Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tips From a Burglar

What is the best thing to do to avoid having your money stolen? Why don't we ask a burglar?

“If I can’t find money and valuables in the normal places I usually find them, I would continue to tear the house apart until I found something. Remember, the first rule is to to steal money and valuables. We’ll keep looking until we find something.”

Your best strategy, then, is to actually leave some money in obvious places for the burglar to quickly find (the same applies if you keep all your money in the bank). This can not only save your other stash of money, but may actually keep the burglar from destroying your place as he looks for where you have hidden your money.

This is actually very similar to what I once read on Metroblogging Karachi (I might have even posted it here, don't quite remember). Anyways the Metroblogging Karachi guy was talking about how to best avoid getting your cell phone stolen, seeing as how approximately 100 are stolen in Karachi every day. He basically said that when driving, you should have two cell phones in the car. One should be a cheap-ass, third-hand phone that costs no more than Rs. 1000. The other one (the phone you actually use) should be in your glove compartment and turned off. That way, if someone points a gun to your head, you just give him the cheaper phone and drive off.

The question most non-Pakistanis (maybe non-Karachiites) would ask in response to that would be: "Why bother with the cheap phone at all? Why not just keep your real phone in the glove compartment, turned off, and then if you get held up, claim you don't have a phone?" Becuase then you're liable to get shot. The guy pulling out the gun wants something for his efforts. If you claim that you don't have a phone, he's either going to think you're lying (everyone has a cell phone after all) or that you deserve punishment for making him go through this trouble without any reward. Either way, you're playing a pretty dangerous game which you really don't want to do. Not for something as meaningless and ultimately replaceable as a cell phone.

By the way, the whole getting shot thing is no hypothetical. I've heard and read stories where people have been shot (dead) for either (a) resisting or (b) saying they don't have a cell phone. But, hey, at least Karachi has some nice beaches, right?

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