Operator: 911. What is the nature of your emergency?
Caller: Someone just broke into my house!
Operator: OK, sir, I’ll send the police, but I first have to confirm your address. The systems shows you at 4321 Maple. Is that correct?
Caller: Yes it is! Please hurry, the burglar is still here!
Operator: Are you okay? Has he hurt anyone?
Caller: I’m okay. I don’t think anyone is hurt.
Operator: Can you see him? What is he doing?
Caller: I’ve been watching him, but I can’t make out what he’s been doing. He moves so fast! He’s doing something by the Christmas tree. He has a large bag, so he may be stealing presents!
Operator: Can you describe him?
Caller: I guess he’s about average height, heavy set, with a long white beard and long white hair. He’s wearing a strange red suit and black boots.
Operator: Is the suit like a jump suit?
Caller: No, it’s two pieces. The jacket has white fur around the hood, the bottom hem, and the cuffs of the sleeves. Oh, I hear the sirens now!
Operator: OK, sir, I’ll let you go. Wait for the police and they’ll handle everything from here on out.
When the police arrived, the caller was standing in his front yard looking up at the sky. He informed the officers the burglar was gone. Here’s how the police interview went:
Officer: Sir, why are you looking up at the sky?
Caller: It’s the strangest thing…. After I got off the phone with the 911 operator, the burglar moved over to the fireplace and disappeared. Then I saw a red glow outside like maybe the roof was on fire. I came outside to check, thinking, “That’s just what I need! A fire on top of a burglary!” Maybe the guy’s an arsonist, too, trying to cover his tracks! But, as you can see the roof is fine. I did see a red glowing spot circling around overhead, and it appeared to be followed by some kind of vehicle, but I couldn’t make out what it was. I was trying to track it when you guys pulled up. It didn’t look like any aircraft that I’m familiar with, but it might be some kind of drone. You know how popular those things have gotten lately.
Officer: OK, sir. Let’s go inside to see if anything was taken.
Caller: Yes, of course…. Strange thing about that drone or whatever it was… it didn’t sound like one of those remote controlled planes or helicopters.
Officer: What did it sound like?
Caller: Bells, but not church bells, phone bells, doorbells, or cowbells. It was more… jingly.
Officer: Like sleigh bells, sir?
Caller: Yes! Like sleigh bells! But I don’t think there’s a sleigh or sleigh bells within a hundred miles of here!
Officer: Well, sir, does it appear that any presents are missing?
Caller: Uhm, let me look for a minute…. No, nothing’s missing. As a matter of fact, I see several packages that weren’t here earlier!
Officer: Don’t touch anything, sir! You need to evacuate your family from the house right now! I’m calling in the bomb squad and a crime scene crew. These new packages might contain explosives!
The bomb squad brought in a bomb-sniffing dog that didn’t find any explosives. The Caller mentioned that the burglar wore gloves, so the crime scene people didn’t bother to check for fingerprints. The only other evidence they found was a trail of soot particles between the fireplace and the Christmas tree, plus a long white whisker. DNA tests produced no matches on the whisker, but it did come from a Scandinavian male.
While the bomb squad and the crime scene crew conducted their investigations, a robbery detective continued to interview the Caller at a safe place nearby.
Detective: Do you know how the burglar got in?
Caller: All my windows and doors are wired in to my alarm system, but the alarm didn’t sound. I just had the system checked a few days ago so I know he didn’t come in through a window or door. The only other opening between indoors and outdoors that isn’t on the alarm system is the chimney.
Detective: Didn’t you say the burglar was heavyset? How could he fit in the chimney?
Caller: I don’t know, but I don’t see how else he could have gotten in!
Detective: Very well, we’ll deal with this issue later, hopefully when we catch the guy! If the alarm didn’t sound, how did you become aware that a burglar was in your house?
Caller: The sound of someone calling out some names woke me up. I think the burglar might have several accomplices, and he might even be part of a gang involved in prostitution!
Detective: What makes you say that, sir?
Caller: I heard him call out seven or eight names. I couldn’t make out all the names, but the ones I could make out sound like gangster nicknames, like Dancer, Prancer, and Blitzin’. He also said the word ‘ho’ a lot.
Detective: Hmm, okay, I see what you mean about the gang affiliation and the prostitution angle. Is that all you heard?
Caller: No. When I first heard the names being called out, I thought it was from a movie or TV show. I do have a neighbor who watches movies late at night a lot, and sometimes the sound carries very well at night. But I remembered he went out of town for the holidays. Then I heard a strange sound that made me get up to go investigate. I heard a sound like hooves on wood coming from directly overhead, like ponies or deer trampling on my roof! I grabbed my cordless phone to go outside to check the roof. Before I got all the way down the stairs, I saw the burglar and immediately called 911!
The local police never could solve this case, so they asked the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI for a profile The profiler assigned to the case is now on medical leave for psychiatric treatment. However, the detective is still determined to find the culprit, even if he has to go all the way to the North Pole!