The streets around our house are often really noisy in the hours around midnight at weekends. We live directly opposite a pub, and people tend to pile out -- drunk and belligerent -- to bellow at their friends or enemies^1^ for hours on end. If it's not drunkards disturbing the peace, it's youngsters on mopeds opening the throttle right up and letting the street hear all 50 cc of raw, wasp-in-a-bottle power squeezed out by their irritating machines. So when we were woken at 4 am this morning by someone yelling in the street and beeping their car horn repeatedly, we just sighed in resignation. As usual, we looked out the window to check that no-one was in danger of injury or death, and that our property and that of our neighbours was relatively safe from accidental or deliberate vandalism. We couldn't quite work out what the bloke in the street was yelling, but he seemed OK (if angry), so we went back to bed.
When we got up in the morning, there were a couple of Police cars parked in the street. Almost as soon as we'd turned our lights on, an officer knocked on our door and asked permission for him and his large Alsatian dog to search our garden. We're generally law-abiding people, so it isn't every day that we watch the Police rummaging around in our herbaceous borders while we have breakfast.
It seems that the shouting-at-4am man had been robbed of his phone and iPod^2^ by a thief, who had then disappeared in the general direction of our back gardens. So he was shouting at the thief to try to flush him out. Needless to say, the search didn't turn up any evidence, but I doubt that they would have found him even if they'd arrived earlier, because there are so many places to hide and then sneak away. Assuming that a mobile and iPod was all that was stolen, I'm also surprised that the Police turned up in such force. I would have thought that stolen phones/iPods are two a penny, and would elicit nothing more than a resigned face and the offer of a form to fill in from the local constabulary. But perhaps I'm cynical.
^1^ It's often hard for the casual listener to determine whether the bellowees are indeed friends or enemies. ↑
^2^ And perhaps more, but that was all we heard about. ↑