Well, not so much “foiled” as “politely greeted.”
I got home at about 11:50pm tonight; as I was walking in our front door, I ran into a man I didn’t know walking out that same door, wheeling a bike.
This is not especially unusual; my housemates have friends who I don’t know, I often don’t recognize even people I’ve met several times, and Portlanders habitually bring their bikes indoors with them (for security and for dryness) when they visit a house.
I said something like “hi there!” and he – perfectly calm and friendly – said something like “Hi. Just heading out.” I walked in, he walked out, and my housemate Charles walked in from the kitchen at that moment. I asked Charles if he knew who that guy had been, and Charles, glancing over my shoulder, recognized his own bike being wheeled away and gave chase.
I ran out after Charles, and caught up with them on the sidewalk in front of the house; Charles had grabbed one end of the bike and they were having a tug-of-war, and Charles said “no fucking way, asshole.” The guy ran away at that point, and Charles and I brought the bike back indoors. Hanging off the bike’s rack was Sydney’s backpack, and in the backpack was my housemates stuff – Kim’s laptop, Kim’s e-cig, Jakes’s Playstation, and Sydney’s headphones. (All six items – bike, pack, ecig, laptop, playstation, headphones – had been in the TV room).
We also found an open window, leading into our TV room from the alley in back of the house. We called the cops, but the guy got clean away. The police advised us to lock our windows (good idea!), and to get curtains over the windows.
Oy! Second break-in in four months. That doesn’t mean anything, statistically – it’s not especially unlikely for two robberies to occur in the same year just by random chance – but still not a happy thing.
Note to self: Next time I run into someone in my house I don’t recognize, don’t assume that they’re here legitimately.