While writing my previous post I heard a huge noise at the front of my house. I found one man being restrained in a seated position on the ground at my front door, the man who was holding him down was accusing him of theft and asking me to call the police, and a woman was hanging around and crying.
When calling the police I discovered that Optus (the Telco that provides the virtual service which Virgin Mobile uses) doesn’t accept 112 as an emergency number! This combined with the fact that CyanogenMod 7 on my phone doesn’t accept 000 as an emergency number meant that I had to unlock my phone before calling the police. Unlocking your phone late at night when there’s a situation that needs police attention isn’t as easy as you would hope. As an aside there are usually no penalties for testing the emergency service on your phone, people who install PABX systems and other significant telephony devices test emergency services calls as a matter of routine, so testing emergency calls from your phone is a really good idea. If anyone knows how to configure CyanogenMod 7 to support 000 as an emergency call then please let me know!
Anyway the man who was held down claimed that a friend of his had given him a bag containing tools that he had lugged from some place not particularly near my house. The man who was holding him down said that he witnessed the other man stealing the tools from his neighbor – not far from my house. The woman was apparently the girlfriend of the man who was accused of burglary.
The end result was that the police arrested the man who was accused of burglary and his girlfriend. He didn’t have any obvious injuries and the police said that the man who detained him did them a favor, so it seems unlikely that there will be any assault charges filed. Presumably the man who detained the burglar is explaining it all at the police station now, I hope the police gave him a chance to put on pants and shoes first.
The man who made the burglary accusation said that his house was robbed last night which is why he was more observant than usual tonight.
This makes me glad of my policy of rejecting every job offer which involves moving to the US. In Australia hand guns are really hard to get so there’s no way that a house burglary will involve a gun and there’s also no way that someone who wants to help the police will have a gun. So while it was unpleasant to have this happen at my front door it didn’t involve any risk to me. It could have ended up with someone other than me getting a beating but the probability of serious injury or death for them was quite low. As everyone knew that no-one had a gun and no-one wanted to be charged with assault it made sense for everyone to avoid excessive force. From what I saw no excessive force was used.
The police arrived fairly quickly and EVERYONE was glad to see them. All up it took a bit more than 30 minutes from the first noise to the police departing after arresting both suspects and filling out a bunch of paperwork. I was impressed by that!