Guess I’m not as observant as I thought…

It was quiet in my house this morning, the only sound the clicking of my keyboard. The sun hadn’t come out yet, hidden by coastal clouds and I hadn’t glanced outside.  I had heard children walking to school along the street as they do every morning and paid it no attention. I needed to get some work done.

Then at 10:30 this morning, I glanced outside. Expecting the quiet solitude that comes when the kids are in class and the neighbors are off to their jobs, I was shocked to see my neighbor standing in front of my house with a black and white patrol car next to him. I jumped up and ran to the door to find three more patrol cars parked along my street. I walked out to my neighbor and noticed the police officers had surrounded his house, but had kept their distance. One officer was standing in my driveway.

“What’s going on?” I asked, excited for the activity, but shocked to see it so close to my own home. Apparently as I sat typing away, oblivious to the outside world, someone had broken into my neighbor’s front window. My neighbor had come home and alerted police when he noticed the screen had been removed and the window forced open.

Another patrol car rushed up and produced a K-9 that was thrilled to jump out of the car. I watched intently as the police approached the door and announced their presence to anyone that could be in the house. I watched as they unlocked the door and allowed the dog to lead them in.

The police responded quickly, were thorough in their search and didn’t mind that I watched from my front yard. (I didn’t take notes, but considered it). The K-9 emerged, looking just a bit sadder than when he entered and off the officers went. One stayed to take a report, but the rest were off to take another call or cruise the neighborhood.

I realized I was so very close to a crime, but had no idea it had taken place. The house was quiet, yet I hadn’t heard anything amiss. The neighborhood looked deserted and I wondered what if the burglar had chosen my home instead? While I was typing away in my office, oblivious to the world.

Stay safe everyone.

Born in La Mirada, California, Melissa M. Garcia has lived most of her life in the sometimes gritty, but always entertaining landscape that is Southern California. She graduated from California State University in Long Beach with a degree in English/Literature. Garcia is the author of the Luc Actar crime series (including Falling Angels and Chasing Demons) and the Death Valley Mystery series (Stranger: A Death Valley Mystery). She has also published an e-book collection, Faith Departed: Short Stories of Mystery, Crime, and Despair.

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