26 April 2010

Cambodian Criminals and Cops

Back online, finally!

Waking to someone in your house in the early morning is far from pleasant. Our burglar was trying to make off with the TV. Ear-piercing yells made him scarper but this was his second trip into the house- he had already flogged our laptops and a mobile phone and stashed them somewhere.

We did a bit of sleuthing and are 90% certain that the thief was the night watchman from the building site next door. And any good policeman prepared to put in some toil would have been able to track the man down and see if we were right. Trouble is good policemen in Cambodia are rare. So rare in fact our neighbours saw little point in immediately calling one.

Later we learnt Cambodian coppers will help you get your property back- so long as not much work is involved and you are prepared to 'tip' them for their services. How much? We are not sure; the Cambodians we asked guessed that the return of a couple of laptops would cost between US$ 20 to US$ 100. So you get robbed twice!

I was curious as to what would likely happen to the thief if he had been caught so I asked some of my students. One said, "Teacher, if he has money to pay the police they will let him go." Other students felt that this was a definite possibility.

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