So we’re walking on a dark block. Near an intersection just outside a city park, a couple other pedestrians, young males from the sound of their voices, stroll past in the middle of the street. I can make out one in dark clothes, including what looks like a black hooded sweatshirt, and another one wearing I can’t tell what. The second guy is holding a cellphone–I can see the light from the screen. He seems to stop by a car on the other side of the street, but I can’t tell for sure until I get an angle on him and the car where I can see his silhouette. Yeah–he’s bent down fiddling with a car door, maybe 100 feet from where I’m standing. I can hear a metal-on-metal sound, like maybe he’s fiddling with the door lock.
So far so good. He doesn’t see us. I watch for five, maybe ten seconds. And then this next bit happens.
“Yo!” I shout. “What you doin’ my car?!”
The guy pauses. He fumbles the cellphone and drops it. Then he picks it up and runs in the direction I’d seen his companion go. I walk back toward the car, hoping someone in one of the houses along the street has heard the commotion and will come out. A dog is tied up in front of one of the houses and starts barking–it had been quiet while the guy had been working on the car. After a minute or so, a woman sticks her head out the door. I ask whether she knows who the car at the curb belongs to because I saw someone who might have been trying to break into it. After a wary pause, she says it’s her car, and comes out and checks it. No damage, though in fact the front door is not locked. She thanks me for alerting her to what happened, whatever it was. We compare notes on walking dogs at night, and I tell her even though The Dog–the one I’m walking–is a pretty gentle creature, folks tend to give a wide berth, especially after dark.
And that’s it. We go on our way. I’m thinking, ” ‘What you doin’ my car?!’ ” Where did that come from?