I had my children and my wife packed in my car. We were just returning from a weeklong trip to Lake Tahoe where we had done some camping, water skiing, and fishing. The only thing any of us had really caught was poison ivy and sunburns but we had still enjoyed ourselves overall. We arrive home on Saturday morning. I was due to be back on duty the next day so I was looking forward to a little sleep in a real bed before I had to return. When I was about to pull into the drive I noticed that the kitchen door was open.
I cautiously drove the car up the street just beyond the driveway. My wife didn't question because she too had seen the door. "Stay here," I told her. "Try to keep the kids quiet. Boys I want you to be real quiet now. Daddy has to go to work a little sooner than I planned to."
"Be careful Kent", my wife said, with a look of trepidation in her eyes.
"I always am," I replied.
I unlocked the glove compartment and took out my 9mm Glock. I opened the door of the car and got out, shutting it very quietly. "Call 9-1-1," I told my wife. “Have them advise responding units that I am entering and need backup."
"Okay," Carla replied "and Kent, I love you."
"I love you too," I said as I began my approach toward the house.
The first 200 feet was the easy part because there were dozens of things to duck behind. The last 100 feet though would be a different story because it was virtually wide open. I had insisted that my wife and I buy a home that had good visibility to make it less tempting to criminals and easier to defend if need be. Now I was regretting that decision! My training told me that the best way to deal with the situation was to wait for the black and whites to arrive. However, when one's house is at stake it becomes personal and you lose sight of your objectivity. So, I did what my training told me to do if I couldn't wait for back up and ran to the part of the house less likely to be seen from inside. The place less likely to be seen from my current position was fortunately also the closest and I could run across the space in less than 4 seconds. I put my back to the wall and dropped my hands in front of me, removing the safety from my weapon. Then I took a small compact mirror that I had picked up that morning when we were packing, thank God for women and make-up, and held it up to give me a view of the porch with the kitchen door. Seeing nothing I hunched down to be under the window ledge of the living room window and began making my way toward the door. I saw the black and whites pull up in front of my car and out of sight so I waited for the patrols to back me up. I didn't bother looking back toward them as I knew what they would be doing. One was making his or her way to take up a position on the backside of the house. The other one was making his or her way to my position. I kept my weapon trained on the door until I felt the officer slip in behind me. Without looking at the officer I began making my way up the steps as the officer came up behind me. When we got to the top of the steps and away from the window I pressed my back against the wall. I looked at the officer and she nodded her head and raised her weapon, indicating that she had me covered as I entered the kitchen. I heard noise in the back and we began to slowly edge our way back there. It made me very angry to have to tip toe through my own home but I didn't want the perpetrator to know anybody else was in the house. I certainly didn't want them to know the police were in the house. it was almost laughable though. Of all the places this clown or these clowns could have picked to burglarize, they had picked the house of the chief of detectives for the county sheriff's office! Idiots! Of course, nobody ever accused criminals of being smart. If they were smart they'd make an honest living. I watched as my new temporary partner placed herself against a wall outside the hallway leading to the room in question. I was still in the kitchen but the kitchen wall was the adjoining wall to the hallway. The patrol officer was a few feet ahead of me in her current position so I nodded for her to begin the approach down the hallway. Just as she and I stepped into the hallway we heard on of the perpetrators talking. "I wonder what’s in this lock box Art," he asked.
'I don't know Tom," Art answered as he rounded the corner and saw us. "Five-O Tom," Art yelled as my partner grabbed him, slamming him against the wall.
Tom did the one thing I had hoped he wouldn't do and ran out the door I knew the third officer would not be covering. "I've got this one," the patrol officer said.
That was all I needed to hear. I left her to complete the arrest of Art and I took after off after Tom. He was only about 20 yards ahead and I was certain I could catch him. I was certain he had no weapons or he wouldn't have run but I stopped at the door and peered out quickly before going out.
"Chief Detective in foot pursuit...," I heard the patrol officer's voice tapering off as I took after Tom. I saw a flash of his neon green safety vest as he made his way across my neighbor's yard. Again, I had to ask myself where these guys were when God was handing out brains because they had certainly missed the awards ceremonies! "Amateurs," I said to myself as I began chasing Tom across my neighbor's yard. I heard the other officer's footsteps as he came around the front of my house and began making his way to assist me. I motioned for him to cover the street in case Tom decided to come dodging out someplace. I continued to give foot pursuit. In no time, I was less than 50 yards from Tom and closing fast. I was yelling for him to stop, which I knew was useless but the defense attorneys would rip us apart if we didn't. Tom ran across another neighbor's yard and turned to run down the length of their double wide. When he got to the other end of the house a snow shovel came flying around the corner hitting him square in the face with a thud. His head stopped its forward momentum and the rest of his body kept going, resulting in his landing on his back with another thud. "Now that's got to hurt," I thought to myself as I ran up to him.
My neighbor, Mr. Pendleton was standing there with his shovel still at ready. "You can put your shovel down now Terry," I told him. "He isn't going anywhere but jail, or maybe the ER and then jail."
"I'll sue your old man," Tom yelled at Terry as I rolled him over onto his belly and arrested him. "You aren't suing anybody," I told him. "He assisted me in arresting you during the commission of a crime. You could never find a lawyer to take it and if you did find one you'd never convince a jury you didn't get what you had coming. Now shut up or I'll gag you."
The other patrol officer came running up Terry's rather lengthy driveway to see if I needed any assistance. By the time, he got there I had Tom handcuffed and was patting him down for weapons or anything else illegal. I found my wife's mother's gold necklace and bracelet in his pocket. "You're lucky I caught you," I told him. "If my wife had caught you and found these in your pocket, you wouldn't be going to jail. You'd be going to the morgue. These were her mother's. Her mother died two years ago."
"Is that supposed to make me feel bad," Tom asked.
"You have the right to remain silent," I said. "I wish you'd use it. You have the right to an attorney..."
"Yeah, yeah," Tom said. "I know my rights."
I was going to tell the officer to get the piece of @*&^ out of there but before I did I checked his remaining pocket. I felt something and knew what it was before I even removed it from his pocket. "Please tell me you have what goes in this pipe as well as the pipe," I said. "I'd so love to add possession to the charge. If you have enough I can make it trafficking. I pulled the pipe from his pocket and when I did a bag fell out with it. "What do we have here Officer," I asked the patrol officer as I picked the bag up. I opened it and found that it not only had enough rocks in it to charge him with possession but it also had enough in it to charge him with trafficking. "Get this punk out here," I said. "Book him on burglary, trafficking, and anything else that comes to mind."
"You got it boss," the officer said. "Maybe I'll charge him with stupidity as well!"
I am a 55-year-old widowed man who has been writing and telling stories most of my life. I was raised and currently still live in the Appalachian Foothills of West Virginia. I believe I was born to write. I hold an associate degree in Dependency Disorder Technology and have published four books and multiple stories in my life time. I am an award-winning poet as well.