1985, N. Hollywood, CA: The L.A. Police Department gave me this cool one-inch lapel pin [click to enlarge] after I helped thwart a house robbery.
While jogging one morning, I ran past two guys sitting in a parked car who were obviously trying to hide their faces. On a hunch, I doubled back five minutes later, and noticed the same guys standing in the side doorway of a nearby house, jimmying the lock.
So I sprinted back home and called the police, to describe what I'd seen. They responded with several patrol units, a couple of motorcycle cops, and a helicopter.
One of the motorcycle guys stopped by my apartment a few minutes later, and said the robbers had been caught in the act. He was really pumped. Cops love to catch perps while they're perpetratin'.
PS: The homeowners later gave me a gift-wrapped bottle of champagne, so I got the full hero treatment. They always waved after that, whenever they saw me jogging past their house.