| I came home from work about 6:30 or sooner, in the dark, two days before Thanksgiving. There was a strange sedan in the driveway, no one in it. For some reason I was afraid to get close and look inside. The motion lights weren't working at the time, and it was too dark to read the license plate. I rushed inside and locked the door. I turned on the outside lights.
I went up the stairs of our split level foyer, which was lit from the outside lights. I went across the living room and turned on the kitchen light. Dad always keeps flashlights there so that he can read the thermostat or have one handy for power failures. His great grandchildren had been visiting Sunday and played with them, running the batteries down. None were good enough to go out and look at the license plate. I had my cellphone in my pocket. Then I heard a noise, but I thought it was coming from the front door. So I went down the steps, hoping it was my niece from out of state showing up for Thanksgiving. But no one was there. This time I opened the garage door to see if there was light in there. No light was on downstairs either. But I stopped as I went up the stairs and screamed my brother's name. He lives in another town, but maybe he had a new car and was napping.
I headed up and back to the kitchen again, when some guy popped out of my dad's bedroom down the hallway just before the kitchen. I stopped. He stopped and stared. I could see he was young.
I'm an idiot, okay. I never planned or rehearsed this situation. I got angry. I said loudly, "Who the hell are you?"
He wobbled across the hall to another doorway, acting like he was doped or slightly drunk. "I'm his nephew".
He was nobody's nephew. I was stunned, I supposed. I just stared as he walked closer to me.
"What are you doing here?" I was calm, but ticked.
He kept coming towards me slowly, wobbly. "I just came to check on him." He was smiling.
"Check on who?"
"You called his name."
I'd had enough. I blew the calm encounter. "You don't belong here." I think this is where I reached out and touched him on the arm. "I'm calling the police.
He went past me, into the kitchen, through the dining room where I couldn't see him, and into the living room, while I went for the phone in the kitchen. I don't know why I forgot about the cell phone.
He went down the steps, but instead of going out the front door, which he could have easily unlocked from the inside, he went back downstairs. He went out the back door, which I later discovered he had kicked in.
911 answered on the first ring. I talked as I walked the same path down the steps as the intruder. I know he was still in the house, when I said into the phone, "There's an intruder in the house with me right now." I heard my voice shaking for the first time.
I made a few steps to the laundry room and saw the door ajar. I retreated to the front door and quickly went outside, but I was too late. The car was gone. I never heard it so I suspect now that someone may have been inside, ducked down, and started the motor while I was inside.
The police responded quickly and did a thorough check. We think we know who did it. When my dad showed up half an hour later, I told him what the guy looked like, and he knew it was the helper to a tree trimmer he had used a month before.
The bottom line is that he didn't get much. He'd had a gift bag in his hands. It may have been Dad's, or he might have come in with it. He didn't expect mch with such a small bag, if it was his. I knew when I saw it, that he had filled it up with our stuff. It turns out he found a small jar of coins, maybe $20-$40. I did find a dime on the ground on the passenger side where the car had been parked. I had swept the driveway only a few days before, so it was newly dropped. Dad and I don't park that far away from the house.
We think we're being targeted, or my Dad is, because he's elderly. This is our second burglary in two months, and we believe the same guy did both. I just caught him red-handed. I'm lucky he didn't put up a fight and was unarmed. But I believe we will all see more crime.