The next morning, Constable Lodge and the Chief met for their weekly policing review.
“It strikes me” said the Chief “that we need to spruce up some of our campaign material. As it gets closer to christmas, people seem to become more lax about protecting their personal possessions – as you know we have an increase of people reporting that their phones and wallets have been stolen.”
“I agree” said Lodge “So I took our poster saying ‘watch out’ and made the whole thing more seasonal. If you remember, we had a thief in the middle. Well, this is my update.”
He turned the easel round so the Chief could see. The Chief looked at it, and then at Lodge.
“You don’t see a problem? Do you know what today is?”
“Nope” replied Lodge. “What’s wrong?”
“Well” explained the Chief, slowly, “It looks like people might get the wrong idea about how Santa gets all the presents at Christmas! And even if that wasn’t the first thing that springs to mind, today is the town’s ‘Santa Dash 5K run’!!”
“So we put it up tomorrow?” answered Lodge.
Before the Chief could respond, a fireman poked his head round the door.
“Chief – can you answer something please? My crew have come over from Bricksville to help set up the drink and food stations for the run. We thought it would be good to cook some sausages and biscuits – but nobody is eating anything! When I asked, they said you would tell me.”
“Hi Sam!” replied the Chief “Oh yes, it was something we meant to tell you guys. We need to hang a sign on the stands to say that all your ingredients have come from Bricksville and aren’t local. We’ve been having… some local problems over the last few days. I’ll get Lodge to sort something out, but in the meantime I’ll get our guys over to eat some of your food which will reassure the public.”
“You really are strange round here” said Sam. “One of the locals was telling me that you had a Brussels shortage the other year!”
“Yes, never a dull moment” said the Chief.
It didn’t take long to get the local firemen and off duty policemen to come and help. Soon, Sam and his crew were inundated with orders for cookies and sausages and everyone was happy.
“Look, here they come!” cried Gail. Within a few moments, the Santa’s ran past the police station.
“Wow!” said Torch. “They’re running really fast! This may be the year that even the slowest runner breaks the record!”
Everybody started to cheer them on. Torch was a little confused that none of them seemed to smile as they were running – in fact they looked quite angry.
“That’s odd” said Torch.
“Not the only thing” said the Chief. “The race isn’t due to start for another 30 minutes!”
It was only after the last Santa ran past that all questions were answered. Behind them shouting and yelling, were some of the citizens of the town.
“Stop you! Bring back my stuff! Stop! Hey You!!!”
One of the angry people stopped by the Chief.
“Why didn’t you stop them?” they asked. “We saw your poster!”
“What poster?” asked Torch.
“Oh, no” said the Chief. “The volunteers put them up early!”
Today it’s Sam, the fireman. I think he might be dressed for dealing with a forest fire rather than a house fire as he has a hard hat on!