No longer content with purses and ipods, minor New York thieves have been reaching new heights in snatch-and-run crimes. The disturbing new trends New Yorkers should be aware of include:
- Wee dogs. Any small, portable pet can fall prey to a snatching. When walking your dog on a leash, beware these criminals, who, while running past scoop your puppy underarm like a football, and flee. These snatchings are citywide, but the greatest concentration has been on the Upper East Side. In response to these new threats, protective pet owners have begun carrying their dogs for the duration of walks, setting them down only when the crucial moment has arrived. A new crop of dog trainers offer training that will accustom your pet to this new style of walking: it will learn to paddle its legs in the air to mimic autonomous locomotion, and claw frantically at your face when it is ready to make.
- Umbrellas. On rainy days of late, there have been several reports of youths lifting opened umbrellas from the hands of their owners, and dashing off. The main problem with this trend is the eye injuries of innocent bystanders in the thief’s escape route. If you hear a shout and see a rustle in an umbrella-clogged street, hold still and cover your eyes with your hands (though we should note that some pedestrians following this recommendation have themselves become victims of more serious theft).
- Hair. A snip is all it takes. Hair-snatching is on the rise. Wear yours short.
- Spouses. If your spouse is unusually small and light, you may be at risk for spouse-snatching. Especially risky is merely holding hands with your spouse, or allowing your spouse to wander off at a short distance. We recommend that you strap your spouse firmly across your chest (where, if necessary, he or she could serve as a sling for your wee dog).
- Contact lenses. We frankly don’t know how thieves are managing to snatch these, but we’re getting, like, four reports a day. What with this and all the umbrellas, it may just be best to keep your eyes shut when out in the streets.
- Unnecessary layers of clothing. Mainly problematic in Brooklyn. Skirt over jeans? Legwarmers over tights? Two blazers and a hoodie over a graphic T? You’re just asking for trouble.
- Conversation. Snatches of conversation are nothing new. Beware young folk with notebooks – they may be stealing your words to publish on-line as ‘overhearsions.’ The real crime here is the coinage and use of the term ‘overhearsion.’
- Dignity. Theft of dignity nearly always accompanies the snatching of any other property. The best way to prevent a loss of dignity (or anything else) is simply not to possess any to begin with.