Steve Crawford

There's someone in the house!

When things go bump in the night.

I thought I would share the story of a recent break in, at my house, in an effort to show the fine police work that our boys in brown are doing and to let you know that hope in the criminal justice system of Thailand is alive and well. About two weeks ago my family and I were asleep. I usually put foam earplugs in because my neighbors sometimes like to have all night drinking binges to the soundtrack of Carabao and Loso. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Carabao and Loso, just not while I am trying to sleep. So, at 3:30, my wife wakes me up, screaming "There are thieves in the house!" I pulled out my earplugs, grabbed my baseball bat and K-Bar and waited just inside our bedroom door, hunkered down, ready like Chuck Norris in a really bad Chuck Norris flick. (Are there ANY good Chuck Norris flicks?)

Apparently my sister in law and niece had heard noises coming from our home office, which is across from their bedroom. Sometimes I work late, but I leave the lights on. There were no lights on, so they became suspicious. They peeked under the bedroom door and saw light from flash lights. So my sister in law slowly opened up the door and saw two small, thin guys, dressed head to toe in black, trying to open my wife's desk drawer. She then closed the door, called the police, the guard station at the front of the village and my wife's cellular.

As soon as they heard my wife scream they did a runner down the staircase, out the TV room's sliding glass door and over out back wall, which just happens to butt up against the jungle.

So the police arrived. There was one man and he took a statement, telling us that a detective would be by around 7:30, as the detectives didn't come on until 7 am. OK, I thought, no problem.

At 9:45 the detective and his driver/assistant arrived. They heard our story and nodded seriously. They asked to see if the thieves left fingerprints anywhere. I showed them:

1) The laundry room doorknob, where they had first come in, by destroying the lock. It had
oily fingerprints all over it.
2) The desk drawer that they had jimmied open. It was made of hard, black plastic and had
fingerprints all over it.
3) The top of my wife's wooden desk, which had fingerprints all over it.
4) 8 drops of one of the thieves blood, which had dried on my den floor. Apparently one of
them had somehow been injured.
5) Two pairs of sandals that the thieves had left, in their haste, just over the property wall, in
the jungle, along with several packets of mosquito repellant, with oily fingerprints all over

They said "Oh, we can't get fingerprints from any of those! We can only get fingerprints from glass!" Oh...I thought. So either they are too lazy to do their job, they want a bribe just to do their job or both. Lovely. Not that one would EVER need to bribe any of them to simply do the bare minimum that their job requires of them, not here. Not on MY watch buddy! 

They then asked for some Q-Tips and a few plastic bags. They wet the Q-Tips with some water, swabbed the blood drops and assured me that they would "send them downtown for DNA analysis". My hopes were appropriately high...not.
I then asked them if they might like to collect the sandals and mosquito repellant, on the other side of the wall. Their reply was "Not really, because we already have DNA, we can't get fingerprints from the packets and we'll get all muddy and dirty." So that was a useful visit. They gave me their cards, took all of our contact info and rode off into the morning sun to help others in distress, a shining example of Thailand's finest.

So I just assumed that nothing would ever come of it. So imagine my surprise when, a few days later, I got a call from the Senior Inspector of the local police station. He told me "There have been a few developments, can you come to see me?" "Why yes, Senior Inspector, I'll be right over" I answered back in my best Beaver Cleaver imitation.

Upon arriving at the local police station, I was feted with iced coffee, chicken sate and many wais and kind words of greeting. We talked about this and that for about 5 minutes, in proper Thai fashion. When he sat up and got serious, I was excited. I thought to myself, "Lineup? DNA matches? Firing squad? Italian seafood buffet?" I imagined busy lab techs at National Police Headquarters getting a DNA match and the local constabulary rushing off to collect hair samples from known local perps, shaking the trees of C.I.s and getting phone book confessions of whoever it was that perpetrated this heinous crime!

The Senior Inspector smiled, opened up his desk drawer, and proceeded to pull out a brand spankin new pair of handcuffs, with a pair of keys and everything! The Senior Inspector assured me that "We are doing everything that can possibly done to catch the thieves and I am confident that we will have them in no more than 3 or 4 more days! In the meantime, have a free pair of handcuffs from me. That way, if they come back, you can detain them and we will come and pick them up for you!"
I thought that was mighty white of him, thanked him and went home. My wife likes the handcuffs, we have since bought a home security system and my confidence that Thailand's law enforcement is "on the job" has grown by leaps and bounds.

So if you ever hear anyone bad mouthing the Thai boys in brown, don't you believe it! They are a perfect example of modern, dedicated police force, armed with the latest technology and techniques. You might even get a free pair of handcuffs if you're lucky!


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