Monday, March 17, 2008

Boy, Don't I Feel Stupid?

Today I feel like a real knucklehead. I ignored all the signs, and I paid for it. I forgot, for just a moment, that I am supposed to still be on alert for suspicious activity even when I'm off duty.

Mrs. Smith and I went hiking in one of our local parks this morning. As we pulled into the parking area, I saw a guy walking up the road toward the park entrance. He was a white guy, wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans. His hood was up and he was wearing sunglasses. Even as I write this, I'm already suspicious of the guy, but not this morning. I didn't give him a second thought.

As we got out of the car and started walking toward the gate, Mr. Hoodie walked past us and said something along the lines of "Good morning", but he never looked at us. As he walked ahead of us, he turned off the main trail and headed up a deer trail that I know leads to nowhere. Again, no bells went off.

After our hike, we got back to the car and found the right front window smashed out. Nothing was taken, because there was nothing in the car to take. I don't leave valuables in the car. There was a pile of the kids' clothes between the front seats. I'm guessing the would be thief thought there was a purse hidden under the clothing. The only things that were disturbed were that pile and the glove compartment. Nothing was taken though.

I was pretty pissed at myself when I thought about all the red flags that should have gone up...

The clothing - This is our standard hoodrat uniform in these parts. I should have keyed on that right off the bat.

The guy was walking to the park - This park is about 5 miles from the nearest road. NOBODY walks to this park. People drive to the park so they can walk IN the park.

He didn't look at us when he spoke - Because he didn't want us to see his face. Duhhh.

He went up a path that I knew led to nowhere - I even told Mrs. Smith as he climbed the path that the path didn't go anywhere. I can't tell you why I didn't find this suspicious.

I am thoroughly perturbed at myself now. All of the things I get paid to notice, and I was blissfully unaware of them all this morning. So many indicators, and I ignored them. For the first time in my career, today I was a sheep. I have no excuse. It is not my style.

$140 later, I can surely tell you this though... it will NEVER happen again!!

6 comments:

kvegas911 said...

Sucks to know you're human, doesn't it. I had a bit of a reality check like that a few months ago. You can't be ON every single second, brother, you're allowed to take some time. I just hate for you that it had to be that particular moment. Perk up!

TheBronze said...

Luckily, it wasn't "too" costly of a mistake...

Officer Wright said...

Lessons learned, but in the end, you got to spend a good day hiking with your wife.

justusforall said...

That sucks. Too bad you didn't come on him during the act. That would have been 'fun'.

Berserk said...

Little mistakes like that can help fuel your suspicion later on. Maybe next time something does click when its supposed to, you'll remember this and know why.

USAincognito said...

Just read about it on Mrs Smith's site....
Sorry to hear your car got broken into!
Sometimes we forget the "red flags" and we act like a normal citizen. And then it comes to bite us in the butt later...but don't beat yourself up too bad over it...it happens.