May 30, 2013

Third time's the charm?

Rochester: Car next to the house while we were sleeping. Cops showed up within a few hours. Car found within a week.

Baltimore: Wedding ring, engagement ring, jade ring, laptop. Through the back door during the day while we were at work. No cop ever came. I had to request a crime scene investigator. Then waited until 1 AM for him to have time between murder scenes to swing by and fingerprint. Nothing ever found. No follow up.

Dallas: Bike, Bike pump, 8-foot aluminum step ladder, toolbox (old tools). Contractor's tools, 6-foot ladder and paint supplies. From the open garage, through the open gate while we were doing things on the far side of the fence.

We weren't going to call the cops about this burglary. None of the stolen items added up to our deductible, so it didn't seem worth it. However, after a Facebook post about the burglary, a friend asked about recent neighborhood break-ins, "Do you think this is the same guy?" In the most recent incident, he'd kicked in a garage door.

I called the detective on those cases to see if he thought it was worth reporting. He asked me what they'd taken. I listed the stuff above, then added, "The ballsiest thing they did was go through some thrift store donation bags I had in the garage, strew the clothes all over, then take one of the three bags to carry what they took."

He got excited, "Ma'am, what were the bags made of?"

"One was plastic."

"Could you please call it in and ask for fingerprinting? All I've got for evidence are a couple of photos that could be anyone and a bad video. None of the other victims asked for prints."

So, in the midst of a day full of deadlines, I called 9-1-1. Within 30 minutes, an officer knocked on the back door (the gate was open since our contractor was working in the alley). Muttola went CRAZY. No one comes to the back door first.

"Good girl. That's your job."

I praised her as I held her back and opened the door. The cop asked for details, and we toured the garage. Then we headed to the alley to chat with the contractor about what he was missing and when he noticed it. While we were talking with him, as a collarless Muttola sniffed the grass at my feet, two cops rode into the alley. I held the dog back so she wouldn't attack the horses. (We're definitely in Texas, y'all! Horses!!) The officer told them the crime had happened sometime in the last few days so there wasn't a need for them to do street patrol.

[pause. Now visualize being a thief running down the street as you're being chased by a horse...]

An hour after the officer left, the doorbell rang. I assumed it would be the fingerprint team, but NOOOOoooo. Alarm chasers. They must listen to the police scanner and then show up to the house to sell an alarm. Half an hour after they left, it was my neighbor. They'd knocked on her door, too!

THEN it was the fingerprint officer. I loved the irony that the woman responding to the actual crime was a petite, though tough looking, woman. The guy doing the post-crime analysis was over six feet tall and obviously lifted weights on a regular basis.

The good news is he found three viable prints. Now we just hope that one of them belongs to the thieves.


Inkling said...

That is a bummer! And to have it happen while you are right there! But geez, what is it about Texas hospitality? Talk about a serious and fast response! Having a horse would be a cool job perk too.

Elizabeth Harper said...

I'm sorry to hear about the robbery too! I hate it for you and know how if feels having been robbed three times myself.

Horses are cool. The police officers ride them in downtown Atlanta, but my Atlanta house is two miles from the city center so we just get police in cars out there.

I hope they catch your thief!