My money has returned to my bank account and all's right with the world, sort of.
I'm fully aware that in the hierarchy of crimes, this was a fairly painless, low intensity event. It would be far worse to have a smash and grab to my car or a break-in at home, or something that threatened my personal safety. Many of my friends, in sympathy, related their own stories and theirs were worse: much more money missing, car windows broken out, a purse with keys, cards, i.d.s and sentimental photos that were never recovered. I'm lucky, really.
I will be more careful in the future. My plan is to start using a credit card instead of a debit card, when needed. That way the next thief won't get very far, and even if she/he does, it won't be my actual cash money.
I'm reminded that a former boss used to encourage me to always take advantage of access to what he called Other People's Money. Mortgages, loans, credit cards -- used wisely -- put OPM at risk, not your personal assets. Better yet, he said, get people to invest in your project of their own volition, so if it goes south they have no one to blame but themselves, and you haven't lost a dime.
Frankly, I've never been that interested in that kind of wheeler dealer approach, so I never took it seriously, and still don't, really. I will, however, be a little more careful with MY money from now on.
On a related note, I talked to our IT guy at work and he added another layer of craziness to the "It can happen about 100 ways" without the card ever leaving your possession. He says thieves can carry a scanner that will read your info right off your card, while your card remains in your wallet, from 6 to 8 feet away! So that guy standing on the other side of the gas pump? Or the lady behind you in the grocery line? They could be stealing your information. Including your driver's license info.
The IT guy topped off his story by pulling out his wallet and showing me that his is made out of metal, which shields his credit card info. Yes, they make card shielding wallets.
It makes me think of Superman, for some reason. Wallet of Steel, anyone?