Never Again – Part Four

It had been quite a morning. Our car had been stolen, used in burglaries, then totally destroyed along with my company car, and a woman arrested in our living room by the police who, by now, were crawling all over Gretton. The village awoke that day to police roadblocks on every road in and out of the village. There were officers in all uniforms imaginable congregating on the green which I couldn’t help think was a tad OTT given that the woman had been arrested and taken into custody. Once the police had left our house I engaged in conversations with our insurance company about the car and then began to explain to my employer that not only would I not be in that day but that their car was no longer of this world. They were brilliant. They told me to relax, called me some kind of ‘hero’ for the recovery of stolen goods and replaced the car with a shiny new one within 24 hours. I didn’t feel like any kind of hero. I was shattered and my nervous system had taken all it was prepared to take. By now our neighbours were standing outside watching the police go about their business as the two sorry vehicles were loaded onto recovery trucks. Margo, our next door neighbour was getting the full story from my wife and me as we relayed the tale as it had happened. As we did so a tall blonde heavily perspiring man walked past carrying a machete. “Good morning” I said. He just looked at me without stopping and if looks could kill I wouldn’t be here writing this today. “It’s him” I said. “The guy that stole the car”. He’d made his way to the post office to buy a can of cola and was soon gone again. We told the police who were immediately energised into a heightened state of run-around. The rumour was that the man was an escaped convict that the authorities had wanted to get back behind bars as quickly as possible. This would account for their heavy presence. He was eventually caught in a field just outside Gretton with a rather valuable clock under his arm. The stolen goods in my wife’s Fiat had included many items of value worth thousands of pounds, mostly belonging to our celebrity neighbour: a writer of many a television series whose house guests, people like Monkee Micky Dolenz and Tim Brooke-Taylor, would often be seen around the village. To this day I have never known the eventual fate of either criminal. I was never called as a witness. To my knowledge there was no court case, though there must have been one, even two, but nothing requiring my attendance. It’s as if the whole episode had never happened. It was all kept very ‘hush-hush’, though I did get a bottle of Asda’s finest from the owner of the recovered haul. That was that. Would I do the same thing again? Probably never!


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