Yesterday I responded to a burglary of a wall-mounted air conditioner from a vacant house. When I arrived, the realtor that was preparing to show the house told me the next door neighbor claimed to see people in the backyard of the house a few nights prior. She mentioned the neighbor acted suspicious and and kept asking about the burglary.
I went next door and spoke with the neighbor 'witness' who didn't have any information about a possible suspect. He lived in a guest house in the backyard and seemed a bit suspicious. As he went back inside to answer the phone, I noticed a new Mercedes parked in the backyard. The run-down rental house and neighbor were not the kind of place you'd expect to find such a nice car (parked in the backyard, no less). I made note of the license plate and returned to my patrol car parked out front.
I checked the license plate in my computer and, 'surprise! -the car was stolen.' I called for another unit to meet me at the location to plan my next step. We decided to position ourselves to wait and see if anyone attempted to drive off in the car. This way, we could catch the suspect in the act and make an arrest for vehicle theft. After about an hour, I decided to walk down the alley and peer over the wall to check on the Mercedes. I approached the backyard and looked over the wall and saw..nothing. The car had left while I was out front waiting for backup. I was so angry and embarasses that I let the stolen car get away. Oh well, I guess you can't expect to win them all.
On my second burglary call of the night, I had a bit more luck. The burglar left the house after taking a few thousand dollars worth of items. In his panic to run out the back door and climb the fence, he dropped his backpack. Inside the backpack was his wallet and driver license. I was able to find his phone number and promptly called it. His father answered and became very angry when I told him of the evidence I had linking his son to the burglary. He assured me he would take care of his son. Whether he makes good on this promise doesn't matter since the son will be arrested in a matter of days for the crime.