There are two players in this. Steve, who had his ropes taken down, and some second person who removed the ropes. This is a real person who is living and breathing right now. If we accept Steve's judgment, we should hound this person down and have him arrested and put into jail as a thief.
as i said, folks with expertise get more weight when making judgments in their area of expertise. law enforcement is clearly not steve's area of expertise. but yeah, i think a number of folks have suggested, gently or loudly, that venting about this online wasn't the best idea.
fwiw, i don't know steve. i guess i may have met him at some point, but honestly dont remember. and i don't care about fixing the nose, so i don't have a dog in this fight.
and even though i think that it was ill-advised for him to log on and rant about this, i do have some sympathy-- el cap is a pretty public place for anything to go south. he starts a proj in very public view, max risk of slander however it turns out. has to leave it and bail back to work; the storms set in; he's got fixed line up he has to clean; makes the grim slog out to do the housework of cleaning up a failed or incomplete proj; and then finds out that someone has gleeped a big chunk of the fix. so not only is he out the dough for the rope, but also that grim drive out to yard it all down. worse, the gleepist didn't clean all of it. now there's however many feet of shipoopi bail flag flapping in the wind on one of the most public crags in the world. gonna sit there all winter. prolly still be there in early spring. and by that time, given the way cali climber culture works, there will be volumes of oral legend built up around that tat.
you all know how it works-- campfire stories, forties, scrib, word of mouth. by early may, folks in c4 are going to be pointing to that string and saying, yeah, i hear ss used that rope to haul a hydraulic drill up there to chip holds and then used it to strangle christian gerbils. it'll prolly be part of the plot to bring down the twin towers. frickin nightmare.
so yeah, i can imagine that the drive back to sea level was pretty unpleasant, and i'm sure i'd have had a few pops and vented after that myself.