"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Drunk criminals are stupid

Well, I certainly got an interesting start to my weekend. In fact, I'd planned to write this yesterday, but I was catching up on my sleep after being up all night Friday.

I got home from work a little before 2 a.m. after doing the Friday night shift on the desk at work (that was interesting enough, but that's for another time). I got on my computer for my usual "wind-down" time before attempting to go to sleep.

About 3 a.m., I hear a knock at the door, but in my room, I can't tell the difference between a knock at our door or the neighbor's (it's a townhouse with four units). The neighbors moved out a short time ago, but they were three college-age boys, so my thought was - it's a drunk friend of the neighbors who doesn't know/remember they moved, or it's a drunk friend of my son's who wants a place to sleep or to convince him to go out.

I ignored it the first time, then it came again. I pulled on some pajama bottoms (I was just in a cami and panties at the time - it was hot) and went downstairs.

As I always do, I looked out the front window first - didn't see anyone but noticed the interior light in my son's car was on. I opened the front door and no one was there, but I walked out to turn off the light. Then it went out on its own. As if someone had closed the door just seconds before (there's a short delay on the light).

I looked around and heard a noise coming from the porch of the neighboring unit - it's in shadows, so I can't see anything there. I heard a hiccup, then the jingling of keys. Okay, I'm thinking that it's someone obviously drunk and maybe one of the boys who used to live there, who's forgotten he moved or something. I hovered around for a few moments, but the person made no attempt to approach me or say anything, so I went back into the house.

I turned off the porch light and the lights inside, and I stood inside the front window and watched outside. The light came on in my son's car again, and I saw the top of a man's shaved head as he rifled around inside the car.

I went upstairs and knocked on Pooh's door to tell him someone was messing in his car, and he threw on some clothes and came downstairs. We both went outside and didn't see anyone there. He immediately checked in his car and found his TomTom GPS was missing. I ran in and grabbed my phone so he could call the police, then we hung around outside to watch the area.

Music started up - VERY LOUDLY - a few doors down (Def Leppard's "Too Late for Love", incidentally). It wasn't there before. Suspicious. Then he told me that a former friend of his, whom he hadn't heard from in two years, had called him up a couple of weeks ago and said if he ever saw him again, he was going to kick his ass. (Let's be clear here - NO ONE doesn't like Pooh). Pooh had also seen the shaved headed man in his car from his bedroom window. This ex-friend used to shave his head sometimes. More suspicions.

A cop from the neighboring town soon rolls up to in front of the house, and we tell him what happened. Then along comes a deputy sheriff, and we tell him what happened. Then another deputy sheriff comes, and we repeat it again. They go off to investigate the music, and at some point along the way, a light appears in the upstairs window of the unit on the opposite side of the vacant one - two doors from us.

We check out my son's car and see new scratches on the passenger side door that weren't there before. We check out mine and see it's fine. Then the police chief (in fact, the ONLY cop) from our town rolls up as well. We repeat the story again. They all ask questions, and we answer. They canvas the neighborhood looking for anything suspicious and checking to see if any of the cars are warm or disturbed.

The light in the window goes out, and this makes the chief suspicious so they go over and knock on the door.

Some guy answers and talks to them for a while. Then a while longer. And a while longer. Meanwhile, my son and I are entertaining the cute labrador puppy that came bounding out of the house when the door was opened.

The guy looks past the cops and says he's going to ask us if we know what's going on. (Um, yeah, they're here because we called, Genius). He's obviously drunk. We tell him that someone took the TomTom out of my son's car. "You mean, like a GPS?" he says. "Yeah," we say. "And someone keyed the door," I say. "Huh," he says. He goes on to tell us he understands because someone had tried to get into his car a couple of months ago. Sure. Then he says, "Well, I'll be honest with you," and he leans in to conspiratorially whisper, "I don't know who did this." Uh huh.

At this point, he turns around and looks at the empty driveway next to ours. He says, "In fact, I parked my car there. (pointing) There should be a car there." (So your car's missing and you're just NOW noticing?) "Someone took my car," he says to the cops.

Well, within seconds, he looks down toward the street where he sees his car parked at the curb in front of our house. "There it is," he says. "Someone moved my car down there." Uh huh.

He goes back off with the cops for a while, and I go in the house to get my phone again. "I'm going to tweet this," I tell my son. :)

To tell the truth, we're not terribly fussed about it. It's striking us both as enormously funny at this point. Cop number 5, who's been called in to gather evidence and possibly take fingerprints, arrives while I'm inside. (Need I remind you, this is the response for a GPS stolen from an unlocked car on a Friday night? Impressive, no?)

By the time I get back outside, my son tells me the guy doesn't actually live in that house. The neighbors who live there are gone and the cops said, "It looks like he just moved in and made himself at home." Ha! It gets better and better. Apparently, this guy lives two buildings further down the street.

Cop number 5, the detective, stands there smoking his pipe (I kid you not) while chuckling with us about the state of the guy.

Well, they bring over the TomTom and Pooh identifies it as his. They haul the guy off in cuffs and explain to my son that his TomTom will be processed as evidence. He'll get it back in six to eight weeks.

Thanks to his little adventure, drunk guy got charged with theft (for the GPS) and burglary (for hiding out in the neighbor's house). (Btw, we're in a town of fewer than 700 people. No one locks their cars and a lot of people don't lock their houses.) Note that he wouldn't have even been caught if he'd just sat behind the closed door and left the light off until the cops left. Brilliant. Now he's sitting in jail with a $12,067 bail.

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