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The SS Minnow - Vespa PX200E

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My job can be a little all consuming at times. This weekend I was doing a network changeover for a criminal law firm in the city. I specialize in running networks for lawyers, and criminal lawyers are the most demanding of the lot when it comes to their IT, so the pressure was on. This job's been a year in the making, I had a test swing at it 6 months ago, and this weekend I had to get it done. I had a public holiday to help on Monday, so a 3 day weekend.

From Friday till Sunday, I pretty much worked, and napped in the office. Late Sunday night, I snuck home ripped out a few hours sleep in my own bed, changed my cothes and headed back to the city. I'd slept about 12 hours out of the last 72 by then, so I was a bit fried.

Coffee is your friend for these jobs, and I stopped in the city at one of the better coffee haunts, parked the scooter on the footpath and headed inside. Sadly the queue was about 12 deep, and I figured some free office coffee was a better/faster option.

I headed back out of the building, and as I walked I was juggling my helmet, gloves and keys. About 40 feet from the scooter, I distincltly remember having the keys held in my teeth as I started pulling my full face helmet on, and thinking "This wont work."

I know I must have done something with the keyring to get my helmet on, but when I got to the scoot, it was gone. As in G O N E.

Not on the floor between me and the door, not in a pocket, not trapped in my clothes, gloves or boots, not in my bag. Just bloody gone. (I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have swallowed keys and a keyring without noticing it...)

I searched (hard) for a while, then gave up, abandoned the scoot locked up on the footpath, and walked the 5 blocks to work.

An hour later, I returned, armed with a satchel full of screwdrivers and a hammer. In the middle of a busy city sidewalk, I carefully put my helmet down beside the bike, selected a screwdriver, placed it carefully, readied them hammer and prepared to bash the crap out of the lock.

Just before I started, I though the better of that method. Realisation hit - I have a battery drill in the office, and it would be a much better candidate for the job. So I packed away my tools, picked up my helmet and began the stroll back to work.

4 blocks later, 2 cops, one with hand on gun, one with pepper spray at the ready, stopped me in my tracks. An interesting discussion ensued -
"I reckon I know what you'd like to chat about"
"Yep, it's my scooter. Here's my licence"
"Yep, I've lost the key."
"Yep, I agree it's a bad look,"
"Yep, There _are_ a hammer and screwdrivers in my bag, but it's on the ground at my feet, and now you know why I have them, so perhaps we can all relax?"

Eventually, they lookup up the rego and my licence, and were convinced of the legitimacy of why I had been messing with the bike. But their posture remained pretty tense, and they asked me for a look at my helmet. There's nothing unusual about it other than a Bluetooth comms unit on the side, so I was puzzled what they were after, till the senior cop burst out laughing, and said

"That's a bluetooth, not a camera."

It seems someone had reported that not only had I been trying to steal a scooter, but that my helmet on the ground beside the front wheel had been placed there to upskirt the passing crowd. Just the sort of thing a degenerate scooter thief would try.

Realising the absurdity of the report, they postured down, we all had a smile, they thanked me for my co-operation, I thanked them for their professionalism, and they went on their way. I'm happy joe public was concerned enough about the possible theft to report it, but I'm not sure I'm as happy about being thought a deviant.

12 hours later, I took a set of drillbits, a battery drill, and a couple of screwdrivers, drilled out the lock, started her up, and stole my own bike off the footpath, all without a single person asking what I was doing, or any police wandering along.

New locks on the way, I still have no idea where the keys are!


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Scooter thieving and simultaneously upskirting.... sounds a bit intense for your average crim....

Interesting experience..... and major irritation. At least the keys weren’t lifted by a real baddie and used to take it away while you were rounding up tools!

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The one pocket you did not check after checking all the others 20 times!

Don't ask me how I know (or the kids and grandkids in a wet Spain outside our villa!)


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Hello, A "mexican" hey!  Ever heard the saying never hold a two stroke flat for more than x minutes?  Putting more oil in just makes them run leaner etc......Regards,Michael.

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