BURGLED IN BROAD NIGHTLIGHT
edited: Saturday, March 03, 2012
By George E. Albitz
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, March 03, 2012
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This is a rewrite
The police department of an average middle-class urban community received a 911 call slightly before sunrise on Christmas Day. The purpose of the call was a burglary alert.
The first available unit arrived before the others. Two uniformed officers disembarked their patrol car and walked up several steps onto the porch.
After knocking on the front door several times without a response they fired a warning shot and casually kicked the door open. The door was one of those heavy huge solid oak jobs. As it swung open the officers immediately dropped to the floor and grabbed their broken legs in agonizing pain.
The next arriving unit, seeing the apparently slain patrolman, called for back-up and took defensive positions. Other units heeded the call and surrounded the house. A SWAT Team arrived in full battle gear.
Just as they were about to serve a barrage of bullets and teargas into the home an elderly woman in a nightgown, petticoat, and curlers appeared in the doorway.
“I can take her out!” said one of the SWAT Team sharpshooters as he peered through the telescopic sights of a high-powered, air-cooled, semi-automatic, spit n shined elephant gun with a high tech silencer and forty gig hard drive. “She’ll never know what hit her!”
“Wait till she makes a definite, undeniable, recognizable, justifiable bad move,” said the officer in charge, “We don’t want another incident like last time.”
Suddenly the woman raised her arms.
“She has a weapon!” yelled a near-sighted cop.
“It’s a hair dryer!” yelled the officers on the floor at her feet.
“Hold your fire, Men!” commanded the leader.
“What is going on here?” asked the woman obviously dazed and confused. “Someone broke my door…should I call the police?”
“We are the police,” said one of the downed officers proudly as he held his leg in pain.
“Did you break my door?”
“Ah…no…we found it like that. The burglars must have done it.”
“Didn’t you phone in a 911 Burglary alert?”
“It wasn’t for me. It was for my neighbors next door. They couldn’t call because the robbers burgled their phone.
“Wrong address!” yelled the crippled cops, “It’s the house next door!”
In the wink of an eye the elite team shifted their positions to the neighbors house.
“What about my door?” yelled the woman.
“Take it to Judge Judy,” said the last cop as he hurried off.
At the other house similar results occurred. No one answered knocks on the huge oak door. The door was kicked in. Two more officers were down.
Just as they were about to serve a barrage of bullets and teargas into the home an elderly woman in a nightgown, petticoat, and curlers appeared in the snow to their left.
“I can take her out,” said the SWAT Team sharpshooter.
“Delay that shot,” said the captain, “That woman looks familiar…I think I know her?”
Suddenly the lady raised her arms.
“She has a weapon!” yelled the nearsighted cop.
“It’s a hair dryer,” said the sharpshooter.
“What’s she doing with a hair dryer way out here?” asked the captain.
“Must be a cordless,” said the shooter.
“What’s going on here?” the woman asked.
“Aha! I knew I knew her!” yelled the captain, “That’s the old bag from next door.”
“You have a good memory, Sir,” said a butt-kissing lieutenant.
“This isn’t the house,” yelled the woman, “This house was robbed last Christmas. It’s been empty all year. You want my neighbors on the other side.”
“Is everyone here out of their minds or is it just me?” yelled the outraged captain. “I have four men down and we haven’t even reached the right house yet!”
“What about my door…and their door?”
He ignored her completely as he shouted commands, “All units disembark your positions around this house and re-embark around the house on the other side of the first house!”
They started to scramble.
“Wait a minute…one more thing…Don’t kick in any doors.”
“What about my door?” yelled the lady as they sped away.
As the captain arrived at what he hoped was the final destination he was delighted to see the inside inhabitants were outside waiting to greet him.
“Did they hit ever house on the block?” asked the man of the house.
“I’m not at liberty to divulge that information. I’m Captain…ah, Smith. From here on in you can refer to me as Inspector.”
“No, just Inspector.”
“What happened, Inspector?”
“I’ll ask the questions if you don’t mind…what happened?”
“Come in and see for yourself. They cleaned us out. Look at that…the downstairs is empty!”
“Whoa!” said a fat cop who wandered into the kitchen, “They even took the refrigerator! Do you have any doughnuts?”
“Just do your job, Rookie, I’ll handle the questioning,” scolded the captain. “Folks this is the first time I’ve ever been to your house, so I must ask…Was there anything there before?”
“Yes!” said the father, “All of our downstairs stuff.”
“You’re sure of that?”
“Yes…pretty sure,” he said as he and his family shook their heads in restrained agreement.
As they talked the detective wrote in a very small notepad. So small in fact he had to turn a page after almost every word.
“Now listen carefully. This is very important. When was the last time you saw your stuff?”
“We’re not sure exactly?”
“You’re not giving me much to go on.”
“We’re pretty sure it was there when we went to bed?”
“Do you have any idea who might have taken it?”
“Santa Claus,” said the youngest child void of expression.
“It wasn’t Santee Claus!” snapped the dad, “Santee doesn’t drive a U Haul!”
“They had a U haul?”
“Yes, Inspector. We saw it drive away.”
