No, I didn't get arrested, but somebody else did.
Yesterday morning I'm sitting here at the computer and the doorbell rings which always startles me a little because the doorbell just doesn't ring that often, and startles the cats even more because it's kind of loud and they all start running around the house in a panic. So, I glance out the front bedroom window and see a red car sitting right in front of the house, then go to the door and see through the kind of mottled window glass a tall skinny black kid in a blue sweatshirt at the door. He looks like he just came from the high school and is selling candy bars or something, so I cautiously open the door and peek my head out and he asks is Joseph home. Well, that kind of throws me because after all I do have a son named Joseph but why would some skinny high school looking black kid be looking for Joe? So I tell him that he's got the wrong house, thinking that he must be looking for the drug dealer's house down the street even though the drug dealer is in jail we think. Said drug dealer was a young blond girl selling out of her parents house and we had high school looking kids both black and white constantly driving and walking up and down the street to get their drugs until she finally got busted. He gets into the red car sitting there, but climbs into the back seat which I kind of wondered about since only the driver was in the front, and I'm watching them from the front window to see where they are headed.
Then back to the computer not thinking a whole lot about this kid coming to the door, figuring that he's just another drug addled dumbass who doesn't know how to read house numbers. And, yes, I may be somewhat racist because a young black kid on the street knocking on my door does arouse a little suspicion in me since the only young black kid who lives on our street is in like 3rd grade and I know he doesn't have any older brothers named Joseph.
About 20 minutes later I go out front for a minute and what do I see but this same red car pulling into my next door neighbor's driveway. My next door neighbor who lives by herself and teaches school during the day. My next door neighbor who probably wouldn't be inviting a red car with young black kids over to her house in the middle of the day when she's not even home. I'm thinking that maybe they are just pulling into the driveway to turn around but as I'm thinking that the garage door goes up and they pull into her garage. So, I run over there and yell WHAT ARE YOU DOING? and as I'm yelling I see one of what are now three black kids in the garage putting what looks like a VCR into the trunk and a chubby faced kid at the front of the car tells me that it's his aunt's house and I'm like HELL NO it's not your aunt's house and realize that they are in the middle of a burglary, so start running back to my house as they all jump in the car and back out of the garage. I look at the front of the car to get a license number but there is no license plate on the front and as I'm reaching the front door to run in and get the camera to take a picture of the car they are already out of the driveway and heading down the street.
Now my heart is racing and I'm kind of panicked so I'm telling myself to calm down enough to call the police and get the phone and take a few deep breaths so I can even talk and called the police, gave them a description of the car and the kids, and then about 5 minutes later here comes a patrol car. My neighbor's garage is still open and there is still a big screen TV sitting there in the garage that apparently they were just getting ready to load up. I had told the dispatcher that I though the car was a 4 door, an oxidized red color, but after the police got there I remembered the one kid crawling into the back seat and realized that no, it's a 2 door because he had to push the front seat up to get in the back. And while I'm remembering that the two officers are looking at each other saying you know what, we saw them but were looking for a 4 door, but why they didn't pull them over anyway I don't know.
So, they are checking out the house and said the door on the side of the house had been kicked in and did I have the neighbor's phone number but I couldn't even remember her name just that she worked as a teacher. They found her name somehow and were able to call her so now she's on her way home and CSI is here with gloves and a little investigator box of CSI stuff, and they are all investigating and writing reports and whatever else they do at a crime scene.
And while they are investigating I'm on the phone with Keith, still trying to calm down, telling him what's going on and he's just dumbfounded that these kids are bold enough to knock on people's doors and then go rob their house if nobody is home and they knocked on our door because it looks like nobody is home since there's no car in the driveway and what if they'd had guns or just come on in the house anyway even though I was home. Which happened in another neighborhood, thugs were just breaking into a bunch of older people's homes and robbing them right in broad daylight while the people were at home.
