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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oh No, It's The 5-0

It's like the feeling of getting kicked in the stomach. We woke up Saturday to find our garage had been broken into. The only thing missing was Lane 1's bike.

Remember the look on his face when he got the bike?

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Imagine the devastation in his sleepy eyes when he awoke to find it missing. It broke my heart.

Mr. Lane has thousands of dollars of tools that were untouched. My bike and Lane 2's bike were still there. Even the dirt bikes that had the keys in the ignitions both remained in the garage.

My teenager welled up with tears, threw on his coat and shoes and went outside to investigate. Nine inches of fresh snow fell Friday night. Lane 1 found tracks along side of our garage, just out of range of our security light. "It had to be someone young who lives in our neighborhood." I thought.

My boy came back into the house and was holding a footprint embedded in snow that he carefully scooped up.

"This was the only type of print I found by the garage. Put it in the freezer Mom."

He was so serious and upset, I can't tell you how sad I felt for him. At the same time, I couldn't help but smile. His seriousness was beyond adorable. When a boy is 13, there isn't much more he holds near and dear as his bike.

Mr. Lane went one way and Lane 1 went another to comb the neighborhood for more evidence.

Soon, Lane 1 came back with seven neighborhood boys. He showed them the trail of footprints by the garage. Mr. Lane came running down the street and told all of the boys, "Let me see your shoes." It was so funny. Without hesitation, each lifted a foot.

I called to him. He came back in the house. "Honey, don't you think that the little fucker who did this is wearing different shoes today since he was out traipsing in the snow last night?"

"Damn! I didn't think of that."

I handed him a hot cup of coffee as we discussed who we thought were suspects. He went back out to help our son. By then, he and the boys were out of sight. Mr. Lane got in his truck to drive around.

The phone rang. It was Lane 1. "Hey, Mom? I'm on a police man's phone right now. He wants to know if we have the serial number of my bike. He also wants to know about what time the break-in happened."

Knowing we live very far from any police station, I couldn't imagine how my son was talking on an officer's phone. I didn't question him. I just gave him all of the information.

Mr. Lane came back and I told him about the call. He decided to go back out to see if he could find the officer. Instead, he ran into our son and an even larger group of boys, no officer in sight.

Our neighborhood is really small and there aren't any kids we don't know. We had our prime suspects picked out and there they were, with our son, helping him find his bike. Mr. Lane approached the group and again demanded to see the bottom of their shoes. All cooperated.

He pulled our number one suspect away from the group and said, "Listen, I know that you are the oldest here. You know our neighborhood like the back of your hand. And I'd guess, you know exactly where that bike is and who took it. I will give you $125 if you get that bike back to my son. I don't even care if you took it, just get the bike back today."

An odd tactic but Mr. Lane couldn't stand the look on our baby boy's face.

The phone rang. "Hi ma'am. This is Deputy David Davies. I spoke to your son about his missing bike after he waved me down. Could I come over and speak with you?"


He came over and the first thing he wanted to tell me is, "You have an amazing young man. He was so brave fighting back his feelings and providing me with information."

That nearly made me cry. "He waved you down from the street?"

"Yes. Actually, I was on patrol in the neighborhood because there were other break-ins reported this morning."

He told me in all, nine garages and cars were broken into. He wanted to see the footprint my son had saved in the freezer. Atop the box of Eggos was the perfect foot print. He took pictures of it, and measured it and took some more pictures. He commended my son again.

I told him about the reward that my husband offered and explained why he singled out the one boy. Deputy David Davies was enthralled. He left but soon came back to say each reported location had the same foot prints.

Within a half of an hour of the reward being offered, suspect number two left the large group to go look on his own. In 15 minutes, he came running. "Dude! Dude, I think I found your bike!"

He led my son and the large group of boys to a yard, two doors down from our house. A yard they had passed 100 times in their search. The bike was tossed right next to a tree. No foot prints were near it, which sounded alarm bells within my son.

Mr. Lane told the boy that the reward he offered the other boy was not open to everyone but said he would give him a little something for his troubles. He handed him $45. We wanted to stiff him entirely and see if the little fucker would call the police to tell on us, but then again, we already had enough excitement for one day.

After a thorough investigation by Deputy David Davies and Lane 1, both suspects are now in juvenile custody.