Last night I woke up to a car alarm. It took me a while to realise that the noise I heard through my deep sleep was indeed a car alarm. As a fellow car owner myself, I know that car alarms usually have a reason to go off (unless we are talking about *my* car that starts screaming on its own or when a fly accidentally bumps into it), so I peeked out through the curtains.
I saw a white sedan parked in front of my house blinking its lights and yelling its lungs out with a person on a moped standing behind it. It was dark, I was sleepy and had no glasses on. I thought maybe it was the owner who just arrived to turn the signal off (morning me: why would the owner of a car come to their car with a moped?) or a random passerby ensuring everything was alright.
I rubbed my eyes, trying to figure out whether I was awake or asleep, when I saw another person stand up from the car, walk to the moped, and get on it. Together they drove away.
“Huh, that’s weird,” I thought to myself, “An owner would probably have turned the signal off before leaving, right?”
I remembered a scene I saw some days ago in front of my house of a car parked with a front window smashed in and the pissed owner feeling helpless walking around it taking pictures. Could it be that this white sedan was also a victim of a break-in that I had just witnessed? Was its window smashed in? What should I do? Should I call the police? What should I tell them? Am I even awake??
I did not call the police. My reasoning was as follows.
First and foremost, I was not even sure I had not dreamt it. The car lights had stopped blinking by now and the light was too dim for me to make out whether the window was broken or not. Everything looked peaceful and serene. There was no reason to believe something was wrong.
Second, I had had no glasses on. Even if I had not been dreaming what would I have told the police? That I saw two dark figures hustling around the car driving away on a colourless moped? Not very useful information. Would they even have come?
Now that I think about it, though, the least they could have probably done would have been contacting the owner to tell them to come check on their car. I imagine they could run the number plate through a database and get the owner’s contact information. At least then the owner could have secured their car somehow (how, though?) to ensure nothing else gets stolen through the night.
So I did nothing. I did not crawl out of the nice warm bed to go check if the window had been smashed. I did not contact the police. I simply turned the other side and fell asleep again.
And then I kept waking up throughout the night and checking on the car every time. I put on my glasses trying to see if there were glass shards on the ground or a hole instead of the window. I checked whether the alarm had turned on again or whether the lights were blinking. But it was too dark to see and the bed was too warm to leave.
By the time I woke up in the morning, the car was gone.