We had 14 police cars in the neighborhood last week. The last time we had this much excitement was when the city came through and repaired the sidewalks.
Police cars with flashing lights were parked in the street, across the easements and on yards. It was big. Not as big as the Fourth of July parade, but bigger than the spring bedding plant sale and possibly on a par with the annual garage sale.
An officer said three teens considered violent and suspected in home burglaries east of here, had been stopped at a park for questioning. They sped off leading officers on a wild chase that ended in our neighborhood. Allegedly.
It's all alleged these days. We don't suspect anybody of anything until we hear their alibis, how they weren't really where a dozen witnesses say they were and have had time to talk with their attorneys. Nonetheless, these alleged teens had wrapped an alleged stolen car around an alleged tree and one of them now had an alleged broken arm.
A neighbor who has worked at a news station was feeding details from the officers to the growing crowd of neighbors. It's nice to have connections.
One of the more interesting news bit -- but this one didn't come from the police -- a neighbor to the north was retiring, listing his house and moving with his wife to a small college town. Who knew. We just don't chat like we used to.
A young kid in the crowd claimed he had heard gunshots right after the car crashed, but that was just embellishment -- the sort of hype that comes with any breaking news story. Maybe the kid will have a career in broadcast one day.
Mrs. B, who is now in her late 80s, was circulating and looking well. She had been to the grocery and left Mr. B home alone. She was pretty shaken to see the flashing lights near her house as she drove up thinking something awful had happened to Mr. B. She'd parked her car, hurried home and found Mr. B was fine. Actually Mr. B had the best view on the block from inside their living room.
The police had to knock on the door of the house where the calamity happened and alert the homeowner, who hadn't heard a thing and was a bit surprised to see the alleged third burglar, a female, handcuffed and standing against a police car, also in his front yard.
The crowd began to swell, introductions were made, old friends caught up on home improvement projects, who was now in middle school, and who was away at college.
From time to time, the group paused to monitor the crime scene and calculated the what ifs: what if one of us had been driving down the street when the police chase was coming up the street, what if the neighborhood association hadn't installed speed bumps and what if the house with the getaway car wrapped around the tree in the front yard hadn't had a tree in the front yard?
The alleged burglar with an alleged broken arm was taken away on a stretcher. Maybe it's because police were also unloading loot from the car, but there didn't seem to be much sympathy, alleged or otherwise.
It's always good to get out and catch up with the neighbors.
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