Early Monday morning, someone broke into Peter’s office building. The intruder damaged some door handles apparently trying to get into various suites, but Peter, who was there, working start-up hours, didn’t hear anything. However, to his dismay, the GPS device was stolen from his unlocked car, and replacing it cost over $200. It was a curious theft: the GPS device needed to have been twisted and unwound from the dashboard, but other items, such as some change and computer software, which could just have been grabbed, had been left behind. As it turns out, the thief was likely more fascinated with the blinky light on the GPS than anything else, including its function, but I get ahead of myself.
The building manager couldn’t figure out how it happened, since all the building doors are locked at night. They sent out a notice announcing that a locksmith would be over in a few days to rekey all the door locks.
And then, today, in the wee hours of the morning, Peter ran into the thief herself. He’d just finished adding new drives to the Atomic Avenue servers, and as he came out of the server room, which is between his suite and Northrup Grumman’s, he saw a disheveled 40-something woman trying Northrup Grumman’s door.
You can’t always make assumptions about strange people in your office building, even when it’s 3:30 a.m. After all, Peter was working the wee hours himself. So he asked her: “Do you work here?”
She looked really wasted; either that, or mentally ill. Finally, she came up with, “No, but I know someone who works here.” Uhh….not at 3:30 in the morning, you don’t.
Peter escorted her out of the building and called the police. They responded quickly and found the trespasser a few blocks away. They also discovered that one of the building doors wasn’t latching closed properly, so it didn’t matter whether it was locked or not. Even with a shiny new lock, a door that doesn’t close will let in anyone, any time of day.
Peter was unhappy at having run into an intruder, but I thought he was pretty level-headed about it. If it had been me, I would have screamed loud enough to deafen her, rushed into the suite and barricaded the door, set off the burglar alarm, and placed an incoherent call to 911. If I carried a gun and could shoot straight, she’d be dead, her blood soaking permanent stinky stains into the carpeting. If I just carried a gun, the building would now be riddled with bullet holes.
But then, I don’t work alone in empty office buildings at night. I told Peter he was a hero, but he disagreed. “Compared to modern British naval standards, maybe,” he said. Nontheless, he’s still my hero. A mystery has been solved, and Santa Clara office buildings are safer from crazy old ladies thanks to him.