Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thief caught…

An amazing thing happened today. I was on the way out to go and take Anya from the kindergarten and at the moment I was at the door, a parade of cops came around the corner leading a guy in handcuffs by a chain. They stopped at the front door and made the guy stand there with an officer on either side of him while another uniformed officer took his picture with a digital camera. Nobody said anything. After they got the shot, the whole parade went upstairs and one of them rang our bell. I was standing below on the landing and spoke up that this was our place. Everyone just looked at me but nobody said anything. After second, a large plain-clothed officer standing next to me told me that they all know very well who I was and this was about my stolen bicycle.

"This is the guy who stole it?"

"Yes, this is him." I looked at the guy in cuffs and he looked at me without any particular facial expression. He hadn't seemed particularly emotional about anything since he had arrived. The big cop agreed to speak more in a second. The cops arranged themselves for another picture, the guy in chains in the middle, not smiling or saying anything. After they took the picture, the whole group filed down the stairs and out the door.

I stopped the big cop and said to him that this was not the guy who stole the bicycle.

"The guy who stole the bike had a smashed up nose. His name was named Sergei Knyazev and he had been here both the day before and on the day that the bike was stolen."

"This is the guy who stole it. It was sold and sold and sold and eventually the guy you found riding on it had it."

"How did you find him?"

"We asked everyone and it led to him."

"And he agreed that he stole it?"

"Yes." The cop wanted to leave.

"But listen, the guy who took the bike was not this guy. The guy who was riding it up at the train station even agreed that Splosh-nosed Sergei had given the bike to him."

"You live in the center of town. There are a lot of people that come through here. This is the guy." And with that he left.

I didn't try to stop him. I will admit that it certainly seemed as though something strange was going on. If this was the guy, why didn't they ask me if I wanted to talk to him? This is not to say that I don't trust people- I mean, I don't, but this certainly seemed to be a pretty weird deal. I had confronted Splosh-nosed Sergei when I saw him on the street way back in June and while I had him, there was no doubt in my mind that he was the guy. And he himself confirmed this to me the second and last time I saw him when he gave me the sickest shit-eating grin you ever saw in your life. Without question he was baiting me. Again, I am not making any accusations here but I have seen enough under-the-table dealings in the last while to show me that what you see is not always what you get.

Maybe a more legitimate thought would be that the guy they had actually did come up the stairs and take the bike, but if anything he was directed up there by my guy Sergei who had by that time either found enough money for his fix or sold the information that my bike was available. Or maybe this whole thing is just to prove me wrong for accusing the junkie who might be being protected for business reasons. In either case I am still taking it personally.

But I can't help thinking that something weird is going on. It would not be too hard to get a guy who was already going to jail to make a deal in which he agreed to take the blame for a second crime in return for a lighter sentence. As for a why this is, well, they do know me well and it might have become a pretty important thing to finish my case already, this for some different, more local political reasoning.

And then there is one more thing. On the night I staked out Splosh-nosed Sergei's house with Vaddik the Addict from downstairs, a cop showed me a file photo of the guy they were looking for. If though I only saw the photo for a second, looking back, the guy in the picture very much looked like the guy they had in cuffs. However, when I saw the photo I was sure that it also looked like Splosh-nose except for the sploshed nose. I mean a smashed nose can come at any time in a man's life and the photo they had could have been from younger, better times. But then again, if they had the guy's name and photo six month's ago, why wait the six months?

Again, I don't mean to be pointing fingers unnecessarily but it all seems very strange to me. Their not talking to me was pretty weird. I mean, they rang my bell with me standing there which must have meant that they wanted to show me the guy. But when I said I was the one they were looking for that cop said that they all knew very well who I was and not another word was said. Maybe the bell ring was an instinctive reaction and not intended and really, all of this was for the photo session more than it was for my benefit. Or maybe it was just that particular cop who didn't know me all that well. Or maybe I should just knock it off and just be happy that the police have caught the guy who stole my bike six months ago and the town can now sleep a little better at night knowing he is behind bars.

I really don't know but basically, this is what happened today. I don't know if they will call me. I don't know what I would say to them if they did. On my side the house has been much, much quieter and with fewer problems since Vaddik went back to Russia. There have been no extra-venial activities going on in our corridors and since the last time we found syringes on the corridor window sill, the house at least outwardly seems to be drug free. Splosh-nose himself took the advice that I gave him when I was hitting him with the street and never came by ever again. Even the Toothless Hag has been absent without leave. Who knows, maybe she went with Vaddik and they will both live happily ever after, spending their evenings holding hands next to their cardboard box watching the Volga calmly go by.

The bike itself is still not fixed though so in this way, the theft still exists and the wound won't heal. A couple of weeks of good solid riding is what is called for but it simply does not ever seem to want to become available. I bought two new, sharp saw blades today so maybe it will be soon.

I should also add in here that, not without more than a little irony, earlier in the day, on Egor's suggestion we brought home another kitten. Brown, orange and black stripes, only a couple of months old; clear eyes and a lot of aggression. Certainly not as nice or friendly as Kot was, well, this is not true; she is a love and has a warm little heart and straight away she and Anya took a real liking for each other. But in any case we again have a cat with us and I guess we will just have to see how things develop. But without question because she is a she, we are leaning towards Koshka for a name.

More soon…