My first and hopefully only New Years robbery!
So my first day back to the office after the New Year started off like any other “normal” day. First I get myself situated, then make my to-do list for how I’ll tackle my day, and afterwards head to the kitchen area to get myself some water. Also like any other day, I hear the building cleaning lady talking. We usually exchange pleasantries each morning but, as I get closer to her I realize she is talking on the phone and seems a little frantic. Then she looks at me and says “We got robbed!”
My first thought is “This isn’t really a great start to the new year.” So I ask her what she’s talking about and, after hanging up the phone, she walks me around the building. Sure enough, flat screen TV’s, iMac’s and iPads, all gone from their normal spots. Everything else looks as normal as can be. If the cleaning lady hadn’t already told me what happened, I would have just assumed the IT guys came in over the weekend to upgrade some things and hadn’t finished the job yet. It seemed plausible.
Thankfully no one died…
By now, the cleaning lady (for anonymity purposes, lets call her Vivian) is clearly freaked out and a little worked up as well. Quite frankly I think she would have kicked some butt if she could have gotten her hands on the culprits. So I remind her that no one died, these are all material things which can ultimately be replaced and that I would find out about the companies insurance policy concerning matters like this.
Fast forward a little and by now the police have been called, our building manager and IT guys are checking the daily key fob logs, as well as surveillance camera video. Our building pretty much records any move you make, so I’m just hoping for a decent picture and maybe some finger prints of the derelict so the cops can nab him.
About 20 minutes later, Vivian comes back into my office and says “Do you know someone named...” (lets call him Johnny) to which I get a puzzled look on my face. “Yeah I know Johnny.” I said, “Why?” Vivian proceeds to tell me, it was Johnny’s key fob that was last recorded in the building. Keep in mind that yesterday was Sunday January 1st.
Then my heart sinks a little…
Now have you ever found out something shocking about someone you knew? Someone who was literally the nicest, most caring, friendly and decent person you’ve ever come across? Johnny is that kind of person. At least that was my read of him from as much as I could gather in a employer/employee relationship. Just seemed to be a really good kid and very talent in his work. Hands down an A+ player from my perspective.
My initial reaction was thinking that a key log doesn’t really mean anything. Hell, if I had a nickel for every time I lost my key fob I’d be a rich man. Therefore I told Vivian, “Now let’s not jump to conclusions because he could have lost his key and someone sinister and shady may have picked it up.” Of course she then hits me with “How do you explain the building alarm? You gotta have the passcode for that.”
Damn you Vivian!
Then comes the moment of truth. After probably another 20 minutes or so, the IT guys call to say they want to show me images from the surveillance video. As they walked into my office I remember a feeling of excitement. Not that it would put a definitive close to this incident, but more feeling excited that this would dispel the mere notion that Johnny could have done such a thing. Then my heart sank again…there was no question, it’s Johnny.
For the rest of the day all I could think about was “why?”. How could this happen and for what? I mean how much financial benefit are we really talking about here in the great scheme of things. Retail he may have gotten $10,000 worth of electronics but, it’s not like we was gonna get that much for it when tried to pawn it. I also felt duped today. I mean, here’s someone who presented himself one way, only to find out there’s a completely different and unexpected side that I literally could never have imaged.
Clearly there is more going on in his life that he could share and that too makes me said. Especially for someone like Johnny. Someone who people thought well of and genuinely cared about. I know people would have helped him if he needed it. Myself included. Not sure we’ll ever know the real reason behind this but, some things are just out of our hands.
I’m curious, has anyone else ever experienced something like this? Not a robbery necessarily, but more a situation where you thought a person was one way and then stunned by something that seemed completely out of character? If so, I’d love to hear about it and hope you’ll share. Until then, happy new year!