The Burglar

Posted: May 20, 2015 in Short Stories
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A few years ago there was a man who lived in my neighborhood, about 3 doors down from me. He had a wife who worked at the local convenience store, and they had a little boy who was about five years old. They weren’t the friendliest folks who’d ever lived here, but they’d occasionally wave hello if I saw them outside. I’m not sure that he had a job, I guessed that he stayed home and took care of his son. I was sort of right, and sort of wrong  about that.
As it turned out, he was a petty thief. What they used to call a ‘cat burglar’ back in the day. I can only assume that he plied his trade outside of our general area, because I don’t remember any hint of trouble with him. At least not until that day that he set his sights on my next door neighbor’s place.
He had been watching Don and Emmy’s place for a few weeks, keeping note of their patterns of home and away times. When they worked, when they got home from work, when they shopped, or went to the gym. I think he just became obsessed with their place, and I’m not even sure why. They weren’t flashy people, Don did drive a BMW, but Emmy had a Toyota. They had the usual amenities that middle class folks had, large flat screen TVs, a nice stereo, some are that I assume was valuable. Whatever it was, he wanted in there, and set his mind to making that happen. Then one day, just before noon, as I recall, he decided to make his move. I was home that day only because I’d had dental surgery the day before, and wasn’t up to going back to work yet.
In the interests of full disclosure; I wasn’t watching either him, or the place next door, so I am surmising some of the rest of this.
He must have cased the place from the outside, to look for an easy way in, but unfortunately the only open window in the house was a bathroom one. It was a fairly small window, almost exactly the same as the one in my guest bathroom. It’s not even a square foot in size, and it’s also about five feet off the ground. I’m sure he tried his best, but it was just too small for him to ever get through. I guess that’s when he had the worst idea in his entire life. He went and got his kid, to help him break into the house. He figured he could boost the kid up and into the window, then he could run through the place and open the back door, and viola, he’s in! From my open window on that side of the house I could hear him telling his boy that he really needed him to do this. He told him that the people who lived there had lost their keys, and had asked him to try to get the house open before they came home. After hearing all of that, it didn’t take me long to figure out what was what, and I called 911.
Well, he managed to convince the boy to do it, and boosted him up to the window, and pushed him through it. Then he ran to the back door and waited for him to come unlock it. But, the boy didn’t come. I heard him knock on the back door and tell the boy “This way, little buddy, come to this door.” After a few minutes he ran back to the bathroom window and shouted for the kid to ‘Go unlock the damn door!’. He ran back to the door again, but nothing happened.
When the cops finally arrived, the guy didn’t even try to run. I guess he was actually concerned for his kid, I respected that little part of him right then. After the cops gained entry to the house, they found the kid dead on the bathroom floor. He’d fallen in from the window, about a four foot drop, and had broken his neck when he hit the floor. The dad was arrested for burglary and homicide as well.The guy’s wife moved away even before he went to trial, I don’t have any idea what became of her. He got life in prison, no possibility of parole.

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