(Lest you flog me verbally for suggesting such a thing, I want to defend my title choice by saying it was a comment response to my sister’s Facebook status, and it was one of the only things that made me giggle today. I don’t actually think people should steal from ANYBODY, or anything. Fair enough?
I had hoped to write something funny and/or charming for today’s post, but the morning got off to a rough start, and instead of cute, you get scary, gritty and sad.
(You may be asking yourself why you continue to read my blog, and I assure you that very soon, I will be back to my usual witty and hilarious self. Perhaps even by tomorrow.)
This morning started off the way Mondays usually do– my alarm went off at 4:30 AM, I staggered to the front door to unlock it, rubbed my eyes, got a drink and waited for Kristi to walk in with Abbie. Right on cue, at 4:35 the door opened, Kristi carried Abbie inside, took off her sweater, kissed her, put her in the playpen and said goodbye, then walked out the door. Abbie fussed for a minute, and I told her it would be okay, that Mommy was going to work and would be back soon, and I reached behind me to dim the lamp.
All of this took three minutes. Five, tops, but that’s stretching it.
Suddenly, the front door flew open, swinging so hard it slammed into the door stop. Kristi yelled, “Call 911! I’ve just been robbed!”
Sure that she was playing a joke on me, I asked, “Are you serious?”
“Yes, I’m serious. They broke into the Jeep. Get on the phone and call the cops, NOW!!!” (She used the scary evil voice, similar to the ones laboring women use when they want pain medication.) (*waving to Kristi* I love you!!!)
I don’t even remember getting the phone, but within seconds I had dialed 9-1-1 and was standing on my dewy front lawn with bare feet, watching my little sister chasing after the man she saw with her laptop case and yelling at him to give it back. I talked to the dispatch officer, who took my information, her description, and assured me that police were already in the area and would be there shortly. (My favorite question from the conversation: “Was there a weapon?” My answer: “Well, my sister’s an EMT. With her level of training, I can’t imagine she took off after someone if there was a weapon present.” Kristi’s later response: “Safety training FAIL. I didn’t even stop to consider a weapon– I just wanted to body-tackle him.” Niiiiiice.) Almost immediately after I hung up, a police car drove around the corner, followed by three other black-and-whites with searchlights and an unmarked SUV.
The absolute freakiest part of the whole ordeal was standing in my front yard and listening to the thieves rustle around in my backyard and my neighbor’s backyard, knowing that I was helpless to do anything to stop them or to retrieve Kristi’s belongings. Of course, when I called out for an officer to head in my direction, the rustling stopped temporarily, and by the time the officer got over the fence, the thieves were gone. The night just swallowed them up. I never realized how black it is at 4:45 AM, especially in our tree-lined, bush-filled neighborhood.
Had it not been such a devastating situation, I would have said it was pretty freaking awesome to see the patrol cars split up the way they did and search the entire neighborhood with their mounted spotlights. Like, wake-your-kids-up-to-see-it awesome. Instead, I woke Kenny, who stood at the wide-open front door in his– ahem– garments. (That’s Mormon underwear for anyone not familiar with the term.) After flashing him with their brights TWICE, for every subsequent trip around the block (and there were several), the policemen dimmed the lights past our house, and fired them up again as soon as they passed the driveway.
(For a man who watches COPS religiously, you’d think my husband would have a little more… um… awareness about something like standing at the door in your underwear, but yeah… no.)
Finally an officer pulled up to the driveway and said that several cars in the neighborhood had been hit, and that they were doing a sweep of parked cars to figure out if one of them happened to be the dump site for all the stolen loot. The police didn’t find anything, and I think it’s because Kristi surprised the thieves and spooked them into leaving the area. (I believe the final count was something like 10 auto break-ins. Probably closer to 15, but several went unreported.)
They got away with her brand new laptop, her wallet, her backpack full of college textbooks, study materials, lecture notes, court papers, the zip drive containing the past 18 months worth of notes about her ex and the custody battle, church information and a change of clothes. We don’t expect to see any of it again, although we’re stupidly optimistic, and Kristi spent the rest of the day changing accounts and replacing her IDs.
She is strong, that one. Stronger than I would have been.
Still, you had better believe that when she pulls up tomorrow, I’ll be waiting for her on the front porch.