Robbing your neighbours of light

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There were a few interesting tidbits that were mentioned in the most recent post-cabinet briefing that caught our eye but one in particular has rankled the nerves of every right-thinking person on the island.
That interesting but depressing bit of news was a report that people have been illegally removing the batteries from the solar powered street lights, making them useless during the night.
According to the briefing, “the police have been notified, and the thieves will be punished severely when caught.”  The cabinet and police have asked, “Anyone who is offered rechargeable batteries for sale, is to notify the police,” while reminding the general public that “a thief cannot pass valid title to stolen goods.”
Apparently, one of the heavily victimised areas is Lauchland Benjamin Drive at Woods.  This type of lunacy really makes our blood boil.  Actually, lunacy is not the appropriate description for these idiots.  It actually provides a legitimate excuse for these criminals by insinuating that they may be mentally challenged when we are pretty sure that the perpetrators of these thefts are nothing more than low-life thieves who rob their neighbours of the safety that these lights provide – all for their selfish desire for a quick buck.
For umpteen years, we have collectively complained that Antigua & Barbuda suffered from the lack of street lights.  It has always been at the top of our complaint list alongside another road safety hazard, potholes.  By the way, we notice that we have gone back in time as we have seen the ‘sugar cake brigades’ tossing fill into the potholes on some of our streets.
In any case, for the information of those selfish thieves, streetlights perform a very valuable purpose and we will attempt to create a scenario to which you can relate.  One night, while you are prowling through the neighbourhood looking for an easy prey to further your career as a thief, you plunder the life-savings of a senior citizen and are making-off under the cover of darkness.  The darkness that you have created by stealing the batteries from the street lights.
Likely, you are on foot, and being too lazy to trudge through the cassie bush, you eventually pop-out onto the road to make your way to your lair to sort through what you have just stolen from that lonely, honest senior citizen who is suffering to live on a small monthly pension.  With no light from the disabled street lights, and not wanting to twist an ankle, you decide to walk on the paved surface with a satisfied grin on your face, reflecting the pride you feel of your accomplishments – albeit, ill-gotten gains!
Meanwhile, your equally dimwitted partner in crime is coming down the road in his rented vehicle with his lights off because he is making a quick getaway from the scene of his latest crime.  He thinks there is enough moonlight to navigate the dark streets but he is not expecting any other idiots to be on the road; especially ones dressed in dark clothing.
Wham!  He plows right into your back.  Likely, you didn’t hear the approach of his vehicle because the hoodie hampered your ability to hear properly.  While floating through the air you share one common thought.  Darn!  If only there were some streetlights, that guy would have seen me and this would never have happened.  Of course, you also hope that this would not be the day that you end up mangled at the side of the road, calling out to God with your new-found religious voice and praying not to die at the scene.
You are also probably hoping that the senior citizen that you just robbed heard the crash and will rush to your aid and call the police because the other thief has fled the scene.  As you lay in a twisted heap, looking up into the darkened streetlight, hindsight hits you harder than the vehicle that just busted your bones and you think, “maybe stealing the batteries was not such a good idea.”
The moral of this story is “don’t steal the batteries from the streetlights!”.  We know that we cannot appeal to your high sense of morality and your abundant love of your fellow man or woman so we are appealing to your selfish sense of self-preservation because the life you save may be your own.
Now, we only hope that you can read and have stolen a copy of The Daily OBSERVER so that the message is delivered.

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