Tools mean a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, they’re just things. But to others they’re priceless heirlooms that carry memories of owners past. Or a favorite work buddy that’s been along for the ride through tough times and good. To some, though, they’re simply stuff one has to have to do one’s job. When you steal tools from a professional, you might just be stealing that person’s ability to make a living.
I stumbled across this article about a Russian man named Ilya who legally immigrated and then struck out for the American dream in a way I think we can all respect: He got a job working construction, and he busted his ass doing it — at least until some dickhead came along and stole $3k worth of stuff, including the nail guns, saws, and drills he depended on for his livelihood. Thinking he was screwed, he headed home, only to be greeted by his mother who’d found the tools already listed on Craigslist.
From the KVAL website:
Playing the part of a paying customer, Ilya set up a time and place to buy the goods in the Tacoma Mall parking lot Thursday night. When he confirmed the items were his, he told the sellers to wait while he got more cash at an ATM. Instead he went and got police officers, who returned with him to make the arrest.
“Basically he had to gather his sergeant and everybody,” Ilya said, “and they went down there and basically busted them and had me come ID all of my tools.”
This reminds me of a story Sean tells about a guy running into a little working-man’s grocery store about half way between our office and his house. The guy runs in, and a kid promptly runs up to swipe the tools in the truck bed. Before he can get even one out, the doors open on a pickup a few parking spaces over and two big dudes walk over and confront him. The kid flees. Sean walks by on his way into the store and asks the guys what’s up. It turns out they don’t know either the thief or the owner. They just took care of business.
These stories don’t always have happy endings, though. Had someone else hit those guys up on Craigslist first, Ilya would be outta luck. C’mon folks. Think twice before stealing tools.
Anyway, this story’s a bit old, but I thought it was worth sharing nonetheless. Check out the video if you want to know more about Ilya and his tool-recovery gig.