By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
“Wanna go look for a beat-up old van?”
Arlie drove me around the neighborhood, which was suddenly ripe with beat-up old, white vans, most of them harboring nothing more suspicious than work tools. I was pretty sure we wouldn’t recover anything this time.
The fingerprinter came by the next morning. She was pretty, with a warm smile and an easy manner. She told me the best places to look for prints were smooth, polished surfaces. Wood wasn’t good, too absorbent.
I realized I knew just the item. I asked my wife for permission to show the fingerprinter the dildo. “Only if she can’t get them from somewhere else,” she said, laughing. She cried, though, when she discovered the burglars took her bright-pink, hard-shell vintage suitcase.
“Can you believe they walked out of the fucking house in the middle of the day with my suitcase full of our stuff?” It wasn’t the suitcase, of course, or the stuff. Our things aren’t all that valuable in monetary terms and can be replaced. But as tokens, signposts and memories, a lot of them are irreplaceable. When they’re taken, parts of you feel erased.
And something foul happens to you. The neighbors are suddenly complicit because they let it happen. The dog walker is suddenly suspect. The proud house becomes damaged goods. The neighborhood is broken. We remind ourselves that worse things happen to better people. It’s not the end of the world and it’s all too common. But it feels like the end of something.
The poor dogs, with their instinctive sensitivity, felt responsible and were extra vigilant throughout the weekend. A hummingbird wasn’t allowed to buzz around a bush without them barking up a storm.
We brought the completed crime report down to Rampart’s detective headquarters, and asked the desk sergeant if they had any luck with fingerprints or leads. He just kind of smiled at us. “Maybe if people like us were politicians or famous people, they’d have it in 15 minutes,” he said. “But we’re nobodies.”
Nobodies with one television, one battery-operated dildo and zero pink suitcases.
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