Someone stole my laptop; I’m worried for them

yoink pxhere

Thinking of those who are desperate

A week ago, my laptop was stolen. With work and school both being online, it was the world’s biggest bitch-slap to the face to lose my means of communication. As you could imagine, I was a walking panic attack all week, scrambling to find a replacement laptop and frantically emailing professors and employers. 

Was it a Grade A shitty week? Yes. 

Did I learn the hard way that you should always back up your files? Yes. 

Am I mad at the person who robbed my building? No. 

Losing my laptop and multiple accessories blows, but I will never experience the amount of financial instability and desperation that the person who took my laptop did. Although it is a setback being robbed of my belongings, I am a financially stable individual. I received help from my parents to re-purchase my electronics to continue with my education, and now, I am almost back to normal. The person who robbed us is still at their normal, which is what shakes me the most. 

I currently live in a university residence that chose to operate despite the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel incredibly fortunate to live in a safe, quiet environment to continue my work, especially with such good tenants around me. Since there are so few of us living here this year, we immediately clicked. After big days of studying, it is lovely to join everybody downstairs and decompress, playing cards in the common area or watching a movie in the theater. 

One of the things I am incredibly fond of about residence are these shared spaces, including the study room. It is incredibly valuable to have the study room, because it separates our time between study and rest. If you feel too cooped up in your room, you can head downstairs for a change of scenery. As a result of that safe space and some trusting individuals, I had moved my whole office from my room to the study room. 

The thief entered through the window in the early morning. They walked around, checking doors in the dining area and theater. Then, they entered the stairwell very briefly and came back down immediately. When they saw the electronics in the study room, they gathered them up and ran out the front door. 

Growing up in a small community, I had never experienced the high rate of poverty we have in the cities. When I moved to Regina for post-secondary, I was shocked at the number of individuals who lived without basic necessities. Looking back, I feel quite ignorant not to have acknowledged this in Saskatchewan cities. The actions that shook me the most about the theft was the additional stealing food off the counter. Not only was this person desperate to find valuable items, but they were also hungry. 

Is this person going to be caught? I do not know. The building’s administrators have filed a police report, but the resale time of stolen items is approximately 24 hours. It would be unrealistic to attempt to get the possessions back. 

I missed the robbery by only 15 minutes, as I had gone downstairs to get a glass of water early in the morning, and although I do not think they intended to hurt anybody, I do not know what would have occurred if I was to encounter them. 

Apart from me sympathizing with their situation, I do not know who the person who stole my laptop is or what their struggles are. I do not know who they need to support in their home or family life. I do not know if they may have lost their job due to cuts during the pandemic.

An article published by CTV in January tells how Saskatchewan has the third-highest child poverty rates in Canada. From statistics taken in 2017, 26.2% of children living in Saskatchewan struggle to maintain necessities to live. 

Knowing all this, I am still feeling afraid that the person may return. I worry that the building is now more susceptible to break-ins, or that next time they will choose to break the glass. It was brought to our attention that if they were abusing drugs or alcohol, they might return. I do not want the money from my belongings to contribute to those addictions. I know that Saskatchewan is currently attempting to tackle the high rates of crystal meth use, for example, with a budget of 5 million dollars towards treatment and research. Despite attempts to lower substance abuse rates, though, there need to be more efforts to address the chain effects of poverty.

I have been struggling all week to think of an effective solution to the poverty rates in Saskatchewan. How can we fix the system? The most effective way I can think of is providing an education for everybody, but I worry that it is impossible. I understand charging the robber with theft may be seen as justice, but is it really? It will take away another person for the benefit of capitalist society, and realistically there will be no rehabilitation involved. The issue will only continue. Although I faced setbacks for the week, I will be okay because I am fortunate enough to be. I will not ever blame somebody who needed to enter survival mode. Instead, I want to see the betterment of society by providing the most basic human rights, so that nobody has to live this way.

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