Monday, April 13, 2009

Lost In Old Town

Our night drew to an end as we finished our last contact by throwing a juvenile in the back of the patrol car in hand cuffs.

As trivial as a curfew arrest might seem, juveniles were ninety percent of the problem in this area. From the armed robberies and vehicle burglaries to the shopliftings and drug use, these juveniles caused most of our troubles.

The store owners and shoppers were begging for help with the juvenile disturbances, so they sent us, the bike squad, to help deal with it.

We were making a difference too; we had chased down a drug dealer (a juvenile), and caught a group of juveniles (with guns) smoking weed in the parking lot. We accomplished all of this, and more, just by talking with some up-to-no-good kids.

So, I did not feel bad or silly when I threw a snot nosed punk kid in the back of my patrol car because he had stayed out too late.

We secured our bikes on the back of the patrol car and we left to take him home. We promptly hopped on the freeway for a short jaunt to Old Town.

As charming or nostalgic as “old town” might sound, it is quite the polar opposite. Old town is where the transient population lingers and the drug trade thrives. The highest amount of robberies, thefts, and homicides happen in old town. It was no surprise that the snot nosed kid called this place home.

My partner, Freeman, drove to the teenager’s home and walked him to the door. After he spoke to Mom to tell her to keep a better eye on her teen, he returned to the car.

I thought Freeman was joking when he said in a serious tone, “where’s your bike?” I told him to stop messing around and to get in the car. When Freeman repeated, “Where’s your bike?” with a panicked looked, I jumped out of the car.

I looked at the bike rack and saw two open flaps and one missing bike. My hart sank as I spewed out nastiest four letter word I could think of, “Crap!”

There was a reason for my uncharacteristic foul mouth, the bike was a loaner.

We were doing well as a squad so the department came to the conclusion that we needed some updated and better bikes. We found a bike shop that had two bikes they were willing to let us test.

Though the PD was concerned about the test ride, knowing that if anything happened to the bikes they would be responsible, they gave permission, reluctantly. Our week was up and the bikes were due back to the shop. You guessed it, “Oh CRAP!”

We collapsed back into the car and quickly turned around. We went down the road, made a turn or two, and felt discouraged as we saw no bike in the roadway. Sadly, it was what we expected for losing a bike in Old Town, the loathsome epicenter of theft.

After riding though Old Town, met with negative findings, we got back onto the freeway in order to continue our search on our way back to the shopping center. Once on the freeway I half expected to find mangled bike parts strewn across the road. To my surprise, there was no bike on the freeway either.

We made our way back to the shopping center with the hope that some store owner or responsible person found the bike. It was not at the shopping center either. Where could the bike be?!

We headed back to Old Town and crept along the freeway searching with the spot light. We knew we needed to give up. We had searched everywhere we could.

With all hope gone, I turned to the only source that I believed could help.

“Heavenly Father,” I said prayfully, “if anyone is going to find my bike in old town, let it be someone who is honest.”

It was past midnight and I knew that all the good people, especially in the old town area, were fast asleep.

Just then, I heard Dispatch clear on the radio, “Bike 11 (our call sign), can you give us a 21 (police code for phone call).”

I called dispatch and spoke to Diane as she said with a slight chuckle, “Are you and Freeman riding tandem?”

Diane then explained that she received a phone call from Jeremy’s parents who said they found a police bike and were returning it to the station.

Jeremy is one of the police officers who trained me. He grew up in old town area and his parents apparently still lived close by.

I don’t know why his parents, who are well into their 60’s, were driving through the heart of old town after midnight, but I was extremely grateful.

I said a little, “Thank you,” to Heavenly Father as we returned to the station and I found my bike sitting in the lobby unharmed.


Missy said...

I'm glad you found your bike, Kelly. Prayer is always the first thing I think of when I've done everything I can too. That's cuz it always works.

Rachel said...

I'm glad you've got someone looking after you and your bike. Seriously.

Kimberly said...

Kelly, I had no idea you'd started a blog. This is going to be a blast to read! I love this story. And, I can't believe you actually found your bike...truly amazing!

Joe and Frances said...

What would we do with out Prayer? Glad you found your bike.

Kelly and Megan said...

I know I am grateful that someone is always looking out for you! (and Freeman too) : ) Love your stories!

Diane said...

Remind me to never go to Old Town! Sounds like you've got someone looking out for you! What a neat story! Sure do love you and am so glad you're writing these stories for all of us to read!

Lyenna said...

I was hoping it would have a happy ending! I love stories about prayer, thanks for sharing it Kel. Love you!

pzierse said...

Kel, What an GREAT STORY!!!I guess I can't wear blouses with buttons!! Your story made me cry. I am so thankful for the man you are. I am so Proud to be your mom. My prayers are answered. Love mom