My Embarrassing Calling-the-Police Story

I come home, put my key in the lock, but my door is already unlocked. This happened to me once before and it was unlocked because my apartment had been robbed and of course the burglars hadn’t bothered (and had no way to) lock the apartment when they were done. Then I hear voices inside! I run to my neighbor’s and call 911.

I’m all panicked. You can see inside my apartment from my neighbor’s kitchen window and I keep looking and looking. The police come. “Just stay where you are …” We wait anxiously. Nothing. I hadn’t been robbed. My apartment is now full of police, who climbed five flights for nothing. AND, it smells a little because the cats did the smellier one while I was out and if I don’t scoop that out right away there’s a problem.

“I’m so sorry! Ugh! I’m sorry,” I kept saying. They were all so nice about it. “This is what you pay your taxes for.” They told me to put bars or gates on my windows and left. Bottom line: I had left my apartment unlocked! So not good.

Mannequin heads in an alley. I passed these by on my way downtown yesterday. They are so artfully placed I wonder if someone put them there on purpose, maybe for some sort of photo shoot? I shot them through a fence.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

8 thoughts on “My Embarrassing Calling-the-Police Story

  1. Hi Stacy,
    Your picture of the Mannequin heads brings me back to Union Square Park Circa 1983. At the time I was working a Midnight and was flagged down by a guy who said there was a head in the park, on top of a fence. At the time USP was a haven for the homeless,drug dealers and users. We decided not to put the call over the radio, we though it best to check it out first. As we rode around inside of the park we were shocked to actually see a head sitting on a fence post cap of the interior fence. It was a womans head ! As we drove towards it we soon saw that the entire section of the fence , about 75 feet, had the same head on every fence post cap. After we stopped laughing we approached a homeless man sleeping on a bench with an large empty cardboard box next to him. We woke him up and asked him if he knew where the heads came from. He stated that he found the box of heads, made for Beauty School practice,and thought he had found something good. When he took the box into the park and saw that it was heads he decided to make his own art installation. I wish I had a camera with me !!!

  2. Bob McHugh! (Former Lt. in the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad.) Hi! How are you doing? That is a great story, and yeah, that is such a shame you didn’t have a camera with you.

    I remember what Union Square used to be like. I mention that briefly in my singing book because the church I sing in is a few blocks down from Union Square.

  3. You had me worried there for a moment — glad you didn’t have a B&E. Sorry you experienced that in the past. I’ve heard that it is traumatic, knowing a thief/stranger went through personal belongings.

    I think we all forget to lock our doors sometimes. Worst thing I’ve done, left my formal living room door wide open all night (usually keep the hall door closed to that room, so I didn’t notice the outer door being open)! I have a wooden door, with clear glass storm door, and left the wood door open. The next morning I was in shock when I realized anyone could have just walked in…

    Of course, they would have to get past the 3 dogs to get to me…not good for anyone to try that! 🙂

  4. Once upon a time, when I was a student in Windsor Ontario, I was leaving school and walking home, when I went looking for my keys. I liked to have them in my hand as I got near my apartment. I couldn’t find them! I couldn’t believe I had lost my keys. I never do stuff like that. I lived alone too and no one had a spare key, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I decided to go all the way home and figure it out when I got there. Imagine how embarrassed I was (even though no one ever knew until now) when I discovered my keys, hanging from the lock! I had put the key in the lock and turned it but had not pulled it out of the keyway. And I’ve never done anything silly again. Uh huh. 🙂

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