A heroic act took place in my neighborhood one day this summer.
It was the middle of the day, and many people were at work.
However, one woman was out for some exercise, or perhaps she was walking a dog.
The important fact is she was outside, and she saw something unusual - a couple of guys she didn't recognize walking through the quiet neighborhood with a flat-screen television.
When they reached the parking lot of the nearby school, shuttered for summer break, they loaded the TV into an old car.
She thought that was strange. So strange, in fact, that she started taking pictures.
Using a cellphone camera, no doubt, she took pictures of both the strangers and their car. She got the license plate number.
Then she called the police.
When two homeowners reported burglaries later that day, her actions allowed officers to connect the dots.
Can you guess who one of those homeowners was?
The burglars didn't find a flat-screen TV in my house, but they did come across my husband's nice backpack. We guess they filled it with items they could exchange for quick cash - a netbook-style computer, a camera and most of our jewelry.
Then they scooted out the back door, leaving it open.
Hours later, when we arrived home, drawers were open and closets had been rifled. But there was no sign of forced entry.
The front door was unlocked.
I knew immediately whose fault that was.
Some mornings I walk before getting ready for work, and my habit was to leave the door unlocked for that short period. My intention always was to relock it when I returned.
Can you guess what I apparently didn't do that day?
Discovery of the crime that evening evoked several emotions - panic over the loss of security, anger, disgust and, most of all, sadness.
On the netbook, which lived on my kitchen table, were family photos I had neglected to store elsewhere. The jewelry had been accumulated over a lifetime, much of it with far more sentimental value than it would yield in a pawnshop.