It can happen in the blink of an eye. You're placidly drifting across Avenue A in a gentle rain, enjoying an article about stoop shrimps on, when a greedy bike-riding no-goodnik swoops by and rips your smartphone right out of your hands like some Tawny owl snapping up a sad rat. Your life turns on a dime. All your contacts, all your photos, all your podcasts, everyone you've ever known or loved on Earth is suddenly gone, baby, gone. Just like that. Do you even know who you are anymore?

And in that pivotal moment, you face a life-altering decision. Do you accept the cards you've been dealt and turn lemons into lemonade, renouncing smartphones and all their attendant distractions that keep you from being fully present in this holy moment? Embrace the romantic analog era of payphones and beeping answering machines and scribbled messages left with the bartender to pass along to your tardy friends? Purchase a camera that uses real film off eBay and appropriate your mother's dusty old Discman with Mega Bass and Groove?

Or do you lay chase, sprinting into traffic and down the middle of Avenue A, determined to run as far and fast as it takes to recover what's rightfully yours, thereby sending an indisputable message to all those fucking parasites who think they're entitled to anything and everything they can steal? If you're this woman, it ain't no choice at all:

This video, sent to us by writer Brian Cohen, was captured by a dashcam on July 8th at approximately 5:30 p.m. The nefarious action begins at the intersection of 7th Street and Avenue A, and continues south, to points unknown.

Cohen says an unidentified friend took the video, adding that "we don't know the outcome. Hopefully she got her phone back." But it appears that a Citi Bike user who rode by moments after the robbery did help pursue the perp, and Cohen's friends tried to help as well. The driver is heard telling the female passenger that he intends to follow the thief. She says, roughly translated from Cantonese, "It's really too bad about that woman's phone."

It is too bad about that woman's phone, but also another reminder that we all need to watch out for brazen bike-riding thieves when we're wandering around in our collective smartphone phantasmagoria. And at $14.99, Frog's Tung Retractable Smart Phone Leash might not be a bad investment.

[Disclosure: I am not a paid representative of Frog's Tung Retractable Smart Phone Leashes, just a fan.]