We used to have a neighbor (Mrs. Across theStreet) who seemed to call the cops at every observed deviation from her ideal. We joked that the police would take their time when being called to our street as they were called there for every little thing. This included my son hitting the “pokie balls” at the nearby light post with his baseball bat.
I thought of her last night, as I was awakened by an unfamiliar car parked across from my house with its engine running and musical base rattling my windows and sending alarm through my every synapse. It was just shy of 2am and just over a week since my next door neighbor’s house was broken into. On top of that, the reports of break-ins, thefts, and the other have seemed to be in the rise in my emails from the not-so-helpful Nextdoor app. Although I was unable to identify the type of car loitering outside now, I did know that it was similar enough to the car seen leaving my neighbors house with the carload of hooligans.
As I stood there, I scanned the neighborhood for movement but saw nothing. I went downstairs and tried to get a better look. I checked all of the locks and turned on the porch light. Then I returned to my bedroom window to watch. I googled non-emergency police, called the number but, upon hearing a recording, hung up. I watched, and waiting, watched, and waited….and prayed they would just leave. But they didn’t. I finally returned to bed and tried to return to sleep. Of course, I couldn’t. With every sound, I bounded back out of bed and to the window, clutching my phone at the ready. Until just after 3am, the sound I heard was a car alarm. I couldn’t tell, but I think it was their car. The car doors were open and the two hooded guys put something in the trunk than got back inside. The alarm was still going and they were not moving. Scanning the area, there was nothing in sight out of the ordinary.
I called 9-1-1 anyway.
As much as I was afraid of being “that neighbor”, always falsely calling for help, I didn’t want to be the neighbor that ignored the strange car only to find out that someone nearby was getting robbed or worse. The cops came out, talked to the guys briefly, then drove away. I returned to bed but still couldn’t sleep. I got up and looked outside; the car was gone. About 20 minutes later, I heard the car alarming about 5 houses further down the street. Around 4am, I finally fell back to sleep.