Move Over Charlie’s Angels: How I Single-Handedly Solved a Police Investigation

“In the criminal justice system, made-up offenses are considered especially heinous. In Mayberry, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad, known as the Special Vixens Unit. These are their stories.”

Chicago Tribune, 2006

February, 2006

I am extremely fortunate to live in a wonderful community with very little crime. The newspaper police reports read the same week after week: teenage cannabis use, DUIs and shoplifting at Kohls. (Apparently they didn’t get the 30% scratch-off coupon.) The only joy of reading the blotter is to see if I know anyone who got arrested. Namely, my husband.

So imagine the hullabaloo when an alleged substance-abuse patient at our local hospital escaped and broke into several garages on my block and finally got caught when he tried to enter a home. It rocked my block’s world and put everyone on edge. My kids were four and six at the time and I didn’t think twice about leaving them in the yard while I was napping, er, cooking, cleaning, darning socks, saving the world, etc.

Anyway, a few days later, my husband was taking out the garbage and heard a rustling outside. He turned on the lights and discovered the old computer we had stored/hoarded in our garage was lying in our driveway.

Surely someone was trying to steal it! So I freaked and called the police before he had any idea of what I was doing. Needless to say, he was not happy with my knee-jerk reaction. But my Mama Bear instincts were in high gear. It was the right thing to do.

Within minutes of my frantic call, the entire police force arrived. (Must have been a slow night at Kohls.) I kid you not: one unmarked car, five squads and a canine unit were canvassing our block and check out the crime scene. They blocked the end of our street so the thief couldn’t escape. My poor neighbors were in a panic — there was literally a manhunt going on.

The officers were in all the yards with flashlights. Dogs were sniffing around for the suspect. The fingerprint kit was out. Interviews with the neighbors were under way.

During the chaos, one of my friends who lives down the street called to make sure we were okay. As I was explaining the whole story to her, I suddenly had a sick, sinking, über guilty feeling.

“Um, I think that I did it,” I sputtered into the phone.

“What do you mean that you think you did it?” she asked.

“I think that maybe I hit the computer with my car early today,” I started nervously giggling.


“Oh god. It was me. I was in a PMS rage and had the radio blaring when I tried to escape my house,” I explained feebly. “I remember kind of bumping something but I thought it was a bag of salt. Shit. Shit. Shit. I gotta turn myself in.”

She wished me luck in between her fits of laughter.

I had to tell the police the truth so they would stop interrogating my neighbors and get the hell out of the front of my house. But I was more afraid of telling my husband. He was beyond annoyed and embarrassed by the whole production of a swat team showing up to solve the murder mystery of an antiquated computer that probably still took floppy disks.

I spilled my guts.

“WHAT?” My spouse glared at me. “I already look like the biggest pussy. You need to deal with this — I’m out.” And he went inside our house lit up by the squad cars’ cherries.

So I put on my big girl pants and walked outside with my hands up in the surrender position. “Case closed!” I cheerfully announced to the police. I blurt out the whole story while apologizing and babbling profusely. “I owe you guys breakfast tomorrow. Ha, ha!”

Would they just pack up their pistols and leave after my confession? Noooooooooo!

They measured the deceased computer then walked over the to car and took several measurements. Just like C. S. F-in I., they matched up the dings to the computer with the scrape inside my tire well.

I am beyond mortified. Please leave. Please leave. Please leave.

They proceeded with the investigation. The most seasoned officer shined a spotlight on the area of where the computer moved the dirt and gravel stuff on my driveway and carefully explained to me how the pattern supported my claim.  I was bracing myself for the chalk outline, but they skipped that part. They wrote down all of the evidence in their report. I had to sign it and then the Chief called the force together on via walkie talkies.

Ten-four, good buddy. Case solved: the Midol-popping mom dragged the computer out with her car while abandoning her family.

And the rustling by the garbage? Most likely a raccoon going through all my candy wrappers.

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  1. laurie

    can’t stop laughing! that is too funny!

  2. Marta

    Karen, I really needed this tonight. I can’t tell you how hard I laughed, you are the best!!!.
    Keep up the great work.

  3. robyn cerny

    sooo hysterical. thanks for the laugh this morning!! you are an excellent writer..

  4. Beth

    I love your self deprecating voice. You get the best material from every day life.

  5. Ann Van

    Love your blog. Charlie got in huge trouble last Friday for picking his nose and wiping it on another kid. He thought he was being so funny. We’ll see how funny he thinks it is being the gross kid in class.

  6. A Field of Dreams

    I just pissed my undies. So glad I found your blog. You entertain me at your expense!

  7. Karen

    Thanks for the comments! On a side note to this story, Tom took the following day off from work. I think he feared the safety of our children!

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