First the facts…the word floating around town was that there were over thirty break-ins over the holidays. The police have announced that there have actually only been twenty-four reported break-ins. So already I feel safer. (So already I feel safer?)
Other facts: mostly jewelry was stolen. Yes, some Oreos. And in one case, seven bars of Irish Spring soap. No electronics, no firearms, no alcohol, none of the Christmas presents wrapped under all the trees.
The police announced all this at a recent community meeting, held on the neighborhood green, which I left feeling like I had just stumbled in and out of a Twilight Zone episode. Which episode? Any of them, I guess.
The police chief told the crowd of nearly fifty that the thief is most likely “one of us” and could even be there at the meeting. I had momentary visions of the Salem witch trials–neighbors turning on each other, fingers pointing, the gallows being readied right there in the middle of the green, hastily assembled from nearby benches. Luckily, my neighbors all had cooler heads than that.
My own theory is that the criminal is a college kid, who was home for the holidays and needed some cash. Gambling debts? It was either steal his neighbors’ jewelry or have his kneecaps broken? Or maybe he wanted to woo his girlfriend with an awesome Christmas present? The police estimate that the total value of all the goods stolen is about $31,000. That could buy a nice iPod and a few accessories. (Of course, why not just steal some of the doubtless countless iPod-shaped presents that were under everybody’s Christmas trees?)
At any rate, in our own household we were lucky. Or just a plain waste of the thief’s time. We can’t find anything missing. We don’t have many valuables, but it’s not like we don’t have any. Surely the crook could have found something worthwhile to steal after going to all the trouble to break in? Truth be told, I feel a little dissed. Like somehow I wasn’t good enough to rob.
The American dream lives on…