Police Guns or Me with Screwdrivers?
SV Moms Blogger Jill recently posted about the spate of burglaries in Palo Alto and SV Mom Blogger Beth posted these safety tips. I had a recent experience with the Palo Alto police, and wanted to report that they are VERY responsive, so call them immediately if you are even a bit suspicious about an unlocked door or window at your house.
A couple weeks ago, I came home to a front door that was left open, wide open. It was merely ajar after my husband left but I didn't notice. I'm normally hyper-keen to this issue of him forgetting to close the door, so much that when I've left town, I've considered paying the teenager neighbor to check our doors at 10pm each night. The safety of my husband and kids seemed to be worth $5/night.
The day I found our door open, I had been gone for three hours doing my "boogers and glue" volunteer stint in the kids' Kindergarten classroom. I panicked. I knew the wind had opened it fully while I was gone. I envisioned our door acting coy and solicitous like a prostitute in a Western movie drawling, "Yoo Hoo Big Fella! Come shop early for Christmas 2008, Honey. Big screen TVs here!!" or "Easy woman here! No break-in necessary, ya'll!" Then, my mind flashed back to a horrible break-in story. A college friend came home one evening to find a crazy, drugged man
sitting on her bed. Her roommates had left their apartment door open and the man had entered. When my friend entered her bedroom, the man stabbed her multiple times in the chest and eye. He finally stopped, and as she bled nearly to death, she crawled to the phone with barely the strength to dial 911. She says the lighted dialpad on the phone saved her since she could see the numbers in the dark. She survived the attack but is legally blind in the stabbed eye.
With the story of my friend fresh in my mind, I decide to search the house for intruders. I grabbed two screwdrivers from our kitchen counter - I always have tools handy thanks to my DIY husband. Sneaking from room to room and clutching the screwdrivers at shoulder height, my heart started to pound and jump. I realized I was not up to the task. I said to myself, "Hey, dumb-ass, if you are scared enough to be checking the house with screwdrivers in both your hands, you should probably call the police." So, I smartened up and called the Palo Alto police, non-emergency line. I explained the situation and mentioned that I didn't know if police would come in an instance like this. There was no hesitation on the operator's part and she dispatched the police to my house, arriving within 5 minutes of the call.Continued on the next page