Posts Tagged ‘identity’

Identity Theft

My car was broken into this week. The thief made off with items that totalled less than $200 new. They were no longer new. I now have to pay over $200 to have my broken window replaced. This has, of course, been reported to the police. However, I got the distinct impression that because there were no credit cards involved or other information that could be used in “identity theft,” that it would go in the “not very important” pile. This is not saying anything against the police. They have finite resources, and catching killers is more important than catching this not terribly bright thief. However, it highlighted the fact that unless an item is given significant monetary value, it has no worth.

Let’s go over what this clever criminal stole from me. This was clearly a “smash and grab” job, as they smashed in my window and grabbed the bookbag and briefcase-like binder in my passenger seat. The bookbag contained clothes that would be worn to the barn. The bulk of the monetary value they stole was made up of my riding boots. I can’t imagine they have any significant resale value, as they were comfortably broken in and in need of re-sealing against water. There was also a pair of, let’s be polite and call them “well broken in,” jeans and a shirt I think I paid $5 for at a discount store. I sincerely hope, though, that they appreciate the rather pricy and very warm wool socks. The other item was a nice, pleather briefcase. I got a pleather one because leather was too expensive, and I needed something that I could brush dirt off of easily. It contained the notes for the gardens I’m working on and the notes for every single class I’ve posted here, along with a couple I haven’t posted about yet.

So what does this have to do with anything, other than to point out that not all criminals are even remotely clever? It has to do with the definition of identity theft. In common parlance, it is used to describe people who have had their Social Security number and credit cards stolen. The result is usually wiping out the victim’s monetary assets and often credit score. This is never a good thing. However, when did our identity become synonymous with our bank balances and credit score? I am the victim of identity theft. I identify far more with the boots I’ve been wearing to work and the barn for years than a randomly generated account number associated with a fluctuating balance. If you want to get really technical about it, by stealing my notes, the thief stole part of my brain. We use notes to expand our ability to “remember” facts. All of the information that I intended to review in the future to really get it to sink into my body’s brain is now gone. All of the details and asides that I just

Taking matters into my own hands.

couldn’t thoroughly process in class will be lost. However, there is no way to assign significant monetary value to either item, so it isn’t worth going after. Never mind that it was the basis of a business I am trying to start. Never mind that I’m probably going to just have to take the classes over in order to re-take the notes to re-examine them and re-learn the material.

If you are putting together a mental image of this situation, add in the duct tape along the weather-strip on my windshield. That’s right, this thief is stealing from someone who’s car is duct taped together.

What’s your identity? Is it your bank balance? Or is it something of less “value” and more worth?