Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Volunteer Police

Today I went to buy some more moving boxes from a storage place downtown, but they were temporarily out of the office, so I decided to browse around a nearby discount grocery store. You may remember me blogging about this place once before when I heard a gun shot in the neighborhood. That incident made me decide not to go there when it's dark, but I thought that in the light of day it would be safe to go there this time.

As I approached the front door, three guys were coming out. I stopped to let them pass, and I waited because the grocery carts were behind them, and I needed to get one. But they didn't pass me very quickly, and suddenly one of them punched the other in the face! A woman was standing next to me, also waiting to go in, and she said, "Not here! Not here!" I said, "Yes, especially with ME standing here." I thought that would calm things down, but it didn't, and they continued their fight. I decided I really didn't want to get hurt, so I went inside the store.

Suddenly I heard the other woman (who was standing watching the fight) say, "He's got a knife!" I turned to the cashiers and said, "Someone needs to call the police." They just stared at me. I turned and called out the door loudly, "Call the police!" I was hoping that if I said that, they would disperse. But they kept going at it! I walked over to one of the cashiers and said, "Call the police!" She said, "I have to wait for a manager." I walked toward her phone and said, "Well, I'LL call then". She said, "No, I mean I don't know the extension number to dial to get a line out." At this point my brain kicked in to gear and I remembered I had a cell phone in my purse. I grabbed it out and called the police.

While I was talking to the dispatcher, I was standing by the window of the store, so I could accurately describe everything the suspects were wearing. They didn't seem in any hurry to leave. I saw two of them getting in a car, so I walked out front to get a better description. The store employees were standing out front watching everything. I don't really know car makes, so I asked those guys what kind of car it was. They told me, and I relayed that information, as well as the color of the car to the dispatcher. But I couldn't see the license plate. But I told them which street they were headed down.

After they left, I was standing talking to the dispatcher still when I saw the third guy coming back toward the store. All I can say is that these guys must have been drug addicts because they were really stupid. Why would you hang around the scene of the crime? Anyway, he had a big piece of cement in his hand, and he put it in the trash can. I was standing probably 5 feet away, with a glass window between us, but he never turned around to see me. I could tell the dispatcher everything he was doing. He walked away for a moment, and then came back and stood by the trashcan and started lighting a hat on fire. Just then I saw a police car drive up, and drive on past. I said, "Oh no, the officer just went passed. Come back!" She said, "I'm communicating with him, and I'm telling him to come back." Just then another police car pulled up, and then that officer returned, and they got the guy.

When I went to the storage place, the guy there said he had been to the bank, and had seen another police car speeding by, and I think he was after the car that I had described. So I think they got all three guys.

I have a neighbor who is a police officer in Oakland, and lives out here. I saw her on my way home, and stopped and told her what happened. I told her that I had yelled out the door "Call the police!", but that it didn't seem to have much of an effect. She said that criminals think that people are too scared to call the police. They thought wrong if they thought that about me. I did worry a little that they might see me inside on the phone, but actually I think they were just too stupid to even think about what all the witnesses were doing.

So I've had my excitement for the day. I am glad that my efforts paid off. And it's nice to have something exciting to blog about. ;)


vaxhacker said...


That's a whole lot of stupid in that experience... stupid perps, people who don't know how to call 911 on their office phone? (Maybe just me, but if I were working retail with the possibility of being robbed at work, I think I'd want to know how to call 911.) People just gawking and not thinking to call the police?


Grannymar said...

Well done you for calling the police. Thankfully you were not hurt in any way, so many turn a blind because they don't want to be involved.

Inklings said...

That's scary. I think after two of those kinds of experiences that you should find a different grocery store.

Max Coutinho said...


Amazing day! You did well to call the police and boy were you fast. It is incredible how people freeze when before such events and, like your neighbour said, thugs count on it.

So, are you still going back to that place?


Vid said...

I hate police officers, but that's surely because I live in an area where nothing dangerous like this ever happens.... here, all cops do is bust potheads and give out jaywalking tickets. :/

blackwatertown said...

How frightening. Good for you with the quick thinking and acting. I once had something a bit similar - not as bad - happen at a petrol station (gas station). The staff were so slow and reluctant to react that - after I had sorted things out myself - I reported them to the company's internal fraud department. It looked like they were in on a car theft racket.

Nene said...

I am always amazed at the non-action of people.