It’s been a while since my last good deed earlier this past summer. But that’s OK, because the good deeds seem to come in groups with quiet gaps in between.
Here’s the story;
Early on a recent Saturday morning I checked on the front yard sprinkler system. The previous day I’d made some adjustments to it for a more efficient spray pattern. After checking on it I went back inside, closing a large six foot gate that blocks access to the side yard and front door. I usually leave it unlocked during the day and I’m glad I did, because if I hadn’t all of the events that transpired later in the day may not have happened.
An hour later a police officer knocked on my door. Notice I wrote, “…he knocked on my door.”, not “…he knocked my door down.” So that’s a good start. While walking to the front door I was regretting not having locked the gate, thinking it was some useless door to door salesman or bible verse peddler. I was all geared up to tell them to fork off. Instead I saw a cop.
And in the words of some movie or TV show character I thought to myself, “I haven’t done anything illegal. …lately.”, so I opened the door and said, “Hello.”
He explained to me that a neighbor down the street, whose house is for sale, had packed up a large amount of their belongings inside a trailer. Some time the previous night or early in the morning the trailer had been stolen. I was aghast.
I’ve had things stolen (a bike), which was caught on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEnQDnpfdhY I’ve had ashholes put dents in my car when it was parked at the grocery store. I’ve even had an ex girl friend steal more than $50K (that’s fifty thousand, not fifty) from me. So I know a bit of how they feel. What makes it worse for them (finding out later when I met them) was there were a lot of personal items, like pictures, wedding gifts, and toys for their 1.5 year old daughter that were in that trailer. That’s a feeling of loss I’ve only experienced on a much smaller scale.
In my sixth grade class at Drake Middle School in Auburn, Alabama, taught by Mrs. Dozier, I brought several models in to put on display for a book report I did. One was a clay ship I made by hand, another was a model of the Eagle Lunar Module that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. Both were vandalized and essentially destroyed by someone during our lunch period. Again, nothing on the scale of loss these people experienced, but it did trigger a flood of feelings for me that ranged from anger to a depressing sense of loss.
The office had noticed I had surveillance cameras and asked me if I had video available going back to the previous day. I told him I did. I also told him because the low canopy of a tree in the front yard there might not be clear video of the street. But I invited him inside the garage, where the surveillance system is, to look at the footage. Initially I used the surveillance system’s monitor, but quickly realized it would be better if we viewed it on a larger screen, so I invited him into the house. Going from a 19 inch flat screen to a 65 inch 4K TV makes a big difference.
He stated that the theft took place between 8:30pm on Friday and 6:30am on Saturday, so it still took us about half an hour to jump through all the footage.
The surveillance system uses motion detection to save disk space and retain video for longer periods of time.