Man unwittingly snaps photo of kid stealing his girlfriend's watch

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I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, and commend your action, but it begs^H^H^H^H invites the question, at what age do they transition from victim to criminal?


No, it doesn’t.


Please elaborate. Do you think the kids don’t understand the morality of theft?

edit: I’m also willing to have a conversation about the ethics of visiting western tourists, but perhaps in another thread.

Pretty sure the law on that is settled (even if said law is out of step with actual brain development and all…).


I’ll elaborate for Jerwin: Misapplication of the phrase ‘Begs the question’.

I think what you wanted to say is: “raises the question”.


Being abused? It’s probably a parent trying to feed his/her kids in the best way available. I supposed you wealthy tourist types prefer they are relegated to the red light district, or just get a job like a good, hard-working American would!

Being told to steal rich people’s watches isn’t abuse; they are being taught a life skill they will need in the wake of globalization. Welcome to the real world.

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You may as well give up on that one. I bow to no-one in my admiration for and insistence on correct usage but “beg the question” has come to mean “raise the question”, wrong as that is, and nothing you or I say will change it. Like “irregardless”, or “not that big of a deal”. Barn door’s open, horses have gone, and there’s no getting them back.

Not that you will ever hear any of those things coming out of my mouth, mind you. But language changes: we don’t have to like those expressions and we certainly don’t have to use them, but they’re part of English now.


You may say the same thing about “emojis,” but I’m not giving up my fight against that ill-placed s.


There is a small south-east Asian county full of assumptions in this here thread…


Well, folks. Here’s a textbook definition of a straw man argument.

(I do believe this post was tongue-in-cheek though – at least I hope so!)


It must be interesting to read Oliver Twist from the perspective of a person who wonders “why don’t the orphan children just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and enroll in school to better themselves instead of doing what that Fagin creep says?”


While it does suck to lose one’s valuables, there is something about the deft skill of a professional pickpocket that I admire.

Getting stuff right out of people’s pockets and off their wrists without them noticing is very ninja.

Much more cultured than the “grab and run” technique of bag snatchers.


It’s patronising to assume that kids steal things only if they are made to do so by adults. I mean this happens. In certain places it happens a lot. Heck, it may even be the case here, but you simply can’t assume that.

Nor people steal only when they need to feed their families. World would be a much better place if this was the case. People, kids included, steal for all manner of reason. They steal for fun. They steal for food. Some steal cos they need the money. Some steal for the thrill of it, or out of psychological compulsion. Some steal because they don’t have moral compass, some because they chose to ignore it. Some steal from the sense of entitlement or out of pure disregard for other people’s property.

The simple act of stealing a thing doesn’t automatically make you a criminal. I knew bunch of kids back from my school that stole all manner of things. Petty theft like this wrist watch all of it. None of them ever did it cos they were hungry and none of them did it cos an adult made them. Quite the contrary actually. Responsible adults in their lives did their best to prevent them from doing this. Some of them grew out of it yet some graduated to become real criminals later in life.

I don’t presume to know whats the story here. All I am saying is that you can’t assume anything. Life is murky. A person can at the same time be a victim and a criminal. And yes it is a right thing to hide their faces. Not sure why, just feels right somehow.


Stealing watches while smiling at the camera is a one-time trick that these girls will age out of quickly.

In fact, their actual future is probably bleak. The younger one, in particular, is at particular risk of becoming one of Thailand’s estimated 400,000 commercial sex workers.

Teaching her now that she should earn her way in the world by being charming to tourists and then engaging in an illicit act [*] would seem to be pointing her in a horrible direction.

[*] prostitution widely practiced but not actually legal in most of Thailand.


Do we all believe that children are innocent? I was not a blameless babe on the day before my 18th or 21si birthday.


Do you believe that young children are fully culpable for their actions, even when their parents or guardians raise them to support the family through crime?

It seems highly unlikely that the girls in this photo came up with this idea on their own. Slipping a watch off someone’s wrist takes training and practice, selling stolen valuables requires connections.


You’re probably right, but being a father, I’m not comfortable with instant off-the-hook. I couldn’t even guess the girls’ ages with those Kraft Singles on their faces. They could be dwarves for all I know. Evil evil dwarves.


That photo is totally worth having your watch stolen.