The back door to our Resource Center warehouse includes a faulty locking mechanism. As a result, a stiff slam or a hard kick can be necessary to engage the latch.
On Wednesday evening I received a call that the alarm was sounding at the building. I went to the building, disarmed and rearmed the security system and performed the obligatory slam to secure the door.
As I drove away from the building, I noticed a person--at the time I thought it a woman--walking slowly up the street away from the corner bus stop. I've experienced these kinds of after dark encounters countless times. Normally I would have lowered my window and engaged in a bit of conversation. But, it was Thanksgiving Eve, we had grandchildren at home. I was in a hurry.
About an hour after my first call, I received a second reporting that the front door of the building had been smashed and numerous items stolen from the upstairs office suite and kitchen. The person who broke in had been apprehended, cuffed and given a seat in the back of a squad car. When I caught a glimpse of his face, I realized the prisoner was none other than the person I had seen less than an hour before crossing the street as I left for home.
As we fixed the door to secure the building, one of our guys commented, "Well, he probably didn't know where he was going to spend Thanksgiving, but now he does."
I wish I had talked to him. Asked him what he needed, if anything. Responded to him like I would like to be treated had I been all alone on the dark night. I know. I know. He broke in. He was the person responsible for the mess.
But, still. I wonder how much happens in the city simply because people like me just pass on by?