Not that I knew it then, but right before we left the home, somebody in the St. Roch League of Non-Aligned Residents reported:
A 30ish black male about 5'6" wearing a blue t shirt and gold shorts on a light colored bike (off white, I think) was hopping fences on N. Villere and Elysian checking out people's back yards. I just saw him go down Marigny toward St. Claude. Thought I'd let y'all know.(Our neighbor, who was home, told me about this later.)
Could be worse, thinking of all the things he didn't steal and the greater mess he could have made (like, he didn't leave a pile of shit on the floor). The only thing that seems to be gone is my (new but cheap) laptop.
Could be better, too, needless to say.
There's always some irony when I'm on the other end of police services. And now, like any citizen, I can bitch that it's been over three hours since I called 911. Some good research shows that a long response time doesn't piss people off as much as waiting around not knowing if cops will ever show up. I can confirm that. I guess I'll go to bed.
This is probably all I'll post till I'm back home next week.
For the record, I would have liked police to stop this guy before he came in through our window.
Update: After an 8(!)-hour wait, NOLA police service was most excellent. The officer was a thoughtful New Orleanian with 19 years on. We investigated. We waited for crime lab. We chatted about policing. We learned two neighbors also got hit. The officer read my op-ed in the Sun. In this house, crime lab got prints and DNA off a can of energy drink the burglar took from the fridge, drank half of, and left on the counter. And they also prints from the window that allowed entry. Another neighbor has a camera on this building, so there should be nice video of the guy coming in. All in all, were it not for the actual burglary, it was a very pleasant way to spend a couple hours.
It's amazing how much stuff wasn't taken (Zora's computer, camera, NYC house keys, power tools). And luckily, right before we left for dinner, I went back inside and locked our bikes together (my very expensive folding bike and Zora's rental) saying, "well, this will make it harder for a burglar to walk away with these."
The only part that really bothers me is an 8-hour response time. I called 911 at 01:43, again at 03:24, and a cop showed up at 09:45. Seriously? I wouldn't have minded if they told me when I called the first or second time, "an officer will be there between 9 and noon tomorrow." No problem. I'll go to bed. There's something be said for waiting for light, anyway.
But if you say an officer in "on the way," a reasonable person might expect an officer to be, well, on the way. Are we supposed to wait up? I did, for far too long. Are we supposed to disturb the crime scene to go to bed? Eventually we did. Should I close the window in which he came? (I had to, after the world's loudest morning mosquitoes wouldn't let me sleep even after I gave up waiting.) There has got to be a better way.
The other weird thing is the burglar riffled through the books. Burglars never do that.