My Very Scary Morning

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Shannon O'DonnellSo I almost went ahead and just HAD the baby this morning (several weeks early), I was so worked up and upset! We live in an ‘okay’ neighborhood that separates a super-expensive housing area from a crime-ridden one…and often some of that crime spills in our direction. My car has been broken into several times since we moved to this locale two years ago. Often my husband will be up late at night working in his office, and he’ll see guys ‘casing’ the cars parked on our street at odd hours–he’s even witnessed one guy breaking a car window and pulling out a computer, then running down the street lickety-split. And this was at 8:30 in the morning in broad daylight! Once in awhile, I’ll step out of my house in the middle of the night on the way to work, and I’ll run into one of these fellows myself…such was the case this morning.

Here I am about 7 1/2 months pregnant, in heels (of course! At 5’2″ I just can’t give them up!), walking down our front steps balancing my purse, lunch bag, and of all things, a full-length mirror that I’d long ago promised to bring into the weather center (not really smart in the first place!). Across the street I notice a young guy with a big winter jacket and a back-pack on, checking out my neighbor’s car (wonder how many ipods and laptops he had in there?). Obviously this guy is up to no good, and has no business being there at this hour of the morning other than to cause trouble. He sees me so begins to walk on, but keeps looking back at me as I teeter down my stairs with my arms full. At that point he gets out of my line of vision and I’m not sure what to do–do I run back inside? Is he harmless or really a thug? Had I not had that darned mirror I would have been able to just jump in my car. I loaded everything in as fast as I could hoping he wasn’t coming up behind me, then I got in and started to drive away. At that point I see he has crossed the street to come over to my side, and is watching me leave the house.

Now I’m thinking, “oh great, he’s seen me leave, and he’s going to skip the car thievery and break into our house instead!” So I immediately call my husband and try to wake him up and warn him to keep his eyes open and ears peeled. No answer, so I call again. And I call and I call and I call. I have a very long commute to work, so I called his cell phone and our house phone repeatedly for that entire 45-minute span. No answer. Now my husband can be a very heavy sleeper, but this was ridiculous! Could he be snoring that loudly that he wouldn’t hear a single call? And wouldn’t our 18-month-old son awake to all of the commotion and start crying?

Wild things are running through my head by now. I’m assuming this robber-guy has my family tied up and tortured–or worse. I promised myself that if I got all the way to work and nobody had answered, that I’d call the police to go and check things out. So upon pulling into the station, I went ahead and called 9-1-1, apologizing for “probably being crazy”, and explaining the situation to the operator.

As you can probably guess, my husband WAS finally rudely awakened…by red flashing lights in our driveway and cops pounding on the door asking if everything was all right in there! My husband, of course, thought I’d been in a terrible morning accident and the officers had come to break the sad news. It just about scared him, AND our poor baby boy, out of their wits.

But better safe than sorry, right? And as (Traffic Guru) Mike Inouye assured me, at least my calling the cops will make them more aware of the car-casing that goes on in our neighborhood. Maybe we’ll get an extra patrol or two out there and I won’t be so scared to venture out a few steps from my home in the middle of the night!

Shannon O’Donnell
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist

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