So there you are, sitting on your own front porch, working on your laptop, and...
1. A stranger comes up on the porch? What do you do?
2. He sits down next to you? What do you do?
3. He asks you for a cigarette? What do you do?
4. He grabs your laptop and runs? Now what?
In this case, the man did nothing at #1 and #2, and at #3, just said he didn't have any cigarettes. At #4, the man gave chase, tackled the thief, and got the computer back.
Now, next time, don't let a stranger come up on your porch, and whenever you're anywhere in public with your laptop, expect thieves.
I am nostalgic for a culture of front porches, where residents meet the world and chat with passing strangers, but in this vision, no stranger comes up on the porch without invitation. Anyone crossing the sidewalk/porch line has stepped out of The Dream of Yesterday and into They're All Out to Get You. That is, I'm a liberal while you're on the sidewalk, but step onto the porch and I'm a right-winger.