Coronavirus Diary: A Thief Can Live In Your Building, Too

In my country, there is a curfew, meaning that, for now, on weekdays we can’t go out from 5 pm till 5 am, and on weekends, the curfew starts from 1 pm on Saturday and lasts till 5 am on Monday.

I live in a building that doesn’t have many flats – only 11 and we mostly all know each other. I’m not saying that we are all friends and good buddies, but we do know who lives in our building and we know what to expect from our neighbors. The neighbors who live on the ground level have lots of plants and they maintain our building’s garden to the point that we all came to assume that it’s “their” garden, even though it’s not. Since it’s the beginning of spring, they still haven’t gotten out all of their bigger houseplants to the garden, which is something they always do when the weather gets warmer and more stable. During the colder months, they keep some of their bigger plants in the building’s hallway, which is quite big so it doesn’t bother anyone. I also keep some of my plants in the hallway (on a different floor). So basically, their big plants have been laying in the hallways for the good 5 or so months.

Coronavirus came and now we’re all trying to stay in our homes as much as possible. Our country also established a rule (or a prohibition) for people over 65 that they can’t go out 24/7 except on a certain day in the week when they can go to buy food. It was done because that group is at the highest risk of having serious complications if they get infected with the coronavirus.

So these neighbors have been sitting in their flat for the past 3 weeks, because they are both over 65, with their son bringing them food and medicines. Everything working fine for now. But…

A few days back, actually a few nights back, their big plant disappeared from the hallway. Remember I said that during the night no one can go out because of the curfew? Well, here it comes – if no one can get out during the night and the plant disappeared at that time, it means that someone from the building stole the plant… it’s a big and heavy plant and it would be impossible that no one would spot someone carrying a big plant on the street… or spotting anyone on the street, with or without a plant, during the curfew. Besides, that someone must have had the key to the building… the only logical explanation is that some from the building stole the plant. The question is – who?

In order to try to find the answer to the question one has to figure out who would have the motive to do such a weird thing, and above all – during the weirdest of times. It’s logical to assume that the neighbors who had their plant stolen didn’t do it – unless they wanted to get attention, but, since they haven’t gone on a crusade nor they have publicly announced that the plant was stolen I’d put them low on the list of potential suspects/liars.

We didn’t do it, and we can vouch for three other families that they haven’t. It leaves us with 3 more flats. One is being rented to some students, we don’t know them and there is a chance they could have done it. On the other hand, we don’t really know if those students are still in the building or they returned to their homes with the outbreak of coronavirus. I find it more logical that they returned home than that they decided to stay…

This leaves us with 2 more flats. One is also rented, we don’t know those people very well, but we do know that they like to fight a lot because oftentimes we can hear them scream at each other. They live in a small flat and the plant might be too big for them to steal, because… where would they put it? But, since they are prone to drama and we don’t know them that much, it could be their deed. When I come to think of it, the woman who rents that flat hates the neighbors who had their plants stolen. Could she have orchestrated the theft with the people she rented her flat to?

And finally, there is this other woman who is crazy and is also a thief. In fact, she stole a good part of the building’s attic by walling off one part without the consent of the neighbors, so she basically stole it. She is definitely prone to theft. She also lives in a big flat, so she definitely has space for the big plant. She also owns plants. The problem, though, is the motive. Why would she steal the plant in the middle of the night? It doesn’t seem that she particularly hates those neighbors. But then again, she might have flipped because of the isolation.

The mystery still continues and we’ll probably never find out who stole the plant during the pandemic, but we definitely know now that we live with some really crazy neighbors.

Who is your primary suspect?

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