One of the few silver linings to come out of the horrific Bourke St Mall rampage has been the mass outpouring of support from what looks to be every corner of the Melbourne and broader Australian community.
Whether it was bystanders jumping in to perform emergency CPR or the seemingly endless tributes pouring in for victims, it’s crucial in the wake of tragedies to remember that, when push comes to shove, most people are instinctively selfless.
Don’t focus on the crime, focus on the 100s of Victorians today who helped fellow strangers in need. This is what #Melbourne is. #bourkest
— Andrew Wang (@itsandyw97) January 20, 2017
But, because some people can be equally, instinctively selfish, we also get absolute fuckheads like this bloke stealing flowers from a makeshift memorial.
Now, there’s almost always economic factors associated with stealing. Things like poverty, trauma, and other socio-economic issues can, to various levels, justify the actions of certain criminals.
And sure, there’s a chance he wasn’t of sound body and mind. There might yet be some hidden justification for all this.
But with all that in mind, fuck this guy. No one needs flowers enough to steal them from memorials to recently-killed pedestrians, full fucking stop. As much as we can judge anyone for their actions, these actions are 100%, decidedly fucked.
And it’s honestly unlikely he didn’t have at least some awareness of the situation; the 24-year-old who witnessed the incident, Joshua John Arnett, said the unnamed thief had taken flowers from the main Bourke St memorial before running across the street to steal another bunch from the smaller site. So it wasn’t some spur of the moment crime.
Arnett, who captured the footage around 8am yesterday morning after making a two-hour trip from regional Victoria to visit the memorial (on ya Arnett), said it felt “soul crushing” to watch.
But luckily, after the thief tried to hop on a nearby tram, police officers who’d also witnessed the attempted-robbery forced him to return the flowers. From the looks of things, they didn’t mince words about how shitty the guy’s actions were.
The second video, which Arnett also captured, therefore makes for some extremely cathartic viewing; it ends, fittingly, with the tram driving away from the unnamed dud.
So yeah, that’s another one point for human selfishness, couple more for human decency/schadenfreude .