It was a routine burglary - the kind that is so common it is seldom solved.

Fourth District Officers George Catlett and Walter James had responded to a complaint from a man whose garage had been broken into. A 20-inch bicycle had been taken. Also a black bicycle seat.

Catlett and James took down a detailed description of the missing property. They also kept their eyes open and their wits about them.

When they examined the garage, they found a small dog in it. The complainant said it was not his dog.

Not his dog? Very interesting. If it wasn't his, whose was it?

Catlett and James thought they could guess.

The burglary looked like the work of a juvenile who wanted a bicycle "in the worst way" - and had tried to get one that way.

So Catlett and James turned the little dog loose and followed him for three quarters of a mile until he stopped at the rear of a house. There, in plain view, they saw one black bicycle seat and one 20-inch wheel. Also one 12-year-old boy who told the policemen where they could find the remainder of the bicycle.

And what happened to the little dog? The Metropolitan Police Department's Metro Intercom, which covered the story, says, "The 'informant' was immediately confined to the yard."