Alan attended our neighborhood watch meeting a couple of weeks ago and came home with all kinds of accounts of good neighbors reporting suspicious activity, resulting in the capture of a number of assorted burglars, robbers and other ne’er-do-wells. The officer in charge of our district encouraged everyone to report any activity that seemed suspicious and reassured them not to think anything was too small.
Armed with this knowledge and confident that as a homeschooling Mom, I stand a good chance of noticing suspicious persons, seeing as how I stare out the window a lot while dictating spelling words, I began my own personal neighborhood watch. The very next morning I noticed a suspicious young man parked across the street, sitting in his car. After about five minutes, I was sure he was up to no good. He was just sitting there eating something, and I had never seen him before. I waited another five minutes while he steadily munched away, took a deep breath and called the appropriate number, feeling like a cross between a journalist finding a hot scoop and Supermom, who was saving the day and making the neighborhood Safe For Children Everywhere.
The lady who answered the phone seemed a little less taken with the information than I was, and asked me if it was possible that the man was simply eating his breakfast. Oh, but I was sure, I said, because I’d never seen him here, and I know there was a gang of men burglarizing homes in our neighborhood that did exactly that – one sat in the car while the others knocked on doors. Was there anyone knocking on my door? Well, no, but maybe they just hadn’t gotten to me yet. She sighed and said she would send someone out.
A few minutes later the man reclined his seat and apparently took a nap. I almost called her back, because, well, people don’t just Take Naps for no reason, now, do they?
After another 20 minutes, I watched breathlessly as the man emerged, opened the back door of his car….. and took out a backpack. He adjusted his glasses, slung the backpack on his back and walked down the street… in the direction of El Camino College. A quick check at the clock confirmed that he would probably arrive there just in time for a 10 a.m. class.
Oh, but if he HAD been up to something, boy howdy, I woulda caught him!