On a recent trip to Cambodia, I had my expensive Canon SLR camera snatched right out of my hands by a passing motorcyclist and passenger. I was furious, mostly at myself for being so stupid as to not have been paying enough attention to my surroundings, something I am usually very vigilant of. My anger quickly turned from myself to the useless Cambodian police force who made a mockery of the whole incident.
Let me back track a bit, I have been to Cambodia a few times now. It’s one of my favorite countries to visit due to the low cost, beautiful sights, and the complete anarchy that makes up that country. The country has laws like any other country but that are relatively lax in enforcing these laws, mostly because they pay the police force relatively nothing. In turn, the police force does what any other criminal organization does, it shakes down the local populace, tourists included. Being the cheap prick I am, I refuse to participate in this shake down and wouldn’t bribe the official that took my statement.
Essentially I went down to the tourists police in Siem Reap, they took my statement, went back to the crime scene, made some remarks about how little they get paid and then began to poke holes in my story. I was expecting this so it didn’t come as a big shock, their biggest hole they poked was that I didn’t go to the officer “monitoring” the corner mere feet from where the crime took place. I asked the investigating officer to point out this officer that was and is supposedly there. We walked 20 feet and around a corner to a man with a bottle of booze next to him, asleep in a chair, dressed in a police uniform. I looked at the officer who had been taking my statement like he had to be joking.
One, the “police officer” was sitting in a chair, behind a wall so I had no idea he was there and two, he was asleep and looked to be sleeping for quite a while, the investigating officer had to wake him after all! They exchanged a few words in their funny language before the investigating officer turns to me and tells me this officer saw no such thing. No shit he didn’t see such thing, he probably hasn’t seen much all day, he’s been boozing and sleeping!
The officer tells me that since there were no other witnesses to confirm my story and this officer certainly didn’t see anything, they would be unable to investigate further OR provide me with even a police report! With his hand extended as if he were expecting a tip to grease the wheels of justice, I began steaming. How could these fucks deny me even a basic report to at least have something to reference?!
Being the clever prick I am, I always record my conversations with police officers so I wasn’t terribly concerned but was utterly fucking shocked that this guy gave so much credit to this drunkard that probably isn’t aware what planet he is on let alone what’s going on beyond his hangover. I was more upset at the fact that my fate hung on the drunkard before me than anything. What would have happened if someone was being raped or kidnapped? Because sleeping beauty didn’t see it, it didn’t happen?? If you are going to not take me seriously because I refuse to bribe you, at least have the balls to say that instead of some lame ass excuse.
I shacked the extended hand of the officer, thanked him for his time and muttered motherfucker once I was far enough away from him. I went back to my hostel, plotting my next move.
I am not a vengeful guy but when someone does me harm, does others harm, they should be punished. I figured since my camera was stolen and it may have been prevented had the corner officer not been boozing and sleeping, the reminder that karma still exists. Who knows what other crimes were committed right under this officers nose and got off scot-free?
On the way to dinner, I passed the same place the corner officer was on patrol.There he was again, snoozing on the job. I looked right, I looked left, nothing but distracted tourists. I snapped my fingers, inching closer to the officers face. Nothing but the continued sound of snoring coming from the drunk fuck. I tapped him on the shoulder… nothing. I tapped harder… not even a twitch. Hmmm.
I kicked over the remaining of his bottle of foul smelling alcohol, a combination I was certain contained rubbing alcohol and paint thinner, it reeked. I said, “Opps, I am sorry officer!” while the last of his foul smelling cocktail drained into the grass. Still nothing. Wow this fuck is out like a rock, I looked down at his utility belt, he had a baton and a badge, that’s it. He looked like someone trick-or-treating for Halloween more than a police officer. I should have taken a picture, oh wait.
I looked right and left again scanning the street, no one paying any attention to me or what I was about to do. I reached for the utility belt and unbuttoned the buckle keeping the baton securely attached to the officer. The officer twitched, took a deep breath, but continued snore. I slowly pulled out the baton from his belt. I was getting nervous, this was a police officer after all. Even if he was drunk and malnourished that a swift kick could take out, who knows where his other snoozing boozing buddies are hiding.
A BANG went off down the street, I froze. I had been hit, I was bleeding out, I knew it, stealing a baton is an executable offense. I quickly came out of it, that sudden rush of adrenaline that causes hundreds of thoughts to rush out before you realize you were fine, you weren’t shot and it was someone setting off a firecracker. The officer continued snoring as I pulled the rest of the baton out of his belt. I wonder, how many tourists heads this guy clubbed in before he became a societal pain in the ass.
I turned to the right and began walking away and after about 50 yards, I threw the baton into the creek. I sure hope that same investigating officer comes along and berates the officer for the loss of his baton to which their were no witnesses and the only officer in the area that could have prevented the theft was sleeping on the job.
TL;DR: If you plan on filing a police report in Cambodia, record the police or pay their bribe, otherwise you’re up shits creek. Luckily my insurance covered PART of the camera as I was able to provide satisfactory evidence I attempted to file a police report.