Sunday, August 07, 2005

To Protect & Serve

12:56am Sunday morning, I've been in bed asleep for almost two hours and there's a thump on my front door. I figure it's the girl next door with one of her "guess what happened to me" stories, because that happens every so often.
So, I climb out of bed throw a towel around me and go to the door... through the peephole I see two uniformed Austin Police officers. WTF?
Open the door and had a flashlight shined on me briefly (the apartment was dark- as I was asleep- and god knows what a man in a towel might be concealing) and had the following conversation.

Officer Helpful: Are you (knine)?
me: Yes, yes I am.
OH: You own the grey Jeep downstairs? (this means they had to run my plates to identify the car and get my apartment number)
me (wairily): Yeah...
OH: Did you know you have some items in your vehicle that might be stolen?
me: Wha... Huh? What are you talking about?

-I live in a gated community in a nice section of north Austin, my Jeep was parked in my covered, (but open) well lit parking space in front of my building... where I have lived for four years and parked the Jeep for the year since I bought it.

OH: We were patroling the area and noticed your top was down and there is a CD player laying right out in the open. (between the seats, not visible from another car... they had to get out and walk over to see it)
me (a little testily): It's a $39 Wal-mart CD player.
OH: There's some other stuff in there too, like a camera. (a $20 kodak pocket camera... in my passenger side door pocket)

-Now, there's a rod and reel strapped to the roll bar that they never mentioned, which means they were more interested in the interior of my Jeep. This bothers me a little, now that I've had time to think about it.

me: Grunt... (rubbing my eyes) What is this about?
OH: Leaving items in the open like that makes you a target for thieves. (and apparently APD officers)
me: Huh? Yeah... I guess.
OH: Well, if you don't care if they get stolen... Have a good night.

And they walk off into the night, with me staring after them, for the first time ever not knowing what to say.

So, now I'm awake. I pull on a pair of jeans and walk down to my Jeep. No police, nobody around, one car pulling in to the other end of the lot from, I guess, a night out. Everything's still in there. What the Hell...

So I call 311 (the non-emergency number) at 1:30am to find out what's going on. The person on the other end of the line was very nice, I can't say that I was, but he told me that there was no activity in my area. (whatever that means)

I called my complex today to see if they requested a drive through. Nope. Not standard policy.

This ever happen to anyone else out there? Ever? Please let me know. I do have to say both officers were very polite, considering my sleep addled responses, and it's good to see my tax dollars at work in a nice quiet gated community in a good part of town.



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