Robbed, burgled, Violated.
I came home early yesterday, a quick stop between work and tennis, I thought. I unlocked and opened the front door, put my bags down and closed and locked the door. After a brief stop in the kitchen (honey, if you’re reading this could you please change the water in the flowers tonight? Love you) I headed to the basement to pull clothes out of the drier.
The basement door was wide open.
Thinking Jim had stopped by the house and forgotten to close the door, I closed and locked it and then I went to my bedroom.
Every drawer was open. Empty jewlry boxes were strewn across the dresser, every closet was standing open. And that’s when it hit me – someone had broken in and robbed us.
I immediately called the police and Jim and then I waited and waited and waited.
As I waited I started assessing what was taken – laptops, gone. Blu-Ray player gone, diamond earrings that were stupidly sitting on my dresser, gone. The necklace Jim bought me and surprised me with in Ashland – gone.
Jim’s camera – gone.
Then I noticed disturbing things like the fact that all the drawers were open but not all had been gone through. The fire safe was pulled away from the wall but not open and not gone. The kitchen door was also slightly open. From the looks of it they had been robbing the house when I CAME HOME.
When the police arrived – 3 hours later, (Thanks Mayor McGinn for ignoring basic services while spending $60,000 to put a bike lane in on a hill with an 8% grade) they confirmed that it looked like the burglars were at the house when I arrived. The police then searched the house thoroughly because burglars have been known to HIDE in the house when interrupted!
Luckily, ours had fled. So while replacing the window the burglars REMOVED – frame and all – to get in and having an alarm system installed I thought I’d share a few tips I learned.
1. That fire safe Jim mocked? Heavy and bulky, it saved us from losing our passports and the majority of my jewelry, but a floor or wall safe would be better. If these had been thieves with a moving van, we would have lost everything.
2. Write the models, serial nos. and prices of all of your electronics down and keep it somewhere safe (like you wallet, and a copy at work, etc.). The police write a report of all that is stolen and send it out to the pawn shops who are required to report if the item turns up. The more identifying information you have, the better chance you have of catching the thief when the item is fenced.
3. Call your computer manufacturer if your laptop is taken. I called Dell to find out the serial no. for my laptop and they marked the laptop as stolen.
4. Get an audible alarm system. Silent alarms don’t scare the casual thief off and the police can’t always be there at your house within minutes. Seriously consider an alarm system. They are anywhere from $30-$50 per month and basic installation is generally free. The scariest part of our experience is that it could have happened when I was home alone.
5. Report any suspicious car or person loitering in your neighborhood. The police told us they will check them out and don’t mind. In fact, they said it helps them keep an eye on trends in neighborhoods.
6. Upload your photos to a website the minute you take them and photoshop them and reload them thereafter. Jim’s laptop and camera were stolen and as a result, he lost all of his photos from his recent trip to Ireland.
A big thank you to the police officers from the East Precinct who answered our call, checked under our beds and took fingerprints for us – you made a bad situation bearable.
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