The call came in at 7:15 a.m.
You know for yourself when the phone rings late or early, its never good news.
Policeman: Mr. Bigness needs to get to your property on the mainland right away, there's been a break in.
Bigness missed the 7:30 boat by minutes and had to wait until 8:30 a.m. to get off Caye Caulker.
It takes me about 3 times through to get the story straight, so here's the straightened version.
So, let's back up 3 weeks. Just before Christmas, the house was robbed while Bigness was taking a siesta midday. I was on Caye Caulker and got a weird feeling so I called him, woke him up, and what we didn't know at that moment was that someone was in the house. They had gotten up to the room just before the bedroom that Bigness was sleeping in. The call scared them off, as it roused him from a deep carb induced sleep. They went with what they could carry quickly, a blender which worked on only 1 speed, a pair of "fake" diamond earrings, the weed whacker, a dvd player but not the remote or the cables, a saw and a drill. But they got a good look at the collection of electronics that Bigness has collected over the years. Nice TV (we only get 1 local station... sometimes), nice stereo, nice nice things. The house is like a fortress, we have burglar bars on all the windows, strong burglar bar screen doors and steel inner doors. Bigness had fallen asleep with the lock flipped on the burglar bar door, but didn't have the deadbolt lock on, and the steel door was open. Its broad daylight. Who would bother you in broad daylight?
Mistake #1 The crime wasn't reported to the police.
On a closer inspection we could see where someone had attempted to unscrew the burglar bars on one of the bedroom windows, near a large leafy bush they were using for cover. So, Bigness chopped down all the bushes near the house and installed two additional exterior lights.
Fast forward to December 28, the call came in at 7:15 a.m. The policeman was calling from our front verandah, guarding the house so that it wouldn't be looted in his absence. A few minutes before a neighbor heard a ruckus, saw what was happening. There are only 2 policemen to guard an area with at least 350 homes over a several sqare mile area. He had to come on foot because they have no cars to patrol. He came with his gun, just in time to get a good description of the car that was driving away. The smart man that he is, called the police stations in either direction (east and west) and reported the theft, and description of the car. There is only 1 main road between Belize City and San Ignacio. The theives headed toward Belize City and 15 minutes later were caught in Hattieville at a road block. Bigness makes a quick call to family in Belmopan who rush the 20 miles over to the house to relieve the policeman. Its frustrating to be stuck on an island.
By the time Bigness got off the island and to the mainland, they had caught the 3 little career criminals. He paid a visit to them at the Hattieville police station, not one of which was over the age of 20.
All that was left was to clean up the mess. The robbers had taken a big chain, hooked it through the burglar bar door at one end, and hooked it to the bumper of their car and pulled the massive door off, then pryed the metal door open with a crow bar.
They left me a gift in the front yard. The 3 spare tires they had been carrying in their trunk.
Maybe I'll make hillbilly planters out of them. Remember the thing about making lemonaid out of lemons...
He called me later to give me the rundown on damage... and exclaimed that those suckers (read it with an F) had srayed big gobs of paint on the ceiling of my studio... and I sheepishly had to explain that I did that the last time I was working... some paint got stuck in a squeeze bottle and you can guess the rest... splat.
Interesting factoid: NO ART WAS STOLEN.
The arraignment was on Monday, Dec 31, where they plead NOT GUILTY, so the trial is set for some time in February or March. The robbers were immediately remanded to Hattieville Prison with no bail.
I'll keep you posted.