I fell asleep on the settee again the other night. Normally I am awoken from my downstairs slumber for a variety of reasons. In winter it is usually the room, having had the heating turned off hours before, is now fast approaching sub zero temperatures. On other nights, I’ll be woken slowly but painfully, as my body reminds me that I’m not 17 anymore and that sleeping upright will hurt.
But this Tuesday, at around three in the morning, I was awoken by the roar of a t-rex, an earthquake and the sound of screaming.. It was (and this is because I instinctively knew I was awake), quite Terrifying.
It turns out the local constabulary were chasing someone. I have no idea who. But they decided that at three in the morning they needed to use their sirens and that having the helicopter hovering over slumbering houses is a splendid idea.. Now if criminals were caught, I wouldn’t mind being awoken so rudely. but in all the times I’ve been a victim of crime, they never got whoever did it.. Not once.
I remember, sometime shortly after the millennium I was working on a local retail park. The building I was working in began to rattle quite badly. When we ran outside, It was apparent why. There was a police helicopter over the top of it. Why it was there though, beggars' belief.
It turns out that a short while before, a gent was caught nicking lip salve from that most exotic of emporiums, Superdrug.. A member of staff caught him and called the security based on the retail park. While the security escorted ‘the accused’ through the back of the store, they passed a fire exit and he not surprisingly, legged it. Security radioed to the main office and asked the guy there to call the local police.
The guy in the security office, was new to the job and he botched this rather badly. Instead of calling and giving a code to the police saying the thieving git has legged it, he gave the code for Holy Sh*t! Send Everyone!…
So they did… Squad cars, Chase cars, Cars with Inspectors in, Vans with dogs In, A riot van and of course, a helicopter.
So what does our criminal mastermind do to evade capture?..
He jumped into the canal, swam across and walked away. No officer follows him into the canal. The cars are locked into the traffic outside the shops and the helicopter is too busy blowing sheet steel of the shop roofs to notice he’s gone. I like to think he flicked some V’s just before throwing the ‘evidence’ into the canal and disappearing into a nearby patch of scrubland.
He was caught though.. By the local beat cop, who knew who he was and where he lived.. In the end, all they had to do was knock on his door and escort him to the station – though they didn’t know that at the time…
It was a comedy of errors, compounded by inexperience and over-reliance on technology. This is why you should know how a map and compass work, rather than hoping your GPS and phone will bail you out..