My guess is they were after the bike. Probably saw it on the porch from across the street, but couldn’t tell it was secured to the house with a cable lock and a Kryptonite u-lock.

I had only a minute or two earlier slid the deadbolt and shut off the front door entry light and the living room light, and maybe that was the signal the coast was clear, presuming they were casing the place. Trouble for them was I adjourned to the kitchen to refill water and kibble bowls for the night and after that was done gave Jiggy and Pepper a goodnight pet then ventured back up to the front of the house to give Pumpkin a cuddle where he lay on the comfy chair next to Buster.

If Pumpkin hadn’t been camped out there I might’ve missed all the fun. Because in a textbook case of good timing, when I stood up and looked out the window, that’s when I first saw them. There were two, their forms silhouetted and creeping up the front steps from the sidewalk. If our tenant Joe were still alive I might have presumed they were visitors as it wasn’t entirely odd for people to come see him late at night. But Joe’s not here anymore and we obviously weren’t expecting anybody so I strode to the door threw the bolt back with a thwack! and before the door was open the pair had turned tail and run.

“What’s all this about, huh?” I boomed as I yanked the door back and barreled past the screen door. But the only answer was their rapidly beating footsteps northbound toward Sunset.

“Yeah, you better run!” I yelled after them. Then I trotted down to see if I could get a better visual as they fled, but they were already long gone. Then I realized I was standing in the middle of the street in my underwear. And I didn’t give a shit.

After Susan came to the door from getting ready for bed wondering what was going on, I told her as I moved the bike inside. Then I called the nonemergency LAPD number and passed along the info that I’d just chased a couple of trespassing hoodlums off and if a unit was available to prowl the area they might find the punks looking for other thefts to make from less wary and reactive residents.

It was a safe bet they wouldn’t come back around here, but still I stood watch on the porch for a few minutes in case they were stupid enough to return for an encore. Then I came inside and took up a position in the library window. Then I sat down to tap this out hoping it would help dispell the adrenaline and the hackles-up disgust I have for petty cockroach snatch-n-grabbers who have no respect for property that’s not their own.