Yesterday noon, I went to a neighborhood gas station to fill gas in my car. I stepped into to the store to pick a power ball ticket. I did purchase the same and returned to home. After 10 hours, when I was about to go out for a party, I did realize that my wallet is missing. I’ve tried to rewind all the events happened in my day since morning to get an idea on where was it missed.  My brain box gave me some solid inputs to frame the entire scene. Here is how my articulation was. “I’ve stepped into the store. Walked towards the power ball support stand, picked a form and filled it and went to the billing counter. The store boy tried scanning the form, but the system was throwing an error. Meanwhile I took 5 dollar currency bill from my wallet and I’m holding the bill with my right hand and the wallet is in my left hand. Store boy asked me to fill a new form as it was throwing an error and I did notice that couple of other folks are already standing behind me in the queue at the billing counter, so, I stepped off from the lane and went to the support stand to refill the form. My concentration was to return to the line asap as I wanted to avoid standing in the line, kinda my mind get diverted there and unknowingly I left my wallet on the support stand. As the 5 dollar bill is already there in my right hand, i have not bothered to check  the wallet again, went to the billing counter, paid 4 dollars and took the ticket and off from the gas store”.

Now how should I confirm it? I drove back to the gas station, asked the store boy if he found any wallet. He  showed me two, but none of them are mine. The store boy is an Indian guy, a masters student doing a part time job. I did start talking to him in our local language and requested him to watch the CCTV footage. He did allow me to enter into the computer room. Me too was checking the CCTV footage. I could sense that whatever the scene that my mind has framed is the exact scene that had happened in there.

It was confirmed that I left my wallet there in the gas station.  We have started exploring the CCTV footage further down and found a guy who has grabbed it. We tried checking the parking lot camera to identify his car number plate, but found that he came to the store by walk.

I’ve blocked all my credit / debit cards. The store boy was telling that he is a regular customer, he can ask him in his next visit. I can go to the police, they will easily identify  the guy and can recover my wallet. But the guy looks young college graduate, I do not want him to go to the jail for 6 months and I do not want to spoil his career by getting him jailed, I’m kind enough to leave the matter as I hold equal responsibility in giving him a chance to grab my wallet. He neither tried to loot me nor planned for a pick pocket. I’m reaching to DMV for protecting my identity, hope the guy will visit the store soon and return my wallet to the store. Just for keeping the proof for my identity theft, I did save the video footage and uploaded to my Dropbox cloud folder.

Now I understood, how important CCTV footage in any criminal investigations. For a second, I felt like, I’m playing the lead role in  Priyanka Chopra’s TV serial “Quantico”.

-Naresh

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