Sunday, June 24, 2007

someone should make me president of our neighborhood watch

A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way to a friend's house and discovered that my car had been "broken" into. I say "broken" with a bit of sarcasm, because it turns out that Josh left my car doors unlocked. I walked into the car to discover the driver's door open, all the compartments in the car hanging wide open, all the bags thrown around, and $20 missing from my visor. The thing is, my sunglasses were still there, none of the cds were touched, and strangest of all, the thieves hadn't touched my stroller (which was in the back of the car). I called Josh to make sure that he hadn't tossed my car for some odd reason and then to get his advice on what I should do.

It seemed so silly to call the police for a missing $20, plus I assumed that the thief or thieves were likely teenagers who got lucky with an unlocked car. Josh agreed, so I cleaned up the car, made sure nothing else was missing and then went about my merry way.

A few days later, I heard through the neighborhood grapevine that my car was one of many, many cars in the neighborhood that was robbed with the same details. Unlocked car in an unlit driveway, items missing. I seemed to be the luckiest of the group, because some people reported laptops, wallets, navigation systems, cell phones, and briefcases missing. I also felt rather guilty about the fact that I hadn't reported the robbery to the police since these were clearly patterned crimes, but by now it had been over a week and it seemed silly to call then.

Fast forward to last night, I'm sleeping in my bed, around 2am. I suddenly bolt upright in bed, wide awake, because I realize the car is unlocked again. So I did the logical thing, which was to get out of bed, go downstairs, get the car keys, and walk outside, in my nightgown, at 2am, to see if the car was actually unlocked and whether it had been broken into already. Why didn't I just lock the car from inside and check in the morning? It made total sense to me that I needed to know right then if someone had broken in, so that we could call the police at 2 in the morning. Let's chalk this up to lack of sleep, okay?

Anyway, I open the front door and walk outside, in my nightgown, and hear this humming sound. I didn't recognize the noise, but figured that it must be a neighbor's air conditioner that I'd never noticed before. I got to the end of my driveway before I realized that the humming sound came from a black car parked directly in front of my house. A parked car with the engine running. And a GUY sitting inside the car.

Now, at this point, most of you would have gone back inside, right? You wouldn't just continue on to your car and check it, taking your sweet time before going back inside, would you? Especially not with a strange man sitting in front of your house in a suspicious car with the engine running, no?

Guess which one I did?

I finally go back inside, lock the door, go back to bed and realize that I should probably mention all this to Josh. I wake him up, and we both crouch in front of the window, spying on the guy and discussing what we should do. We finally decide to call the police. I then proceed to turn all the lights in the house on to try and find the phone book to locate the non-emergency number for the police, because hey, I'm trying to be discrete. I can't find it, so we call 911 and I give all the details to the emergency operator.

There is a whole flurry of activity over the phone- they are asking me for a description of the guy, I hear the radio going crazy, another officer reports that he is right around the corner, we hear a car racing down the street to our driveway, and at this point, I have visions of being able to proudly recount to all my neighbors how I single-handedly caught the car robbers with nothing but my nightgown for protection. And then the policeman comes back on the line to let me know that the car is an undercover officer in an unmarked car. Which makes sense, because I guess if you were a robber, you would likely leave once you saw the resident awake at her house with the lights blazing and her husband glaring at you out of the bedroom window.

All of this to say that I called the cops on the cops. I am such an asset to my neighborhood, obviously. Our email group has been making suggestions left and right about how we can fight back against these robberies, like calling the police and the mayor and putting up fliers. My suggestion? We could actually start LOCKING OUR CARS, since all of the cars have been left unlocked with valuables inside. Shocking concept, I know.

Things are exciting in my sleepy suburb these days. I can hardly stand it.

16 comments:

Knitting Mama said...

Very cute story. I would have done the exact same thing! At least you know you're area is being protected!

Kirsten said...

That is too funny! I totally keep forgetting to lock the cars until it is like 2 am and I am trying to get the remote to work from my bedroom!

twoxthefun said...

I have done the same thing but I just lock mine from inside the house. To scared to go outside in the middle of the night.

A few years ago in our old neighborhood when the gas prices reached $3.00 the first time. We had a gas theif. My husbands car was someone's target more than once. WHoever it was got about a full tank of gas out of us. After that we invested in locking gas caps.

KathyR said...

You called the cops on the cops. Priceless.

My Wombinations said...

This is the funniest story. I had to call the cops the other day, too... must be contagious!

Ninotchka said...

Please don't ever walk outside of your house ALONE at 2 AM again. Estas loca? Ten cuidado!

(And yes, lock your car) :)

chatty cricket said...

Um, all I can say is:
Hi.La.Ri.Ous.

You KNOW this will be in the police blotter. Cut it out and put it on your fridge!

M said...

OMG Hilarious!! Thanks for stopping over to my blog. I"m going to add you to my bloglines. :)
www.destinedtobeamom.blogspot.com

Angie said...

I would be so robbed in your neighborhood. I realized just yesterday I had left the keeps in my Buick for the last 3 days. In the ignition. Thankfully we live in a rural area and the cars are parked far from the road.

mamatulip said...

That is HILARIOUS!

purple_kangaroo said...

But if they HAD been robbers, you would have been instrumental in catching them!

Meika said...

Ha! I once - well, not once, but many, many times - called the police on my neighbor's garage-door opener. It was making my doorbell ring mysteriously and I thought I had a stalker.

I tell you, the suburbs are dangerous. I lived in the inner-city for a year with no car issues, then my car radio was stolen out of our very suburban driveway. Door also unlocked. Right.

amygeekgrl said...

LOL thanks for the laughs. :)
hope they catch the perp, and yes, lock the car doors.

ccw said...

I try to remember to lock the car doors but I forget. Our house sits so far back from the road and there is no sidewalk so it makes me lazy.

I would no doubt do exactly what you did. This is very funny!

craft-chick said...

Good for you! Last October our house (in a quiet nice neighborhood) was burglarized and I too became the person who watched everything...even though 2 weeks later another house was burglarized by what the police think are truant kids (I wasn't home to be nosy then). Our lapse? Not using our security system. Now I watch everything! you never know when your actions are going to make the difference.

Anne Glamore said...

My hubby checks on the cars before we go to bed to make sure they're locked, which is sweet. I would totally be with you getting all excited about fighting crime, only to find out it wasn't crime I was fighting.