As a helpless woman in my neighbourhood, I had a bad experience recently that I wish to share as a warning to other women.
I had returned home after work, and I was unlatching the gate when I felt something scratching and scraping at my neck. I was pulled back and almost throttled.
At first, I thought a monkey or a squirrel had jumped on me. By the time I realised it was a snatch thief grabbing at my gold chain, it was too late. I saw only the backs of the two men who had robbed me, as they disappeared on a motorcycle.
I was too stunned to call out for help. I simply stood there, my mouth agape, too shocked to move. When I finally found my voice to call out for help, the thieves would have been a mile or more away.
It is not so much the loss of the chain as the trauma and shock I continue to feel, night and day. I had been warned several times not to wear valuables, especially at the hour I usually return home, which is about 3 p.m. Our road, Dharmaratne Avenue, has many twists and turns, and is lonely and deserted – an ideal hunting ground for snatch thieves.
I am not in the habit of wearing fancy jewellery, unlike many young misses of today. But I did wear this particular chain. So, ladies, please be warned. Do not wear expensive jewellery. Make sure your purses and handbags are well secured.
It won’t be long before we start hearing of people having their ear lobes cut off for gold ear studs, or fingers being chopped off for gold wedding rings, as happens in certain foreign countries.
I dread walking along the road now. The sound of footsteps behind me or the sound of an approaching motorcycle fills me with terror. I sincerely hope none of you will ever go through the trauma I have experienced.