In this police report, Officer Eric Walter begins by informing the reader that he was "working marked patrol as '2R11' in the city limits of Seattle." The one thing we must all envy about police work is this fascinating business of patrolling the city: this movement with no real direction, this turning, this stopping, this going, this checking, this accelerating, this sunlight rippling up and down your face as you drive through a leafy neighborhood. And sometimes nothing happens at all. There were no calls on the radio and nothing out of the ordinary took place on the streets you patrolled. You passed a very old man, you passed a young woman watering flowers, you passed a goat eating the leaves of a bush, you passed a part of a hill that unexpectedly burst into a splendid view of downtown Seattle—all of that glass dazzled by the light of the falling sun. What could be more pleasant than a patrol that ends without an incident? It was just you, your squad car, your city limits.

In this report, however, something did happen. Some person told Officer Walter that the house of his dead neighbor had been burgled.