Some of you might recall the crime wave that hit (me specifically) back in January. During that hellish week a 4 foot tall pickpocket absconded with my wallet, used my bank card to purchase metro tickets and was never to be seen again.
Or so I thought. I had long ago cancelled all of my credit cards and ordered a new driver’s license when an interesting letter appeared in the mail. It was from the Prefecture de Police. It made me slightly nervous, since, you know, I had that little misunderstanding at Sephora. But alas, it wasn’t a warrant for my arrest (which probably would have made for a much more interesting blog post). No, it was a letter saying that the police had found my wallet.
Glory be! My fabulous yellow patent leather portfeuille was in safe hands once again! And for the low low price of 10 euros. I could get it back. Needless to say, I high-tailed it over to the police station, practicing my vocabulary on the way. I wasn’t sure who I’d be talking to, or what I’d have to explain. I assumed it wasn’t every day that someone got their wallet back from a thieving gypsy child.
I arrived at what might be the most well-organized operation in France. It was a room similar to the DMV, with a woman handing you a ticket as you entered. When my number was called, I went to the window, handed over my letter and ID, and waited for my item to be retrieved. They were pumping people through the lines with a speed and efficiency I have yet to experience anywhere in the vicinity of Paris. They must have to deal with a lot of stolen stuff.
Indeed, while waiting, at least 5 other people recouped their wallets. One man got back a basketball. Another beamed as he inexplicably collected a plastic bag of what looked like pistachios. This made me giggle but also feel slightly incensed at the brazen tactics of Paris pickpockets. Pilfering a man’s snackfood? HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?
It was then I realized that some of these items weren’t stolen – simply lost. Left on the metro. Dropped on the bus. Et cetera. I started to wonder if maybe that petit pickpocket was a figment of my imagination. Is it possible that I simply lost my wallet in the street somewhere? Left it on the counter at the boulangerie?
Nah. I’ll stick with my original story. I’ll need the street cred for when Sephora finally decides to pursue those shoplifting charges.