Len Jones' double burglary

I was a little bemused by a story in the UK newspaper the News of the World at the weekend. Here it is, in full:

World War II veteran Len Jones, 80, was burgled TWICE while in hospital after a fire at his home.

Former soldier Len got back to Colaton Raleigh, Devon, and found thieves had stolen his £12,000 record collection and then returned for his cameras.

My question is: when Len returned home, how did he know he had been burgled twice? The thieves could easily have taken the records and cameras in the one burglary.

Of course, Len's friends or neighbours could have been watching the property for him, and simply told him when he came out of hospital that he had been burgled twice.

But if so, those friends or neighbours did an exceptionally awful job of looking after his house, despite knowing it well enough to be able to identify which items were stolen in each burglary. And they evidently didn't tell Len about either burglary until after he was out of hospital. I am sure they would say that was because they didn't want to worry an old man who had recently been through a traumatic experience, but I have my suspicions...

Donning my Sherlock Holmes hat for a moment, I say the most likely explanation is that the friends or neighbours that were looking after Len's house were the ones to steal his records and cameras. And the whole 'double burglary' scenario was just a fabrication to throw the police – and Len – off the scent.


Anonymous said...

I thought this blog was supposed to be about grammar!

JD (The Engine Room) said...

As the header says, this blog is about 'language use, misuse and abuse'. We've deliberately given ourselves a pretty broad remit, because as much as we love grammar, we also love tangents.

In this example, the News of the World used language in a way that left me perplexed. The story was open to a number of interpretations and I wanted to explore that. Besides, it's always fun poking holes in the national papers...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if it's from spending hundreds of hours dissecting fellow students' bullshit in my college English classes, but I am unnaturally suspicious about things like this now. HOW DO YOU KNOW IT WAS TWICE?!

I'm glad it's not just me!