by Lindsay Shelton
My garage in Brooklyn was broken into the other night. I almost didn’t notice. Walking down the path on my way out of the house, everything seemed normal. But then I saw bits of the lock on the ground. And then I noticed that the side door of the garage wasn’t shut.
It turned out that during the night – one of those stormy nights – someone had prised open the lock with a screwdriver or a chisel.
But inside the garage the car and the scooter were both locked. So all that was taken was a crash helmet.
When I got back home at the end of the day, I called the police. (Its website says to report crimes on the phone, not online.) I called the number, but by then it was outside office hours. A recorded voice told me to leave a detailed message. This didn’t sound like a good idea. So I waited till the next morning, and called the same number. It was quickly answered by a helpful person who immediately identified my street. (“I’ve got a map,” she said. She also said “I’m in Auckland,” when I asked where she was based.) I gave her all the details. She gave me a file number. My file arrived arrived promptly as an email.
Even better, within an hour, a police officer arrived in our street.
She photographed the damaged garage door, and put messages into neighbours’ letter boxes, warning them of the crims in their neighbourhood.
I complimented her on arriving so quickly. “I was in the area, so it was easy for me to come across,” she said. Nevertheless, I was impressed.
I was also impressed by the speedy service from Beveridges, the locksmiths. Within a couple of hours of phoning them, they’d replaced the broken lock. They provided a stronger one, which I’m hoping will be resistant to screwdrivers or chisels.