Just a bin, a wheelie bin, hardly worth complaining about! Perhaps the fellow who stole it a week ago didn't even see it as theft, perhaps as he loaded it onto his ute he thought of it as picking up a piece of fallen fruit from under a tree. It is, I think, the second of my bins stolen by this fellow. The first one was unmarked except for a small hole drilled in the lip under the lid at the front (from which I'd hung a fly trap), and because I assumed he'd taken that bin because it was unmarked I used a wide brush and house paint to convert the new one to a work of art. My hunch is that the thief loaded my bin, or bins, onto a ute as he drove to work in the early morning, and that he uses the bins at work in another suburb.
I'd like to talk to him about thieving. Is, for example, some thieving so petty it's not really thieving? Does he justify stealing my bin with the fact that his own bin, or bins, have been stolen? Is pilfering just a fact of life in our community and are people whose goods are pilfered simply contributing their share?
After all, the words pinch, lift, pilfer, flog, nick and snaffle make light of taking things of low value. How low? Is a bin, about $100, low enough?
I wonder if a petty thief imposes a limit on the value of goods he'll steal. Does morality have degrees and so might he have a moral limit to his thieving? Or am I right in my belief that the bin thief's limit is determined only by opportunity and risk of being caught?
Naturally, if he ends up in court he'll be a man of exemplary character, a man with a long record of community involvement, a generous contributor to charity, always ready to lend a helping hand, and a much-loved family man.
Hey, am I the one being petty?