When we last saw our hero at the end of Part I, he was abandoning his cats to the possibly violent depredations of a burglar whom he was sure was hiding behind the almost closed door of the front bedroom and was just about to call the police.
So now, may I present to you, dear reader, Part II of the “I Totes Got Burglarized, Yo!” after-school special.
After heading back outside, I called my landlady Alison to let her know what was going on and left her a brief voice mail. A few seconds after I hung up, she pulled into her driveway (she lives in a duplex right next door to mine), got out of her car and asked me what was going on. I told her that it looks as if I was burglarized and even though I didn’t think there was anyone still in the house, I didn’t know for sure yet. She asked me if I had called the cops and I told her that I had been just about to do just that when she pulled up.
After this exchange, Alison went into her place to get her dog who’d been locked inside all day while I called 911. The dispatcher said they’d send someone out right away. “Right away” somehow turned into 30 minutes of standing out in the drizzling cold chatting with Alison while she checked the other halves of the duplexes for any further signs of criminal mischief.
I guess the 30 minute wait is what I get for being Captain Unflappable. My rock steady tone of voice when talking to the dispatcher must have been dripping with so much virile masculinity that they must not have thought it was an emergency; or if it was, that I could totally handle it with one of my bare hands whilst I was busy choking a shark with the other one.
Once an officer finally arrived, Alison left as she had a prior engagement to get to that night. As we walked up to my front door the officer asked me several questions; did anyone else have a key to the place (just my landlady Alison), did I trust her (yes, but she’s super nice and really pretty so I could be totally blinded to her evil genius), is it possible my cats could have done this (they’re definitely evil enough, but the lack of opposable thumbs would probably be a hindrance to any serious ransacking), etc. (etc.).
After I opened the door for him he warned me to stay outside and went in with his gun drawn and his flashlight out, just like in the movies. It was awesome! After he cleared the house he told me it was safe to come in and look around to see what, if anything had been stolen while he waited outside in his patrol car.
During my first sweep of the place, I checked all of the bigger, more obvious and more easily pawnable stuff (guitars, computer, condenser mic, video games, DVD player, appliances) and it all seemed to be there. One of the benefits of being lower middle class that they don’t really tell you about is the fact that you don’t really have very many possessions to be upset about if they should get stolen.
I went outside and told the officer that it didn’t look like they got anything. He started asking me how they got in and I told him honestly that I wasn’t sure. The windows weren’t broken and the front door lock seemed to be working. He asked me if it was possible I had just forgotten to lock the door that morning and I told him it was highly unlikely as I’m pretty OCD about locking the door and jiggling the doorknob to make sure it’s actually locked before I leave the house every morning.
Next he asked me what OCD was and I really had to bite of the slightly disbelieving “Really??” that was threatening to come out of my throat. Instead I gave him a brief rundown on obsessive compulsive disorder and he was like, “Cool, I learned something new today.”…
I went back inside and he went back to his car. I started picking up a few things the thieves had strewn about to get them out of the way and that’s when I noticed my computer chair moved over to the front of my office closet. That’s when I remembered that that was where I kept my muzzle loader hunting rifle up on the top shelf. I quickly got up and looked and sure enough, it was gone. I went back outside and told the officer about the missing weapon, having to explain to him in great detail what a muzzle loader was which he then proceeded to condense down to, “Oh, you mean like a Davy Crockett gun?!”. Yep*.
I live not in, but still fairly near one of the east Nashville projects and he told me that there had been several burglaries in the area as of late by wannabe gang bangers looking for guns to shoot each other with or just to shoot in the air late at night to watch the cops come running. I laughed at that as a muzzle loader is about the worst, most ridiculous gun you could possibly use for “bangin'”.
For one, with a muzzle loader you only have one shot before you have to reload. For two, a reload consists of dropping a couple of black powder pellets down in the muzzle followed by a bullet, all of which needs to be tamped down with the ramrod. After that, you have to insert a primer cap in the breech and take off the gun’s safety before it can be fired.
This can take up to 20-30 seconds per shot for somebody who really knows what they’re doing. And as they’re hunting rifles and not intended for home defense or battle, nobody has practiced for speed reloading since the Civil War.
The thieves obviously had no idea what it was that they had stolen as they only took the bullets with them and not the black powder pellets. And I was completely out of primers, even if they had taken the powder they would have had no way to fire the gun unless they went out and purchased some primers first.
After explaining to the officer about muzzle loaders to his satisfaction, I went inside again and took another look in my closet to see if anything else was missing. That’s when I noticed that the ceiling hatch to the crawl space was cracked open. My paranoia kicked back in and I wondered if maybe the thief had crawled up there when he heard me come home.
So of course I shouted, trying to frighten him into some movement so I could know for sure whether or not someone was up there. Nothing.
Next I took a golf club and knocked the hatch open further to try to see in a little better, but all I could see was darkness.
Lastly, and this was easily the most retarded thing I’ve done in a long time, I took a squirt bottle filled with water that I use to discipline my cats when they jump up where they’re not supposed to be (or really if they’re just annoying me in general or if I’m bored) and I squirted it up into the crawl space opening shouting, “Bad criminal! Get down from there!”.
Okay, so I didn’t actually yell anything, but I definitely squirted the crap out of the crawl space. As there were no sounds or movement at this point, I figured I was safe so I closed the closet door and put a box in front of it so I could hear him coming when he climbed down out of there in the middle of the night to try to murder me after the officer left. You know…just in case.
Could I have possibly used anything less effective as a theft deterrent than a squirt bottle filled with water or a couple of dumb cats?
Do any of you have any fun crime victim stories?
*Please note: I honor, respect and appreciate all of those who protect and serve us on the police force. This guy was very nice and professional and I’m not trying to put him down or anything, but something tells me he may not have graduated at the top of his class at the academy.