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I call him “Bitey”

Well the New Year in these here parts has got off to a spectacular start in terms of crimes that defy rational explanation.

Yes, somebody stole a 5ft caiman in Stockport. Yikes, that’s just up the road from me and I have a stream at the bottom of the garden! I must obtain a large shrimping net. I’m sticking with calling it a caiman for that is what it is but the Stockport Express (useful for lighting fires) headlines it as “crocodile”. The Guardian does a bit better because caimans are actually from the alligator family and headlines it as an “alligator”.

They also stole sundry other reptiles, tortoises and snakes including a 7ft anaconda. They also stole a cockatoo and a parakeet which were pets being looked after for their owners which must be heart-wrenching for them. General principle of theft and why it’s bad: It might just be an X to the tea-leaf but it is in this case a beloved companion to it’s owners who had taught the bird to talk. Or similarly it might be a laptop with all your stuff (or more likely the MOD’s stuff), or whatever. Somethings are replaceable parts and some are not but does that matter to the tea-leaf? No. For example every Halloween I tend to carve a pumpkin (and I’m good) and put it outside and one year some utter bastard stole it. I couldn’t call the cops could I? What is the monetary value of a pumpkin? But it was my pumpkin that I’d spent a couple of hours with a scalpel and such on and I thought added to the gaiety of the street. What is the value of a pet? People who steal such things steal away part of your life, not just “something on the insurance” though that is bad enough. If push came to shove and some scrote was here right now I’d help him carry the big TV rather than have him rifle knick-knacks that have no real value except to me and my wife. I would of course (if possible) attempt to “have an accident” and wing the bastard with the telly and I can imagine 32″ of Samsung doing significant damage. Then call the dibble. I would hope to refrain from a cunning foot-tap to the nadgers but that is an unwieldy item and who knows where it might have landed, officer?

I guess the point is that the distinction between “property crime” and “crimes against the person” is often utterly artificial.

On another tack I will bet you dollars to donuts there is a damn good chance the Stockport Reptile Gang (hardly “Ocean’s 11″) don’t know how to look after these critters and at least some shall die because it certainly isn’t warm round here right now. That is animal cruelty which is a matter I take very seriously. Unlike say PETA with their deranged campaigns about “sea kittens” and such. Do click that link and look at the cartoon image on the right under “Create Your Own Sea Kitten” of a lass hugging a fish out of water. If you ask me that is the same morality as drowning real kittens in a sack down the canal. That fish doesn’t look happy.

Anyway, I hope somebody winds up at Stepping Hill hospital A&E with some “unusual for Stockport lacerations” and the whole bally lot of them subsequently get scrobbled by the rozzers.


  1. RAB says:

    The way the police and judiciary see a burglary is as strictly a crime against property. Something to be taken care of by adequate insurance for the person burgled, and a Community Service Order for the burglar, if he is stupid enough to be caught. Not a big deal at all.

    To the person burgled, it is akin to being raped. Your intimate private space has been entered, violated and soiled, and things that are of no value to the criminal but priceless memories to the owner, are gone forever, probably into a hedge or a pond on the way to the fence with the saleable stuff.

    Working in the Courts, as I did for 12 years, I came across many just ordinary burglary victims (especially the old) who could not live in their house anymore. so violated they felt, that they had to move to be able to feel secure again.

    As to nicking my dog! I would be on a manslaughter charge at the very least, if I caught someone trying to do that. She is family not a chattel.

    On a lighter note… You are a bit young for this one Nick, but you know well where I’m talking about…

    When I was a student in Nottingham in the early 70′s, there was a piece in the Nottingham Evening Post about the Macaws they kept in cages next to the lake in the Arboretum, being stolen.

    It ended with the advice that anyone offered a macaw that uses the phrases… Far out man!, What’s your sign?, and Tune in turn on drop out… please contact their nearest police station.

    The backstory to that was that the birds had been taught these phrases by young persons high on substances considerably stronger than Shipstones beer, while tripping in the park in the early hours over several years.

  2. JuliaM says:

    As MacHeath reports, they’ve just turned up back at the shop.

  3. Catherine in Athens says:

    Yes, Julia, but what of poor Bitey?

  4. Stonyground says:

    I have a 1996 Triumph Daytona 900. Not exactly state of the art but, as I wasn’t prepared to get into debt to buy what is essentially a big toy, I saved up and bought what I could afford. October 2010 it was stolen. It turned up about a week later dumped in a ditch with a few hundred pounds worth of damage. The insurance company wanted to write it off and pay me about half of what it would cost to replace, so I didn’t claim and repaired it myself. At first I thought that it may have been dumped due to it being Datatagged and hence impossible to sell to an unscrupulous breaker. After noticing that the back tyre was damaged by someone doing burnouts on it, I realised that they didn’t even want it. They just nicked it for the fun of it and then just dumped it when they got bored with it. Such is my contempt for such people, had the bike been written off in a fatal crash I wouldn’t have been too upset.

    Although I would say that the Police are not always my favorite bunch of people, I don’t really have any complaints at all about how they dealt with my case. I thought that they were totally proffessional and did everything that could reasonably be expected of them.

  5. NickM says:

    Exactly RAB and Stony!

    On a sort of related note my old (7 years+) Athlon XP Thalia died* a while back and has been replaced by a snorting monster called Hecate**. But I still bought parts on eBay to fix Thalia and we shall see. Not got around to it yet… But I shall. Not figured out what to do with the old gal but she’ll have more RAM but a much slower GPU – how many gaming machines does a guy need?

    *GPU and Northbridge both blew. Not surprised a couple of years ago I cobbled together a GPU fan from bits.
    **Actually runs very quiet. It is though in a Fractal Design Arc case so looks fucking sinister. She does though open the pod-bay doors on request. So far!

  6. razorbacker says:

    Has someone ever consoled you after a theft by saying, “It’s only things. Don’t get so excited about it, you can get more things.”

    And, if you make your money sitting deskbound, shuffling numbers from this column to that column, I guess that is a good way to look at it.

    But what if you make your money at risk to your life and limb? What if you’ve suffered broken bones, torn muscles, sprains, loss of fingers or hands to earn your daily bread? Then, when that scum steals your X-box he’s actually stolen the fruit of your pain, your broken leg or lost fingers.

    And if you want to blow a half-inch hole clean though the bastard, more power to you, says I.

  7. Stonyground says:

    I don’t risk life and limb to do my job. It is fairly cushy really, if a bit dull. I don’t have the ambition to earn big money, I prefer my easy job that pays enough to get by. My motorbike cost me two grand, not much in the big scheme of things but I don’t have much disposable income so I had to squirel away what little I had for quite a long time to buy it. The oiks who stole it didn’t even want it, they just did it for a laugh and then threw it away.

    I have given a bit of thought about what I would like to happen to them if they were ever caught. I think that they should be made to do a crap job for as long as it takes them to pay back what it cost me in repairs and the reduced value of the bike. I don’t care if they have a job and enough money to pay right now, all the reparations should have to come from doing the crap job.

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