August 26, 2005
Last night I got home from work about 5:30, swam ten passes and cleaned off an art desk in the studio. Just as Kathy got home at about seven the phone rang. It was our security service and they said a “motion detector” had been set off at the office and did I want to send someone out to investigate. I said, thankyou but I’d go up and check on the office (thereby saving an $85 service charge). And besides, Trish Brink set off the alarm last week when she came in early to prep Robert Ray’s area for his birthday party, so I wasn’t overly concerned.
I took my time, tried to talk Kathy into going to Dairy Queen after resetting the alarm system but she was tired and demurred. I got to the office at about 7:40 and everything looked calm and peachy keen. The parking lot was empty and the motion detector lights came on as I climbed the porch steps and unlocked the door. I turned on the lights and disarmed the alarm. Everything looked normal. Rather than walk through production to my office, for some reason I walked through sales and as I did I felt a creepy feeling overtake me as I looked under desks and in darkened offices. Joel’s space was fine, Trish’s office, Carole’s, Meghan’s, mine, everything was perfectly fine. As I slowly came around to the conference room, I saw several glass shards on the floor and as I peaked into the room I saw streaks of blood and a huge hole in the back plate glass window, with big chunks of glass everywhere. Drops of blood trailed right under my feet!
I wheeled around and ran for the door, pulling out my cellphone, frantically dialing 9-1-1 as fast as my little fingers could go. As I cleared the porch and ran into the parking lot I saw a plume of smoke rise across the street, like a mini Hiroshima mushroom cloud, with instant orange flames sprouting up behind the tall mesquite and palo verde trees.
The 9-1-1 operator asked me the problem and I told her we had a break-in with blood and that a fire had been set across the street and she told me to calm down, that someone had already reported the fire and to just give her the details on our situation.
Two sheriff’s vehicles came about ten minutes later (I kept thinking, “What if I was wrestling some crackhead this whole time? That wouldn’t be fun!”).
The officers trailed the blood across the street to a travel trailer that had been broken into and surmised the perp(s) stumbled over there after entering our offices, stole clean clothes, then perhaps started the fire as a diversion, so they could escape.
Kathy called Dave Daiss in Sonoita and he called me on my cell and we called a variety of security firms and none of them could help us. Finally, Dave got Marc’s Glass a 24-Hour Emergency Replacement Service and the service technician came right out, cleaned up the glass and blood, made a plywood replacement and got it installed.
Went through the offices at least six times looking for missing computers, money or even books, but nothing seemed to be missing. Got home at 12:30 in the morning. Just another exciting day in the Wild West town of Cave Creek, Arizona.
”Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is a little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.”
—Old Vaquero Saying
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