Freaky Friday


Freaky Friday

I went back to Scottsdale last week on Thursday to find my house burglarized.  The only things missing were my two televisions, a wireless printer, and a box of checks. I was baffled because my alarm had been set and there was no evidence of a forced entry. Only my neighbor Donna has a key to my house. I decided to go to my book club meeting anyway. On the way I called my problem child but he denied having anything to do with the robbery.

At nine p.m., when I got back from a somewhat desultory discussion of The Book of Night Women, I called the police to report the break-in. The Scottsdale Police said it would be at least a few hours. They suggested I make an appointment for the next day since it wasn’t an urgent matter. (I had no idea when the crime was committed.)

The next morning I took care of business: grooming for the dog, and hair and nail appointments for me, and called my insurance agent who informed me my deductible was only $500 on my home insurance.

I was home by three to meet the police officer; He arrived at four. He took my report and looked around. As we looked at the arcadia door in my bedroom, I realized I hadn’t put the Plexiglas piece in the doggie door, which is quite small.

“Could the burglar have put his arm through the doggie door and used a tool to open the arcadia door?” I asked.

“Very possible,” he replied.

I promised myself to put the Plexiglas in when I left for the cabin.

“Is my alarm difficult to circumvent?” I asked.

He said, “I wouldn’t know anything about that.”

I inferred, perhaps correctly, perhaps incorrectly, that the system was easy to break through. Otherwise, wouldn’t he have said, “It’s hard to beat the alarm.”

The police office called in the Crime Scene Unit who tried to take fingerprints from the wall mount for the bedroom television and the cable box in the kitchen. There were no usable fingerprints.

After they left, I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner. Several people had recommended Uncle Sal’s, an Italian restaurant and bar on the corner of Hayden and Osborn Roads. It’s claim to fame was great food and that it was formerly owned by Sammy the Bull. It was crowded, it being Friday night, but I found a seat at the bar, where the entrees were half the price of the same ones served in the restaurant side. I ordered seared scallops for $9.95 and it came with a salad. I also ordered a Michelob Light.

The man on the next bar stool started chatting with me. He looked about my age. Soon into the conversation he let me know he had a cabin in Pine. He wasn’t there because he had to work on Saturday, but he would head up to join his wife after work. The conversation was on trivial matters but it passed the time while I waited for and ate my scrumptious meal.

I signaled the bartender for the check. Then I felt something on my thigh. Thinking it was a chance encounter, I moved my bar stool a bit away from the gentleman to whom I’d been talking. The bartender brought the tab and I paid in cash.

I again felt a hand on my thigh.

I looked at the guy next to me and said, “Are you hitting on me?”

“Yes,” he said. “Doesn’t it feel good?”

“But you’re married!” I blurted.

“Yes,” he said, “but I’m honest about it.”

I gave him one of my principal stares and said sharply, “I don’t do married men!” I got up and left immediately.

 

I went to a nearby 99 cent store and bought a cartful of stuff for $15.00 and felt better. I figured that was the end of a weird day. But I was wrong.

 

At home I set the alarm, I put on a night shirt and settled into bed with my two dogs. I read until I was sleepy. I turned out the light and fell fast asleep. My dogs woke me up with a cacophony of barks. I ran to the kitchen window and looked outside on my front patio. There were five men in dressed in police navy blue with Kevlar vests, guns and a rifle. And what did I do, trusting soul that I am? I opened the door, which immediately set off my alarm. It took me a few minutes to enter the new code and I was worried I’d awakened the whole condo complex.  In my defense, I should mention this was not the first time I had seen such a sight. Last November Maricopa County Probation Officers, similarly dressed, knocked on my door at 10:30 at night, looking for my son who had missed two court appearances. I assumed it was the same guys.

I told the five men I would open the door as soon as I put a robe on. Do I have a summer robe? No. I had to put on a winter polar fleece robe. I felt hot and sticky as soon as I tied the belt securely.

Thus modestly attired, I let the men in. They seemed to know all about my son. He had again skipped a court appearance and there was a warrant out for his arrest. We talked for a little while. I asked them if they wanted to see the stuff that my son had stored in my garage. They looked at it and then out onto the front patio.

One of the men said, “We have something to ask you.”  He hesitated. Then he said, “Would you be willing to call your son and get him here so we can take him in peaceably so no one gets hurt?”

“Let me think about that,” I said. As I was pondering the situation, I glanced at one of the guy’s shirt. It said, “U. S. Army.”

“Are you from the Army? What does that have to do with my son?”

The men looked uncomfortable. The leader said, “Only he’s in the Army.”

This aroused my suspicions. I examined the badges they wore around their necks. They looked just like the one I’d seen on the Scottsdale police officer that afternoon. I peered closer and realized these guys were not from the probation or police department, they were bounty hunters from the bail bond company!

“Get out!” I roared. They left right away.

I went inside and started to shake. An alarm is only as smart as the person using it. I had de-alarmed my house and let in five armed men! Without checking their credentials. I felt so stupid.

The next morning I worked out with a friend. Afterward we went to a bagel place. I saw three Phoenix police officers and approached them. I related my story. “Should I have called 9-1-1?”

“Yes,” one of them replied. “The dispatcher would know if the people at your door are police. Did you pay for your son’s bai9l?”

“No.” I said.

“If you had,” the police officer onti9nued, “the bail bond company would have had the right to knock down your door without your permission.”

Later I check with a neighbor. He hadn’t heard my alarm when I set it off.

Filling out the insurance papers was easy but the payout was very small. And it’s been a hassle trying to get checks for my new account, getting used checks paid and arranging for my automatic deposits to go into the new account. I am re-thinking whether I want to keep my alarm service.

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “Freaky Friday”

  1. Jen Says:

    Annie! What a terrible day!! If you got the name of the guy at the bar, can you use it for a rotten character? :o) Or tell the bondsmen that’s where you think your son is, at that guy’s house :o)) I like that idea . . . I hope this means you’re burning through some rotten-guy karma but fast . . . are you in town for a while? Wanna do lunch again sometime??

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