Wednesday, 29 March 2017

We had an intruder

on the premises yesterday. 
I had been out and came home to discover a strange bicycle propped up against the carport roller door. A visitor for the Senior Cat? 
I didn't recognise the bike.It was old and not in terribly good condition. 
The front door was open but I assumed the Senior Cat had opened it to a visitor. I went in. He was sitting there alone drinking a cup of tea. No, there was nobody else there.
Then he said, "There's someone down the back - going round the side."
I went out the front door, still expecting to see someone we knew. Then I saw a small blue bag I recognised as the bag I use if I need to take lunch somewhere. It had been dropped behind the brick pillar of the carport and, on the other side, there was a movement. Someone was hiding there.
It wasn't someone I recognised. Thin, wiry, dark, nervous - and angry, very angry with me. I had frightened him. He had knocked on the front door. He was "just doing a house-to-house". In ordering him off the premises I was being "rude". There was "no need to be like that".  I shouted loudly. He pushed past me and got his bike and then, unbelievably, came back on the bike and demanded I show him the notice on the front door which says, quite politely, "Please do not knock." It is intended for all canvassers. It is an officially supplied notice. 
I showed him and snarled, "Now get out!"
By this time our neighbours across the way had heard the noise. One of them had come out to see what was going on. (He told me later, "You sound distressed.")
He saw the intruder ride off. His wife came out and phoned the police. 
The police were there within a few minutes. They were already searching for him - at least, they were searching for someone on a bicycle who had broken into a house in a neighbouring suburb earlier in the afternoon.
The Senior Cat sat there looking pale and shaken. He doesn't go down for his afternoon nap with his hearing aids in so he hadn't heard anything. He had left the back door open. (I had locked the front door on my way out.) I was shaking with fury and upset for the Senior Cat.
I gave a statement to the policeman who arrived. He was nice enough not to growl at the Senior Cat for leaving the back door open. When I had to say, "Sorry, I can't tell you that" to a couple of the questions he asked about the intruder's appearance and actions he didn't get annoyed but actually said, "That's all right. I'd much rather you said that than made something up."
We both agreed that taking in details under stress is not easy - and that the rules of "political correctness" make it more complex to describe someone.
Forensics arrived - and got nothing. If I hadn't opened the screen door to get inside they might have but, as we all agreed, how was I to know. 
And Mr Nasty Intruder didn't get away with anything. He had put the small tin in which I keep loose change into the lunch bag along with a $5 note but he left it behind. He also left behind greasy marks on the carpet and a mess.
The neighbours came over to check. The doctor one looked carefully at the Senior Cat and later sent a message for me to come and get her if he didn't seem to recover from the shock. Our Chinese neighbours came in to check after the forensic vehicle had gone. No, they hadn't seen anything. Middle Cat arrived unexpectedly and helped to calm the situation. 
I eventually got everyone out and started thinking about things like the Senior Cat's evening meal. I also thought about something else. We have good neighbours, very good neighbours.
We've been lucky, very lucky.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very very lucky - especially in your neighbours and other people. Unlucky to have had a nasty experience but lucky it was not worse. LMcC

Melodye Traupel said...

I am glad that you and Senior Cat are both ok. What a frightening experience. It is horrible to have your home violated like that. I hope the police will catch your intruder.
USA Sister Cat

virtualquilter said...

Cat,

So glad both you and your father are OK, but sad that you had to go through that.

southern gal said...

OMG. So glad you and Senior Cat are unharmed physically. Thank goodness for your good neighbors. Perhaps an alarm system ?

kristieinbc said...

Oh my goodness! What an awful thing to have happen. It will probably take you a few days to fully recover from the upset. And personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with fully describing an intruder to the police. Ethnic origin is just as important as height and eye colour when trying to find a criminal. I'm glad things have turned out okay, and that you have such wonderful neighbours. I feel especially bad for your poor father.

jeanfromcornwall said...

I'm so sorry you both had to go through this. Hoping you will be able to regain your equilibrium, and put it behind you.
Knit - it is soothing!

Jodiebodie said...

I'm so sorry to read that you had an intruder. Some of these people are so brazen.

A colleague of mine was home during a weekday in a suburb where most of the homes are empty while their occupants are off working elsewhere. My friend was resting quietly at home when he heard whistling in the carport. Then he heard a whistle in reply from the other side of the house. Two young people (a male and female) were 'casing the place' and using bird calls to disguise their communications. My friend went to investigate and caught one at the back of the house and just as he was taking off, the other came around the other back corner, saw my friend then ran off as well.

I am glad that neither you or senior cat were physically assaulted and hope that not too much was taken. It is a worry that thieves will try to rob homes even when the occupant is there. Police advise to keep doors locked even when you are home. It is so easy for opportunistic thieves to enter through one end of the house while the occupants are at the other. I am still trying to get this message through to one of my children who is notorious for not closing and locking doors. Maybe a read of your story will help to convince them of the necessity to be careful with security, even when one is at home.

How awful for you to have had a break-in. I hope the police catch the thief.