I'm not an angry person, but reading this brings back some horrible memories. I confronted the man that stole my wife's bike and was powerless to do anything about it. He lied to my face, and there was nothing I could do about it.
I was living in a studio apartment with my wife (our first place). It was a beautifully renovated home that used to be the mayors house in Ann Arbor. Apparently, he used to give speeches from the steps of the house etc. Anyways, it was nice. It had storage areas in the basement for each apartment that were pretty good sized.
The area that used to be the carriage house had been converted in to parking spaces and we had my wife's bike and her bicycle pump locked up out there.
One of our idiot neighbors felt sorry for a young homeless guy and decided to let him stay in his storage area. Which gave him access to all of our apartments essentially. One day we discovered that my wife's bike was missing as was her tire pump. I went down to our storage facility to see if the pump was down there and found the vagrant without the bike but with the pump. I called the cops after questioning him and getting visibly shaken and pissed. By the time the cops arrived he was gone.
I know some people would have punched/kicked/set afire the guy but I'm not a violent person. There really wasn't anything I could do.
Anyways, this story pisses me off and I hate recounting it. It's been years since I've thought about it.
Great post though, really enjoyable read.