So, they finish up their investigation, take my name and number and date of birth, why they need my date of birth I don't know, and Jolene the neighbor whose name I couldn't remember is home and her family comes over to help her figure out what's missing. They ransacked her house in the 20 minutes or so between them knocking on my door and me seeing the car in the driveway, taking her laptop with all of her personal information stored in it, some jewelry, the VCR or whatever it was that I saw, and in general trashed her house.
I'm still trying to calm down and am kind of wandering the house all nervous now and wishing that I had gotten better descriptions or something and thinking how if I hadn't walked out the front door at that particular moment I would have never know they were robbing her house and she would have come home after work to a ransacked house.
Then about 12:30 right as I'm eating lunch the phone rings and I'm thinking it's Keith who I've already talked to about 3 times and he's wondering if he should just come home and am I okay but it's not Keith, it's the officer who had been here. He says that he has a report of a red car and suspects being held in another robbery and can they come pick me up so that I can identify the car and suspects. I'm like absolutely I can so they come back over and I get into the back of the police car which I've never been in the back seat of one before. Well, you don't want to ride around too much in the back of a police car, the seat is made out of hard plastic and is very uncomfortable and the windows have bars on them and you feel like every other person in the world is seeing you in the back of a police car and just knows you are on your way to jail.
They tell me that the new crime scene is a little bit of a drive which was the understatement of the year because it's about 10 miles across town and we are driving and driving and driving and they are asking me for any more information about the suspects and I'm trying to remember what they were wearing and they are asking me about what kind of shoes they had on and I'm like SHOES? I didn't even look at their shoes and everything happened so fast and while I may not remember much about what they looked like I would definitely remember the car.
Then finally after driving and driving and driving (and police men like to drive FAST) we pull into a rather upscale looking neighborhood, way nicer than mine anyway, and the street is lined with police cars all up one side of the street and down the other and dozens of police officers are all standing around and they start pulling suspects out into the street for me to look at. The first kid doesn't look familiar to me at all but I am glad to see him in handcuffs and I feel like I'm in a TV show or something, and then they pull the second kid into the street who is skinny like the kid that came to the door and wearing a light blue sweatshirt like the kid who came to the door, but can I be 100% positive that it's him and no, not 100% positive, but it sure looks like him. So then we drive down the street a little further and I'm asking where the red car is but it's a white car on the side of the road with all the doors and trunk open and where is the red car? One of the other officers says that one of the kids says he lives in the neighborhood (yeah, right) and they did see a red car over by the part of the neighborhood the kid says he lives in. So, they pull the third kid out into the street and yes, it looks like the chubby faced kid who said it was his aunt's house and for me to mind my own business, but again, can't be totally 100% positive and where is the car anyway because yes, I'd be 100% positive about that car. So, we ride around the neighborhood to look for the red car which of course is nowhere to be found.
Then back down the street where all the kids are in handcuffs and all the police cars are and we pull over and the officers leave me in the back of the car while they go talk to everybody else and I'm sitting there still feeling like every eye on the street thinks that I'm going to jail, too, and then they finally get back in the car but then stop to talk to another officer standing right by where they've got one of the kids standing by the police car still in handcuffs. A kid who can see me clear as day sitting in the back of the police car and who is making me nervous because what if they let him out of jail and he decides to come back to my neighborhood because I'm the white bitch who called the police? So as they are driving me back to the house I'm asking if I need to be nervous about them being let go and they say, no, they are all on their way to jail on this robbery at least.
So. I told Keith that we need to move the computer into the front room so that I can keep an eye on things around here and we are going to be more careful about opening the front door to anyone and the baseball bat will be right by the front door and so will the camera because from now on if you ring my doorbell and I don't know you I'm going to be taking your picture and if you park in front of my house and I don't know you I'm going to be taking a picture of your car, too.
And that wasn't quite the end of strange happenings in the neighborhood, I've got a killer dog story to tell you about tomorrow.