So, what do most burglars do when breaking into a house? Yes, they start stealing things, right?
And if they become aware of the home owner returning home, what do they do? Hopefully, they leave quickly!
But that’s not what happened when a man in Portland, OR, broke into a home there. Instead of going for the family silver, he went for – the shower! And in the process of showering, he somehow became aware of the woman who lived there returning home. So, what did he do next?
Well, you’ve probably already figured out this guy is not your normal type of home invader. Instead of hiding, or running away, he – yes, he dialled 911 and asked the police to help, for fear of what the woman might do if she discovered him, dripping wet and buck naked, in her shower. For whatever reason (and hopefully correctly) he feared she might have a gun, and apparently, whether armed or not, she had one or possibly two angry German Shepherds with her.
For full details of this puzzling crime, read this report. You might want to listen to the audio transcript of the various 911 calls placed by both the burglar and the home owner, too, for extra laughs.
But if you do listen to the audio – and you should – you’ll notice one other thing. Here’s the scene : Inside the house is the burglar, perhaps still in the shower. Outside the house, on the porch by the front door, is the woman, her youngish daughter, and a growing number of neighbors.
The woman wants to go in the house to get a coat, because she is cold standing outside on her porch. The 911 operator sensibly manages to persuade her not to go back inside.
And then the first police car arrives. But what does the policeman do? Get this : He waits in his car for backup to arrive, waiting until it is ‘safe’ for him to go up to the porch. The 911 operator is quite happy to have the woman, her daughter, and various neighbors standing on the porch, but the police officer will not approach them or the house until he has backup.
Does that sound right to you?
Let’s think in general terms about this as well. What would you do if you returned home to encounter a burglary in process?
The correct thing to do is – assuming no-one else near or dear to you is inside the house – to immediately leave your premises, and retreat to a safe location where you can observe, and call the police. But if you have loved ones inside and at risk, you’ve got some hard decisions to make; hard decisions we’ll talk about another time.
If the burglar leaves, don’t intercept him, and have no contact with him. Keep your distance and allow him to safely depart the scene.
Still stay out of your property though – no so much because the police don’t want you disturbing ‘the evidence’ (sadly, and depending on where you live and what happened, the police may not do much at all in terms of fingerprinting or in any other way doing ‘detective’ stuff) but rather for fear that there may still be other burglars inside. Have the police check out your property for you before going back inside yourself.
Remember – you don’t want to corner a wild animal, and neither do you want to corner a criminal. You’re not paid to do these things. Leave such dangerous actions to those who are. And even they won’t do it without backup.