Thursday, August 20, 2009

GIS (Garbage Investigative Service)

Believe me when I say this is a good story.

Here in our new neighborhood, Wednesday is garbage day. The homeowners association and Waste Management provide three (3) 96 gallon bins for trash, recycling and yard waste. Needless to say, we've had a ton of recycling (packing paper, cardboard, etc). By 8:30AM two of the three collection trucks had already made it through the neighborhood. I love efficient service!!

Seeing that two of the bins were empty, I threw on my shoes to go out and pull them back into the yard. Stopped to help Josie select what cartoon she wanted to watch and I was out the door. I got to the curb and trash bins - all three - are GONE! I looked around, asked a kid who was next door washing his car - "Did you see where my trash cans went?" He just shrugged his shoulders.

I thought perhaps it was a mistake, that maybe the trash company had removed them. I call the HOA office, they didn't know what to think. I called Waste Management. "We don't have a removal order at your address". Okay, I think to myself, maybe one of the neighbors pulled them in by mistake.

I tried to brush it off, but it really bothered me. Not that the trash cans might have been taken, but the fact that what ever HAD happened to them had happened in broad daylight, right in front of my house - while I was inside with my children. It spooked me a bit.

I watched all day while each neighbor pulled in their bins, trying to convince myself that I was nuts for even worrying. Waste Management was going to drop off three new bins by next Tuesday at no cost... Just a fluke.

James, who had been in Seattle for the past two days, arrived home this evening and over dinner I told him the story of the missing bins. He said, "I'm going to talk to our next door neighbor to see if his kid saw anything." He follows this with: "I'm also going to call the police". Of course, we all protested - after all it was just trash bins. Maddie was mortified! "Dad, you always overreact to EVERYTHING!!" Against our wishes, James placed a call to the non-emergency number for the Orange County Sheriff's Office. IT WAS THE BEST THING HE HAS EVER DONE!!!

Nothing like a Police cruiser being parked in front of your house to bring out the neighbors! As we were in the driveway speaking with the officer - who couldn't have been nicer - one of our neighbors came walking over. He introduced himself and proceed to say this: "Officer, I have no idea why you are here but on Tuesday morning my sister-in-law's car was broken into right here in front of our house. They got her wallet, an iPod and a Garmin navigation system." He went on to say, "I was on the way to the airport for a business trip, so we didn't report it. When I saw you here - I thought, why not?"

The Officer said goodbye to us and walked down the sidewalk to take the report on the real crime. As I said, he was genuinely kind and concerned - even gave Josie a stick-on Sheriff's badge. Turns out our neighbor who came down the sidewalk has only lived in the neighborhood for 6 weeks. And.... wait for it.... HE AND HIS WIFE HAVE A 4 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WHO WILL BE GOING TO THE SAME PRE SCHOOL AS JOSIE!!! The girls met and took off to ride bikes up and down the sidewalk while the Officer finished his report.

My guardian angel has found me here in California!!! Must have gotten sidetracked somewhere in the Midwest - but now I'm sure someone's got my back!! And, yes, I will be using trite phrases like: "Every cloud has a silver lining", yadda, yadda, yadda. Finally a GOOD DAY!!

Before signing off, I must give props to the Orange County Sheriff's Department! James called the non-emergency number and the Officer was at our house within 10 minutes. The Officer also took the time to tell us about the department, what areas they patrolled and how to keep ourselves safe.


  1. Poor Bubba!!!! There should be a law outlawing anyone to dress him in that outfit or any outfit for that

    WOW...look you've been in "the hood" for less than a month an already know the you....

    Josie met a new friend and I say.."Yes Virginia there a santa clause".. It's about time you have some good luck and something happy happen...

    Miss you guys dearly... Hope you have a great school year with both girls.

    Call soon

  2. PS....I'll send food/snack/drink just Dear God.. Please step away from Bubba and give the guy/dog a chance to be a

    Miss you dearly