In the midst of my selfless, illustrious career educating our nation's youth, I took a detour. A side trip to garner more education for myself, in order to bring even more smarts to the future citizens of our great land.
I rented an apartment in Springfield, Missouri, to use as my home base. I worked at the best junk store ever, and attended classes to complete my Master's degree. I kept odd hours between work and school. Sometimes I worked nine-hour shifts, some weekdays I was off, and I was back and forth to the college library on an irregular basis.
Imagine my surprise and consternation upon arriving home one evening to find my front door ajar. Creepy, to say the least. I pushed it open. Thought for a minute that I'd forgotten to pull it shut tight enough. Until I saw the bent metal around the door frame. I called inside. There was no sound, so I went in.
The wires to my new VCR were hanging out the front of my particle-board entertainment center. That hit me like a punch in the gut. MY VCR WAS GONE! And along with it, the first VHS tape I ever bought: Aliens! Ooh! The injustice!
I called the police. Told them I wanted to report a robbery. The dispatcher asked if the thief was still there. No. That would be crazy, a thief letting me call the police. The point he was trying to make was that I was actually reporting a burglary. Not a robbery. Potato, potahto. Get somebody over here.
As I waited, I noticed how cold the apartment felt. It was fall. The heat was running. But I was cold. A look in the kitchen revealed the reason. My sliding glass door to the fenced-in patio was open. I left it. In case the cop wanted fingerprints, you know.
He didn't. A real cop is not like a TV cop. He looked at the front door. Saw the pry marks. Looked on the patio. "It looks like the guy came in the front using a screwdriver on the door. He grabbed what he wanted, and probably balanced it right here on the corner of the fence. The he hopped over when he was ready to leave. I'll bet they've been watching this complex."
Yeah. I had seen a guy loitering around the corner near our parking lot. This was before cell phones. They must have had walkie-talkies. Since we were situated on a dead end, the accomplice knew that once I drove out, his guy had time to ransack until the accomplice notified him to get out, because my car was returning. Quite a set-up. I'm always suspicious of loiterers now.
The most embarrassing part was telling that handsome young policeman that nothing else had been taken. That the only thing I had worth stealing was a VCR.
No. The MOST embarrassing part was when that handsome young policeman said, "I see he ransacked your spare bedroom, too." Um. No. I'm a slob. I had clothes strewn all over the spare bed.
But I didn't tell him that. That darn ransacker! How dare he mess with my clothes!
Thanks to blog buddy Stephen today for reminding me of this horror!