Mystery of the locked garage

Last night I got back from Austin late and after arriving home went straight to bed. Today I ventured out into the back yard for the first time since we departed last week and noticed two very strange things:

  1. Two of our patio chairs were stacked atop each other immediately in front of our padlocked gate as if someone had used it to hop the fence.
  2. The door to the garage was locked but not the way I had left it. I had left it with the deadbolt locked and the handle unlocked but it was currently the other way around.

I went into the garage and confirmed that nothing was missing — both bikes were there along with all the other stuff we have in our garage. This puzzled me greatly. Why would a burglar climb over the fence, pick a deadbolt on the door, not steal anything, lock it back, and use the chairs to climb over the fence? Nope, that’s just crazy. Well, perhaps they came in through the garage, not stole anything, unlocked the deadbolt, locked the handle, and climbed over the fence. No, that’s just crazy too. This oddity has been bothering me all afternoon and I was very apprehensive about leaving (yet again) for work travel tomorrow.

This afternoon I went next door to let our neighbor Liz know that due to this unexpected work travel I wasn’t going to be able to watch her dog as planned this week. As soon as she saw me, she said “have I got a story for you!”.

Wednesday afternoon she drove up to her house and noticed our garage door was open. Thinking we weren’t leaving until Thursday she noted it but didn’t think too much about it. When it was still open Thursday morning she knew something was amiss. She went into the garage, shut the door, and locked the handle behind her — only to discover that the rear gate was padlocked! Then this vivacious late-60s woman pulled one chair up to the rear gate, lowered the other chair to the other side, crawled over, and gently ‘tossed’ the remainder chair back over (where it happened to land perfectly on top of the other one).

Wow, talk about a relief on my part to know we didn’t have some amazingly stupid thieves roaming about casing houses. Our neighbors totally rock!

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I'm a gay geek living in Seattle, WA.

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