Unforgettable Past

Hi! My name is Jim. Today, I want to tell you a story about something I did when I was 14 years old. I made some friends in school but they turned out to be bad company. They were part of a gang who steals bicycles and resells them.

Lookout Whenever we were stealing a bike, a boy named John would smash the lock or chain with a hammer while two other boys were on the look out. Then one of us would bring the bicycle to a cave on Bukit Timah Hill.

The next day, we would meet in the cave, repaint the bicycle and we would change the accessories ... take off a basket or add a lamp. When we had stolen four or five bicycles, we would smuggle the bicycles into Malaysia and sell them for a few hundred dollars.

One bright Sunday afternoon, we went to an apartment in Bukit Batok to steal a bike. We found a bicycle on the landing of the fifth floor and started to work on the lock. The lock was hard to break ... we took 10 whole minutes to break it. As we were about to escape with the bike, the owner of the bicycle suddenly came out of the elevator. "My bike!" he shouted.

Man RunningMan Running
We dropped the bike and ran down the stairs but two policemen who were near-by caught us. We were handcuffed!

We were brought to the police station. Our parents were called and our teachers were told what had happened. The police at the station lectured us. The police took down our personal particulars and we were all allowed to go home. At home, I was scolded and grounded for what I had done. I was also caned by the school principal and was sent to the Boys' Home for six months.

Note: The Boys' Home is a short-term shelter for teenage boys in times of crisis, such as family conflict, physical and sexual abuse, peer pressure and bullying. It offers a residential stay within a disciplined environment to help boys overcome their problems.

Scale Weighing Good and Evil Life in the Boys' Home was very hard but I learnt a very important lesson. I learnt that stealing was not right. At the Boys' Home, the officers counselled me and encouraged me to change my ways. I decided to stop stealing.

To this day, I regret what I had done. I hope you will learn from my story and not take the same path, which I took.

Copyright by Huang YiPeng
Written in August 1998

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