06 August 2010

Burglars at Large!

Picture it.  It is 5:10 am on Tuesday morning and our beloved hound begins to bark.  Now, he is more than a little on the territorial side, and enjoys a good bark at passers-by, even those going about their legitimate business.  He also enjoys his sleep, and would not bother barking a this time of day without good cause.

'What's happening now?' said I, stirring from my oblivion.

'Max is barking,' said my beloved, informatively.

As the man of the house, it is my duty to investigate anything that may prove life-threatening or even irksome, especially in the god-forsaken depths of the night.  'Better take a look,' I said, and went down stairs to see what the fuss was about.  The hound was still in his favourite place - on the sofa - but on the alert.  No-one was at the door demanding our attention, so I told the dog he was a good boy and went back upstairs to stick my head out of the bathroom window for a better view.

Imagine my surprise to see someone prowling around with a scarf tied over his face!  Now, no-one who wanders the streets at 5:10 am is beyond suspicion, especially when he is clearly capable of walking in straight lines and his preoccupation appears to be the insides of other peoples' cars.  Anyone doing so whilst attempting to conceal his identity is clearly a ne'er-do-well deserving of having his collar felt.  I performed my citizen's duty and, at about 5:15 am, duly phoned the police.  'Someone will be there as soon as possible,' I was told.  I have to confess a lack of excitement with such a promise.  I would rather have heard, 'Someone is on the way now and will be there very soon.'  'As soon as possible' turned out not to be very quick...

From my bathroom, I can see a lot of what is going on without giving away my presence.  I watched the fat, scarfed suspect wandering down the road and out of sight, and his skinny accomplice come into view on a bicycle and loiter near the house.  This second person was either new to the world of crime, or was brazened, or just plain stupid, since he did little to conceal his appearance.  He moved away after a while and eventually was joined by the fat git.  They wandered off down the public footpath behind our house and out of sight.

Still no police.  We are no more than five minutes from the police station.

Since the criminals had disappeared, I continued my watch for the police, so that I could tell them which way to go to apprehend the suspects.  Then I heard another dog barking.  Then I heard a car start.  Amazingly, a few seconds later, a car turned into our road, which is a dead-end, and screeched to a halt near our house.  The fat git was driving, and the skinny git got out and ran off down the footpath behind the house.  I made a note of the car and its registration number and called the police again.  The skinny guy reappeared carrying a chain saw and jumped back in the car, which reversed out of the road and disappeared away from our hamlet.  This sequence of events was conveyed in real time to the recipient of my 999 call at about 5:30 am.

Still no police. 

They did phone me back, however, to tell me that the car had been reported stolen and to ask which way they had gone.  There are two roads out of our hamlet, and the answer to that question later transpired to be, 'The other way.'  Had the police driven directly to us from the station, rather than trying to second-guess the villains, they would probably have caught them even as they made their escape.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  If only we could have it in advance...  In fairness, with the information he had at the time, the officer who was dispatched made a reasonable call.  What he really needed was enough support to approach along both roads and the footpath.

And our government wants to cut police funding.

Anyway, the police eventually arrived in several cars.  They searched the area and found two bicycles leaning against our fence; clearly, the criminals had broken into a well-stocked shed at some point during the night.  The car belonged to a neighbour.  The suspects had broken into the neighbour's house, stolen a laptop computer, found the car keys, and stolen the car even while I was waiting for the police!

The police helicopter arrived and went, and later reported that the stolen car was nowhere to be seen.

I spent the next I don't know how long making a statement, and, despite being up earlier than is good for a God-fearing soul, was later for work than I normally am.  I wouldn't mind, but the officer who took my statement thought there was little chance of catching the scrotes unless there were fingerprints.

The police called me again later in the day.  Would I be prepared to look at some mug-shots?  Of course I would.  They would contact me again when they had found someone who knew how to operate the mug-shot computer program and was available at a time when I could go along.  I haven't heard anything yet.

It has been rumoured that the suspects have been apprehended, although I have yet to confirm this.  The fact that I have not been called to view mug-shots may lend weight to this rumour.  On the other hand, maybe there is on-one who knows how to drive the program...


  1. I've just spoken with the neighbours who were burgled and they tell me that the police have informed them that two people were arrested the following night. They were committing another burglary but the police believe they are the suspects from our episode. Result.

  2. I have now been asked to go and look at mug shots.