Bunch of Savages in this Town

Randall and Dante from “Clerks” Strange things are afoot in Haddonfield lately. Starting with the events of earlier this year, and continuing as of late, I’m wondering if it might not be time to move.

Now, we’ve had somebody breaking into cars all around town. Well, ‘breaking in’ might be harsh – he was simply finding open cars and then taking whatever he could find. He hit two cars on our street last Saturday night, and from what I gather from reports in the police blotter, about 20 other cars throughout town. And he wasn’t just grabbing change (although he was doing that, too): he got away with Ray-ban sunglasses, multiple iPods, a laptop, cell phones, a Coach briefcase and more. I’m not sure why so many people leave their cars unlocked in this town, but it definitely made for a target-rich environment.

On Wednesday morning, as I was walking to work, I found a cell phone in our yard. Not on the edge where you would expect it if someone had dropped it getting out of their car, but near our fence, about 4m away from the curb. I remember my first thought being that it was probably dropped from a car and then – suddenly – thinking that it seemed like it had actually been chucked. It turns out that I was right, although I wouldn’t know it for a while.

I did what most normal people would do and tried to find a name or number in the phone. No luck. So I started calling names in the fairly limited phone book – all voicemails, so I finally left a message on the last one. Then someone from the list called the phone (but I missed the call). Calling that number back, I tried to explain:

“Hi, my name is Marty and I found this phone in my yard. I couldn’t find a number so I’d been calling the names in the phone book, and saw that you called. Can you let whomever’s number this is know that I have their phone…”

It turns out that the guy, who we’ll call Bill ’cause that was his name, said the phone belonged to his cousin. After getting the story from me again, I asked if he wanted me to call her or if he wanted to do it. He said he’d do it, understandably, and I got a call back from her a few minutes later. I explained where I’d found the phone and she was understandably confused, until I put it together – her phone had been stolen. I let her know about the break-ins, and stayed with her on the phone as she went out to her car. Sure enough, her car had been burglarized. After a few choice – but lady-like words – we made arrangements for me to drop the phone off on the walk home since she lived literally 1.5 blocks away.

When I got there, she was very appreciative of getting her phone back. I also got more of the story; it turns out that four cars on her street had been burglarized, as had a couple on the next street over. But the good news – they caught the guy, and got him red-handed, still with some of the ‘loot’ in his bag. They could easily identify several of the items and he’s going to get charged with about 3 dozen counts of burglary, which should be enough to put him away for a while – AND almost everyone will get their stuff back. And I got to do a good deed, although it’s interesting how he stole the phone and then just tossed it away.

It felt good to hear somebody get nailed and know that I helped in a very, very, very small way. But it’s all in a day’s work for a
local crime fighter, at least since they won’t let me carry a bat around like like Joe Clark anymore.

Now playing: Everlast – Saving Grace
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One Response to “Bunch of Savages in this Town

  • Wow, that’s terrible. And you’re right, it sure is weird that he bothered to steal the phone and then just threw it away. I’m really glad they caught that punk.

    I leave my car unlocked sometimes around here. I probably shouldn’t, but so far, no problems (knock on wood). But this is a pretty small town.

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