A Thief in the Night

I got up early Thursday morning, around 4 am, to go
to the bathroom. I'd had a restless night so far
and, after doing the necessary, I decided to sit on
the couch and meditate a bit and see if I could calm
things down somewhat before I went back to bed.

I was sitting there about 10 minutes when the front
door intercom buzzer went off.

"Sorry to bother you at this time Mr. Corby. This
is Constable Goodwin. Could you please come down - your
van has been broken into."

Oh shit! Well, so much for calm, peace and quiet.

The first thing Constable Goodwin asked me was if I
owned a socket set. Yes I did. My hear sank. It was
a birthday present - an expensive deluxe set of 200
socket wrenches that I used to fix my van. He also
asked if I owned a set of Bushnell binoculars. Yes I
did. Damn - that was a Christmas present. And then I
noticed the thief had broken the passenger side vent
window in order to get in the van. Now I was awake!

Well, they did have the thief - he was a drug addict
and had Aids - and couldn't quite explain where he
got the socket set and the binoculars. After asking
me some more questions and taking a look around the
van, Constable Goodwin drove off for a bit and then
returned about 10 minutes later. From the back of
his cruiser he pulled out the socket set, that had
obviously fallen open, most of the sockets missing,
and a plastic shopping bag containing the binoculars
and what we hoped was the rest of the sockets and
various wrenches and drivers. He also pulled a strip
of screwdriver bits from his vest pocket. Yep -
those were part of the set.

"Have fun putting the puzzle back together."
He said as he handed them to me.

"Right" I thought - with half the pieces

But now the story gets interesting.

I spent the day getting a new vent window and worked
on putting it in and getting more of the story
together. Turns out that the socket case had opened
up about half a block away scattering sockets all
over and waking one of the tenants in another tower.
The tenant confronted the thief and then the thief
proceeded to try and enter the apartment building.
(You just can't get good competent thieves
nowadays: dropping things, making all this racket,
waking people up, trying to break into a building
while people are watching - I guess that's why
we'll have to send him back to school. ). Rob, another
tenant, who was doing his morning paper route,
happened on the scene and called the Oak Bay police
- who came down to investigate. I gather there was
some sort of chase involved. And then the constable
noticed the broken window on my van and called me.

Rob came by while I was working on the window and as
we're sharing stories it turns out he also found
my hammer, that the thief had stolen, and said that
he'd found two sockets over in front of the bank -
about a block away.

Later, Gordon, who is a contractor working on my
apartment complex, came over with two more sockets
in his hand and said that he'd found them in the
courtyard - I later found out that was where the
chase had ended and the thief had been 'taken

So here was my deluxe 200 piece socket set that had
burst open and had been scattered over the length of
a block. I didn't have very high hopes that it was
all there.

After I finished repairing the window I decided to
tackle the dreaded task of putting the socket set
together and see what I had left. Tiny sockets. ½
inch drive, 3/8 inch drive, 1/4 inch drive - what a
mess. But slowly I managed to sort it out and kept
getting amazed as the pieces came together - until
finally there was only one missing socket left. WOW!
That was pretty good considering all the pieces
involved. I went and looked around where the other
pieces had been found in the hope that something
might have been missed but no luck.

So, one socket short (the socket set - not me.), I
closed the socket case and proceeded to clean up the
rest of the mess. The binoculars had fallen out of
it's case so I went to put them back in the case
but they wouldn't go in - something was preventing the
binoculars from going in. I looked in the case and
there was the last socket! The puzzle was complete!
Now that truly was amazing!

So after all that, $42 for a new vent window, doing
socket set puzzles, a day spent putting it all right
again, and an excuse to clean out and organize my
van (this time I hid all the tools in the back out
of sight under the seat) my world is back on track

However I am left with a desire to have this
particular thief removed from the gene pool.

But then Constable Goodwin would be out of a job and
I wouldn't have a story to tell.

And what's life without a good story.



Being woken in the middle of the night: Annoying

Cost of a new vent window: $42

Spending a day putting all back in order: Wasteful

Getting my complete socket set back, that had been
scattered over a block and had been returned to me
by THREE separate people: Awesome!

Having a good story to tell: Priceless!!!

My thanks to the Oak Bay Police and Constable A.
Goodwin for getting my stuff back - a job well done.

And thanks to Rob and Gordon for their keen eyes.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Copyright©2007 Braden Corby