, than it does that my family got robbed. If the state tackled the homeless problem, and correlating drug problem that comes with it, it could prevent the homeless stealing from tourists, or in this personally unfortunate case, me and my parents.