Spend some time around tree climbers or aerial arborists and your views on humanity will soften a little - by-and-large you won't find a better bunch of people. Salt of the earth and honest as the day is long.
Just look around any tree climbing comp - there is gear scattered all over the place. And yet climbers expect to return to the spot they left their equipment to find it untouched. And so they should.
A couple of year ago, kiwi tree climbing legend Nicky Ward-Allen inadvertently left a new Petzl Vertex Vent in Western Park, Ponsonby (of all places) and a fellow tree climber made sure the helmet was returned to Nicky a week or so later.
Unfortunately, the recent rash of gear thefts around the country (Auckland, Palmerston North and Hamilton) is testing the 'honesty' theory and does raise more than a few questions about the basic integrity of some aerial arborists.
There is no ready market for second hand tree climbing gear. This suggests the recently stolen equipment already had a home to go to - in other words, it was stolen to order.
It's a sad state of affairs when we can't trust people you mix with on a daily basis - or am I just old being fashioned and showing my age?