Starry eyed ideas about busting major criminal gangs disappeared rapidly over the first three weeks. Except for seeing a gang of about twelve youths hanging around the estate doing nothing more than smoking cigarettes one night, the nights of patrolling were extremely quiet. To keep his troops motivated, Philip pointed out that it might be down to their presence proving to be a good deterrent. More fortune came in the form of three new eager recruits. That was good because it lessened the workload for the rest of the group. It seemed the plan was working well.
Late one evening, while out on patrol, Christian and his slender, blonde partner, Nikita, spied a shadowy figure running between some houses near the estate. Staying at a safe distance, the pair watched and strained their ears to find out what might happen next. Hearing what sounded like glass breaking, Christian dialed 999 while Nikita phoned the other pair requesting back up.
“Emergency services, which service do you require?” asked a female voice on the other end of Christian’s phone.
“Police,” Christian replied, fighting to keep the adrenaline down.
Thirty seconds later, a male voice came on the line, “Police, how may we help?”
“I’d like to report a break-in in progress.”
“When you say, ‘in progress,’ do you mean it’s happening right now” the man questioned.
“Yes, right now,” Christian breathed back heavily. “We saw someone run in between some houses then heard a window breaking.”
“And where is this alleged break-in taking place?”
“St. Stephens Street, in Bow, near the Sandall House,” Christian happily informed and giving himself a salute for feeling proud of himself for being able to give the information.
“Okay, we’ll see if we can send someone around.” The monotone voice did little to instill Christian with confidence.
Gurpreet and Martin couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Together, the four of them waited with mobile phone cameras at the ready. Seconds later, a white van with no other distinguishable markings pulled up and stopped outside one of the houses the shadowy figure was seen running between. A skinny man, who looked about five feet ten and wore dark clothing, got out and went around and open the van’s back door. At the same time, another man, probably the first figure, appeared from between the same houses carrying what looked like a television set and loaded it into the back of the van. The driver then joined his companion in loading other treasures taken from the house, all the while, unaware that there were four witnesses nearby taking photos of them. Otherwise, they would have covered up their faces, which were clear to see. Both men were white, the burglar had a triangular face with a long pointed nose while the driver’s face looked flatter with large round eyes. The group had all the evidence they needed.
No one on the teams was surprised that the police never turned up to answer Christian’s call. The two teams took it in turns to go past the burgled house but the rest of the night was uneventful. Right before the shift ended at 2 AM, Christian got an idea to venture onto the targeted property and look for clues. While the dark of the night prevented him from seeing much, he was able to spot the broken window where the burglar got it. He simply took a few photos and left. He and his team were satisfied that justice was going to be served.