Or, How a Suburban Housewife Took The Law Into Her Own Hands And Justice Prevailed (with no assistance from THE MAN)
I’m angry today.
Three weeks ago, while I was helping the homeless at church (how’s this for karma), my bicycle was stolen out of our carport. I did my citizen’s duty and filed a police report, with no expectation of recovery of the bicycle. I had my suspicions as to where it was, as there is an apartment community at the other end of our street where the clientele is, well, less advantaged. The officer I was speaking with indicated that if I was to see the bike, do not attempt to retrieve it, call 911 and an officer would be dispatched.
Flash forward to yesterday, as my wife is leaving to go to my 4 year old son’s birthday party, with 17 screaming fellow 4 year olds anxiously awaiting the jumping fun of Pump It Up. Down our street come 4 gentlemen (who should have been in school), one of which is riding MY BIKE. After ignoring my instruction to run the little bastards over in the minivan (fortunately, she’s a tad more levelheaded than I), I called 911 and gave a quick history of the situation. The dispatcher indicated that the officer would have to meet my wife somewhere, which seemed to ruin the opportunity to return the stolen property. My wife sat at that intersection while I recruited my sister (who lives in the same neighborhood) to relieve her so that she could track the hoodlums down, because now she’s pissed as well.
The Vigilante in the Minivan finds the boys again, and the one on my bike is hiding behind a car (admission of guilt #1). She drives past, turns around, and drives past them again, much like a lion stalks it’s victim. The boys make a run for it, and eventually dump the bike in the middle of the street (admission of guilt #2).
We dispatch my sister (the one waiting for the police at the designated intersection) to meet the Vigilante so that she can go to the birthday party, now being late. My sister calls 911 again to update them of the situation (we’ve moved, the bike is abandoned in the street, please send the car to this street, etc.) and she waits for the officer.
FOR. AN. HOUR. A stinking hour. Bless her heart, I think she would have stayed there until someone showed up if I hadn’t called and told her to pack the bike up and go home.
My father catches wind of this (we do take care of family) and calls the substation where the car would have been dispatched about 3 and a half hours later and chews out the poor officer that answered the phone, and then the Sergeant in charge gets an earful. Turns out the call was not dispatched to the substation until 3 hours after the original call.
I understand that there are much bigger crimes than the recovery of a $300 bike, but DAMN. I followed their procedure, and the police failed me. These boys know where we live, and we unfortunately expect retribution. My wife wanted to go for a walk today, and one of the boys she was chasing was coming down the street. She elected not to go.