My neighbors, WonderAccountant and Man of WonderAccountant, were just settling into their pew at church this morning when their cell phone jangled. Embarrassed, she was about to shut it off but noticed the call was coming in from ADT, their burglar alarm company. Someone — not them — had opened a back door.
Now they jump up and race back home, whilst ADT calls the cops.
During the 20 or 30 minutes it takes for the cops to show up after they arrive home, they ascertain that the would-be intruder has bent back a window screen in an apparent effort to enter there but has also opened the side door to the garage.
While these shenanigans are under way (unbeknownst to me), Ruby the Corgi goes absolutely freaking BATSH!T CRAZY.
Annoyed and bored (batsh!t is not an unusual state of mind for this damn dog), I get out a butcher knife and patrol the property. I do not bother digging out the pistol, perceiving this as something not worth that much trouble.
I don’t see anything around the Funny Farm’s Back Forty, but when I go out in front do spot Man of WonderAccountant stalking up the front sidewalk, trailed by WonderAccountant herself…who is not the type given to stalking.
M of WA explains the circumstances.
Time passes. We think the perps could be in the house, but the cops having been called and supposedly on their way, I refrain from exhuming my Ruger.
However, on reflection I do realize that Ruby’s frenzy has been to a large degree focused on my next-door neighbor’s house, not on the WAs’ house across the street. It occurs to me that the perp could have fled into Terri’s house or yard.
I now pick up the phone, call 911, and say we’re STILL WAITING for the cops to show up and we believe the perps to be in one of the houses that a frenzied dog is pointing out. Man of WA suggests I hide the saber, lest the cops show up unexpectedly and get scared. I stash it under the bougainvillea branches.
While we’re still trying to make the 911 operator understand WTF we’re talking about (she still hasn’t gotten the picture, despite our having said we believe the perps could be inside a residence), a pair of officers finally glide up the street.
Unperturbed, they walk into the house; ascertain that no, indeed, there are no perps inside there, and then go away.
Yeah. Just another day in lovely uptown Phoenix.
This is the second time that house has been hit since the WonderAccountants moved in there. First time, their son came home from high school one afternoon to find the front door hanging open and a stray dog reclining on the living room sofa.
He called his mom and said, “Did we get a dog?”
She said, “Huh?” and flew home.
The original windows installed in these 1971 houses are secured (not!) with rubbery weather-stripping. All you have to do is prize an end loose with a flat-head screwdriver, pull it off, and then gently lift out the pane of glass. Et voilà! You’re in: no fuss, no muss, no broken glass.
Their response was not to replace the windows and install security doors with hardened deadbolts (as I did after the garage invasion episode), but instead to install a burglar alarm system and sheets of plastic window covering that protect the glass from being broken easily.
The burglar alarm, apparently, worked. Although the burglars did open the back door, they evidently did not proceed into the house, or if they did, they left before the cops showed up.
They had plenty of time to clean out the place before our boys arrived, so that suggests the alarm scared them off before they could get down to work.
I figure they must have jumped the back wall into the yard. Our other neighbor’s son, Noah, was tossing a basketball around the front yard at the time the caper was coming down, so he would have seen them if they’d come in the front. The alleys make it easy to access any yard in the ‘hood — and that house is appealing because even though it’s on the corner, the alley curves around the back so that if you’re messing around behind the wall, you can’t be seen from the street. Anyone who’s snuffling around my back wall is visible from the street and sidewalk. To say nothing of audible to two very loud-mouthed little dogs.
So you see why, every now and then, I revisit the possibility of taking another German shepherd as a room-mate. Sometimes it almost looks reasonable…