What is more foolish than breaking into a police officer's car in front of police headquarters?

Trying to sell the stolen goods to another police officer in back of police headquarters the same morning.

According to District of Columbia police, that is what Walter T. Menroe, 24, of 104 59th Pl. NE, and William L. Taylor, 45, of Warrenton, tried to do Thursday.

Police reported ths sequence of events:

At about 4:30 a.m. Officer Betty Hall, who works the midnight shift in communications in police headquarters at 300 Indiana Ave. NW received a request from a policeman for a license plate check.

The tag the officer read to her was her own.

Somewhat astounded, Hall asked the officer why he had made such a request. He told her that two men had asked him for a jump start on her car moments earlier. He was unable to help them since he was bringing a prisoner into headquarters. Further, their request aroused his suspicions.

Hall, who works part-time for the Indiana Avenue at Third Street shortly before 11 p.m. asked Officer John C. Kennedy to dispatch a scout car to her car's location.

Hall, who part-time for the hu-humane society, he had left 128 pounds of animal food as well as some clothing in her car.

By the time the scout car arrived on the scene, the men, the animal food and the clothes were gone.

At 7 a.m. when her shift ended, Hall went out the front entrance to her parking spot to give a larceny report to the officers.

In the meantime, Kennedy headed for home out the building's back entrance on C street. As he walked through the door he, "just stopped dead and stared," in disbelief at the sight which greeted him.

Waiting on C street were two men. With them they had several crats of animal food and some clothes. They had set up shop.

According to Kennedy, one of the men, later identified as Monroe, approached, hooked a thumb toward the goods and said, "You interested?" That, Kennedy said, started the following dialogue:

"You selling?" Kenn

"How much is it worth to you?" Kennedy replied, taking out his badge and handling it to the man.

both men were arrested and charged with larceny from an auto. They were released later on personal recognizance. Kennedy said the men told him they knew the building housed the police department.

I couldn't believe the whole thing," Kennedy said. "Ripping off the car is one thing but showing up two hours later in the same place . . . wow."