“I don’t suppose you got the license plate number?”
“Did you notice any identifiable markings?”
The captain made a note and turned a page.
“No forcible entry,” said an investigator, “No broken windows, no jimmied locks, nothing.”
“Is that so?” said the inspector as he quickly turned facing the family and stated, “This looks like an inside job! I suspect one or more of you is the alleged unknown perpetrator.”
They all pointed at each other saying, “He did it!” or “She did it!”
“It wasn’t one of us,” said the dad, “We know how they got in.”
“They came down the chimney.”
‘You better let me tell you the whole story.”
“Last night, Christmas Eve, we got ready for Santee Clause. We knew he wouldn’t come until we were all asleep, so after the kids left milk and cookies, I gave them a mild sedative and me and the wife had several hot toddies. Soon we were nestled all snug in our beds with visions of…”
“Yeah, yeah…I get the picture…go on.”
Shortly after midnight I arose to hear quite a clatter. I woke my wife to see what was the matter. We heard Santee’s sleigh landing on our roof and the sound of reindeer hoofs. It goes without saying, we were excited!”
“I’ll bet you were…ah, Murphy, go check the roof. Tell me folks, did you hear sleigh bells?”
Wife, “Now that you mention it, I think we did hear sleigh bells.”
“There was a lot of commotion and we soon heard a rumbling in the chimney which passes through our bedroom.”
“Someone check the chimney!”
“There was no way me and the little woman were going back to sleep. Our hearts were a fluttering as we listened intently to Santee moving about downstairs. We heard voices and realized he brought his elves with him. He must have been bringing us a lot, we thought.”
“Jones, check everywhere down here for fingerprints, footprints and elfprints!”
“What are elfprints, Captain?”
“Elfprints are little tiny footprints that curl up at the ends where their little toes go. Go on with your story folks.”
“As we listened we were giggling and hugging but afraid to move for fear of scaring Santee away.”
“That makes sense.”
Wife, “We were both confused when we heard the front door slam shut.”
“Jones, check the front door for prints.”
“No you idiot, fingerprints.”
“That’s when I got up, looked out the window, and saw the U Haul driving off. I ran downstairs and noticed the furniture was gone. I ran upstairs and asked the wife if we were having anything reupholstered. She disavowed any knowledge of it, so I ran back down and saw everything was missing, including the gifts Santee had just brought. The phone was missing so I ran to Miss Pringle’s house to call 911. She didn’t have it on speed dial so I had to punch it in manually which took more time.”
“Ah, that may have been the difference in us catching them or not, Sir.”
“Darn! Why can’t that old woman adapt to modern technology?”
“Now let me get this straight…you sat up in bed and listened as they stole your entire first floor?”
“I told you Inspector, we thought it was Santee Claus.”
Murphy returned from the roof, “I found helicopter tracks on the roof, Captain.”
The entire family was shocked at the news, “Santa flies a helicopter?” they asked harmoniously.
“No you idiots! Santa doesn’t fly a helicopter, and he didn’t bring you any toys. The sounds you heard on the roof was the crooks helicopter landing, not Santa’s sleigh.”
“We heard reindeer!” said the father.
“I checked the chimney,” said a cop with a face blackened with soot, “It’s been used recently.”
The Inspector gave him a sneer then continued with the family, “They entered through the chimney. The reindeer hoofs you heard was them walking on the roof to the chimney.”
“No prints downstairs,” said another cop.
“Nothing outside,” said yet another.
Father, “You mean we were burgled?”
“Looks that way.”
“Why would anyone do such a thing?”
“We’re guessing the motive was robbery.”
“But why us?”
“Don’t feel like you’ve been singled out. There’s a gang of serial bandits working in the area. Jones, check their cereal.”
“ For prints?”
“No you idiot, to see if its still there.”
“We don’t eat cereal inspector.”
“Cancel that order, Jones.”
“What are the chances of getting our stuff back?”
“Not good. These are professionals. It looks like they got away clean.”
“Not quite,” said the youngest child.
“What do you mean?” the father asked.
“I made chocolate chip cookies for Santa and left them on the table in the kitchen. They’re gone, so they obviously ate them. I wanted to get even with Santa for bringing me coal last year.”
“Son, let’s be realistic here,” said the father defensively, “You were not a good boy last year.”
“Don’t interrupt him,” said the Inspector, “Go on Son, tell us how you got even with Santa.”
“I put a whole box of Exlax in the cookies.”
“Oh, My God!” yelled the father as he ran for the bathroom.
Murphy, “Captain, can you come over here? We just got an emergency call.”
Captain goes to other room as fat cop dashes by him headed for the door, “What is it?”
“Dinky Doughnuts just took a fresh batch of hot doughnuts out of the grease.”
“Ah, that about wraps it up here folks. We’ll let you know what develops.”
As he heads out the door he’s confronted by old lady in a nightgown and curlers, “What about my front door?”
“I don’t have time for that Madame, we’re on an emergency.”
“Forgive and forget, that’s what I always say. Here officer I made you all some chocolate chip cookies.”
“Ah…nice try, lady.”