So the other day I was sitting at my desk minding my own business when the phone rang. Since we had three detectives in court and another two serving search warrants, I had to answer the phone, which I knew was going to be a nightmare.
Just call me Carnac the Magnificent.
The call came from an officer is our most dysfunctional district. I would wager 90% of the officers in that district are window lickers, and the officer who called is the King of Windows.
The officer claimed he responded to a “commercial burglary” and while he was relating the details, he said he was at an apartment complex. I thought to myself, “That’s odd,” but I kept listening. The officer continued describing what was taken and mentioned all the items was in an unlocked room in the basement of the apartment complex.
Now, I’m thinking, “This isn’t a burglary, it’s a theft,” but the officer continued. A few moments later, the cop again said it was a commercial burglary, which is when I told him to hold on…
“Officer, maybe I misheard, but did you say this was a commercial burglary?”
“Okay, how do you figure? Is there a store inside the apartment complex?”
“Well, apartment buildings are always commercial burglaries.”
“They’re actually not, because commercial burglaries refer to commercial establishments, not residences.”
“But the offender entered the room in the basement!”
“Yes, a room which was unlocked, so you technically have a burglary, because the door was unlocked. It’s effectively a theft, nothing more.”
“So, what do you want me to do?”
“Write up the report and send it to the division.”
Sadly, the idiocy didn’t end there.
The officer’s sergeant – a complete dullard who couldn’t tie her shoes if she was wearing slippers – called the division and demanded to know who the detective was who talked to her officer. I gladly gave her my name – spelled it out, actually – and she said she was going to write my name on the report. As if I cared.
After the sergeant hung up, I related the story to my coworkers. Most of them started laughing or shaking their heads, especially since I’m in the early retirement program. In fact, I told my coworkers if any supervisor wants a name on the report, make sure you give them mine. I could care less, mostly because after sixteen years as a detective, I knew I was 100% correct.
It also helps that I’m friends with that district’s captain.