It’s that time of year again. Spring is in full bloom, weekend festivals are filling the weekends, and everybody knows somebody who knows someone who is getting married! The kids are getting anxious because summer is just around the corner. You’re out there patrolling your beat, thinking about an upcoming vacation, your favorite baseball team, fishing, swimming...
Your radio suddenly cracks bringing you back into reality and you’re dispatched to a residential alarm.
It’s a beautiful, sunny, mid-week, mid-morning, home burglar alarm, and even though you’ve been on hundreds of these calls, you approach with caution — ever mindful that this could be the alarm call that ends up unlike all the rest.
This is one of those true squad room stories that just writes itself. My approach to this two-story cottage style corner house had an intermittent alarm so when I pulled up to the front of the house, I didn’t hear or see anything but birds chirping and squirrels (on crack) playing grab ass with each other. I pulled up near some trees for concealment and exited my patrol car. Gosh, what beautiful day… as I made my way toward the front of the house.
I hadn’t even taken two steps when out of the blue I hear this female voice murmur, “Help me, I’m up here.”
I looked around but didn’t see anything.
I hear the voice again: “Help, I’m up here on the balcony.”
Cue the music, “I’m being followed by a moonshadow” but it wasn’t Cat Stevens’ version.
I looked up and saw a naked woman standing on the outside edge of the balcony holding on to the railing. She was up too high to jump but she looked like she could if she had to. She said she was the homeowner and there were burglars in her house. About that time, the intermittent alarm starts cycling up again.
In the span of five seconds I now have a burglary in progress with a nude homeowner, exposed to the elements, whose safety is in peril. There was no time to blush. I had to do something and I had to do it fast!
Not only did I have other patrol units heading my way to set up a perimeter, I had requested the fire department ladder truck to head my way so we could get Ms. Moonshadow out of harm’s way. Minutes seemed like hours but the fire department finally arrived and got me a ladder. With police cars and fire department on scene, now the neighborhood curiosity had started to generate interest into what was going on.
With the ladder set, the firefighters looked at me like it was my responsibility to get our frantic homeowner down. I said I was “afraid of heights” but they didn’t buy that.
I said, “I wasn’t trained on that piece of equipment,” but the firefighters just continued to stare at me.
Then I said, “I’ll cover you,” as I pointed my gun to a second story window in case a burglar made his way onto the balcony. With that said, a firefighter went up and wrapped a blanket around the Ms. Moonshadow and brought her to safety.
Apparently, she’d been in the shower and heard glass break and someone enter the back door. She said she heard noises in her master bedroom closet, and the only safe place she could get to was her balcony.
Note to self: grab a large towel or bathrobe in the likelihood you have to flee danger.
The house was surrounded, the alarm now turned off... It was time to locate our suspect or suspects. At one time you could hear the house being ransacked so there was definitely someone in the house.
With the first floor cleared all we could determine was that our burglar was hungry. The kitchen was a total mess. The refrigerator door was still open and everything from what looked like leftovers to cereal was tossed all over the counter.
While we were clearing the first floor, I could hear the upstairs shower still turned on. Moonshadow had been in the shower when she heard the alarm so I assumed she left the shower turned on when she bailed out onto the balcony which the neighbors now call the main stage.
As I started toward the stairs, I heard the upstairs shower turn off. Could it be that our burglar was a water conservationist? In all my years in law enforcement, I had never seen a crook that was that into protecting animals, plants and natural resources.
I could hear someone walking around above me from the bottom of the stairs. I yelled out for them to come down with their hands held high in my best Marshall Matt Dillon voice. Suddenly at the top of the stairs was a very large figure. Our suspect came down the stairs and to our surprise, stood another nude female! She was dripping wet from head to toe and every bit of 300 pounds! I radioed for some paper sheets from the paramedics still on scene with the fire department so we could cover up the now handcuffed female Neanderthal!
It didn’t take long to determine our nude Neanderthal was a walk away from a medical center psych ward. Hungry and in need of a meal and a shower... a quick incident report and I was back out on patrol thinking about the nice spring day.