Crime and relief

This afternoon Dindin and I went to the mall. At one point I realized I no longer had my wallet. We returned to the store where I last used it, I thought I had left it with the cashier. They remembered me but said I had not left my wallet, so we realized I was likely pickpocketed. The mall was crowded due to the Christmas season (which starts here Sept 1, so it’s in full swing now). Although I’ve been to the malls here hundreds of times, today was the first time that people were jostling me in the crowds. That’s probably how it happened. A team of people, several blocking my way, others separating Dindin and I, while another picks my pocket.
The various problems that were about to result from this were rather depressing. First, of course, I could not drive, as both my Philippine and CA driver’s licenses were in the wallet, along with my permanent visa card, about 5 US credit cards, 2 local ATM cards, one US ATM card, and a lot else, plus a large amount of cash. We reported the theft to the SM department store (it was an SM mall), and they took down all the information, including the contents of the wallet. They also assisted me in cancelling the 2 local bank ATM cards, and I was able to confirm that the cards were cancelled and there were no transactions today.
Dindin drove us home, but before we got about halfway I got a text from SM customer service, saying they had my cards. We turned around and went back. The cards were found near the women’s bathroom. The beautiful wallet that I had bought in Thailand and all the cash was gone, but the rest of the contents were returned to me – including the receipt for our laundry, assorted business cards of mine and others, pictures, etc. I counted 18 plastic cards of various kinds and a similar number of paper cards, plus some other items.
So, we are very relieved. I will be calling the credit cards anyway, as it is possible that the theives swiped the cards before returning them. The local bank already has new ATM cards for me on order, which I should have by the end of the week – I got those cards back but they are useless now.
After we got the cards back, Dindin bought me a new wallet, and a chain that attaches it to my pants. It’s the second time this year that I’ve been a crime victim. However, there is crime everywhere. The staff at SM were very helpful, they did everything they could and treated me very well, which is why I went right back to SM Dept Store to get the new wallet, and used my SM Advantage Card for the 4th or 5th time today. I must say I am very pleased with SM customer service.
And of course, I couldn’t ask for a better companion. I’m very glad Dindin was with me. Even before we knew I was getting my cards back, Dindin reminded me of something I had said when he lost his wallet several months ago (we later learned it had actually been stolen, and he eventually got his cards back). I had said, “At least you are still alive.” I’m not sure it was helpful to Dindin when I said it, but it helped me when he reminded me of it. I was in a place of gratitude for everything and everyone I still have in my life. And then I got my cards back.
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  • Ethan  On January 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I am really sorry to hear that. This happened to my folks(retired Korean Americans) as well at one of the SM Malls. Be safe out there.

    P.S. thank you for sharing all your stories with everyone!

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