Yesterday evening started so normally yet had a little more drama than usual…
I got home after work around 7pm (pitch dark at this time of year), and found that my cleaner (who had been working in the house during the day) had somehow managed to jam the front door so it wouldn’t open. No matter how hard I tried the key, the lock just wouldn’t turn the last bit necessary to pull back the bolt.
After trying for about ten minutes I decided that the next step was to try to get in at the rear. I got into my back garden and after creeping through it I tried the back door to discover that I’d forgotten to lock it and all that was holding it shut was a single sliding bolt at the top.
Armed with this bit of information it seemed clear that the easiest and cheapest way to sort out the problem was to break the bolt. This would get me into my home fast (I was getting cold) and would save me the time and expense of calling out an emergency locksmith. I pulled the door back and after grabbing it with both hands attempted to pull it away from the bolt…
Unfortunately it turned out that the bolt was substantially stronger than the door and instead of the bolt breaking away from the door, the door itself decided to give way instead in spectacular fashion as the panels crumbled and the glass fell to the ground. The end result was a huge amount of noise and a large hole where the door used to be (with the bolt still clinging to the frame). At least I could now get in!
Five or ten minutes later, while I was trying to figure out how to organise a joiner to get a new, more secure door fitted at short notice there was a steady knocking at the front.
I opened up to find that the entire area outside my house was crammed full of uniformed police! Neighbours had reported a burglary in progress.
After letting them in, I was told that there was a similar number of police in the graveyard at the rear of my house waiting to grab me should I have decided to run out that way and that they included a dog unit!
Worse still, while I was trying to explain myself I heard the familiar put-put-put sound from the sky and was informed that this was a POLICE HELICOPTER that had been summoned to the scene and was now hovering above us!
Of course, it’s completely legal to break into one’s own property so after I proved that I lived there and wasn’t intent on stealing my own possessions, they all filed out pretty quickly, incident over.
It was a weird experience: slightly embarrassing, deeply disturbing but also very reassuring all at once. Thank you Cambridgeshire Police.