All went quiet for a while on the laptop-front. By Thursday, I did try to figure out which police station might be handling the case. There were several prospective candidates and I hadn’t a clue.
Friends mailed me not to worry. I had other issues on my plate.
After all: police knew where I lived and the landlord had my contact info and the other tenants could supply my mail address and the window cleaners had my card.
Moreover, the cleaners had been called in by police on Tuesday afternoon. (See part 3)
As I received no mail nor phone-call, maybe the victim and spare-key had been right.
The case was solved.
Saturday evening, around 18:00, I was preparing dinner when a bell rang. It rang again.
Then the victim’s bell rang. She did not budge. I went downstairs.
Some guy in a weird kind of slap-dash grab-together second-hand combat-and-army outfit stood at the front door. Goths and punks looked better.
We get our regular share of sales persons, wrong address, and other problems at the front door.
Turned out this was police.
Not suspecting anything, I asked him to come in and up and into my room.
I expected this to be the witness interview.
Once inside, things turned nasty.
He repeated several times, he had no contact info of me.
Surprised, I told him the landlord has it, the window cleaners have it, lots of people have it.
He wanted my ID card.
I handed it to him.
His pen was not working.
I offered one, but he had another pen.
He copied down info, before handing it back.
I asked him to sit down in a chair, next to the windows.
He kept on and on about me not being registered there and people having good reasons for not being registered at an address.
Owning two other places and still undecided about where to settle – though having decided it would not be this house – I hadn’t registered there.
So I kept repeating his phrase: I had good reasons.
After all: was he there about my property, or a stolen laptop?
Told him I had heard the window cleaners had been called in Tuesday afternoon at 15:00. (See part 3)
No, they had not. They hadn’t been called in and he was the one in charge of the case, so he should know.
I was surprised: someone must be lying to me.
So I told him the victim had told me this, when I spoke to her Tuesday morning.
Things were going to get worse.
Once seated, his accusations started to come. It turned really nasty.
To put it in a nutshell: if he took my statement there and then, he could not use it to accuse, charge, and get me convicted.
So I was not being treated as an innocent witness of what happened Monday morning. (See part 1 and part 2)
I was being suspected of – just short of being accused of, charged with, convicted of – this theft.
So he needed to interview me at the police station.
Not the nearest one, but somewhere else in town.
I got really upset: I had asked this none-suit in trustingly, innocently, hospitably!
He was now actually abusing this trust and hospitality – to accuse an innocent witness of having stolen the laptop! I had not even planned to be in the house that morning!
In shock, I started to hyperventilate and ordered him to leave immediately – asking for his contact information.
I told him I was going to contact a lawyer and would not speak to any policeman again without a lawyer.
He told me I had the right to remain silent.
He refused to hand his card.
He mentioned a name, but I was so stressed out, I couldn’t write it down correctly.
I asked him to hand his card again.
He kept refusing.
I need reading-glasses to read small print – but was too distressed to look for them.
I could not read the card he kept in his hands.
With difficulty, I somehow managed to finally write down the name from the card with him spelling and mentioning a number.
The name on his card was not the name he had pronounced.
While he left, I told him again, I would not show up without a lawyer.
He told me I would receive a letter.
I said I would show up at a date and time that suited my lawyer.
Once he had left my room, I broke down and was hyperventilating.
After about an hour, I had calmed down enough to start typing badly spelled, ungrammatical, incoherent text messages to friends, asking for lawyers’ names.
It was Saturday evening. I was on my own. Everything had shut down for the weekend.
Even if I got a lawyer’s office name, it would not open till Monday and with their diaries, they would not be able to see me straight away.
How nicely it had been planned.
All the time, my large windows had been open; as had the windows above mine. My upstairs’ neighbour – the victim – and her spare-key friend had not missed a single word.
At the back of my mind, something still jarred.