Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Our House Got Robbed

We'd only lived in our new home for under a year when we were broken into.
I had taken a week off work to recover from having one of my saliva gland's removed. (I know, I'm getting a reputation for my cool surgeries. Don't be jealous, my mouth has 30% less saliva than yours).

At the time, I worked as an office manager in a psychology practice and there were no other employees to harass in the David Brent style. When the Thursday after my surgery rolled around, and I was feeling better, and speaking easily - much to my husband's disappointment delight. I called my boss and told her I'd be in to work the next day. She was so relieved. I didn't normally work on Fridays but I knew there would be a lot to catch up on come Monday if I didn't go in.

We had just had friends from Norway staying with us the week before my surgery. So if there was a thief watching our house, and trying to figure out a schedule it would have proven tricky to figure out.

My husband and I usually don't arrive home from work at the same time but this day we did. It was winter so our completely enclosed and private porch was in complete darkness. My husband was a few steps behind me. As I stepped into the porch I screamed bloody murder, like I'd just been attacked or something. He freaked out. I laughed really hard. "Why do you do things like that, Jess? You scare me." I thought I was hilarious. I stumbled in the dark for the lock and finally got my key in.  I switched the light on. Immediately I knew things were amiss. I did not leave the front hall closet open when I left. Our re-usable green bags were scattered in the entry.

I exclaimed something like "Oh my Gosh, this isn't right." I turned to look in the lounge room and saw that our entertainment unit had been completely pulled from the wall with cords sticking out. Then I turned to my bedroom and stuff was thrown all over our bed, and not because we'd made hot love that morning. We hadn't). Panicked, I turned to Dave - "We've been broken into!" He was in disbelief and replied sarcastically "Yeah, sure we have... this just one of your stupid pranks, Jess." "No, Dave, really we've been broken into." (No one ever believes me about the serious things). "How do I know you didn't just set this up?" He asked. A reasonable question considering my sick sense of humour, the prank I'd just pulled, and the fact that I leave for work after him. Which means I would have had time to set something this elaborate up. Except I didn't. I stood there shaking like a twerker's bottom, and explained that I wouldn't have been able to move the entertainment unit out that far (confession: I am not buff).

Then we noticed the laptop was missing...
You can see to the end of the hallway, where the blinds hang and where the sneaky thief exited on right.
I heard the sliding door's blind flapping in the wind at the back of the house. We tentatively moved down the hallway together, not knowing if their was still someone in our home, but apparently dumb enough to think we could fight them off with our... bare hands? Yup, just like the 'Casey's, Rebecca's and Crystal's' of horror movies gone by.
The back sliding door was wide open but the blind was down. I rushed into our back study and looked in our filing cabinet. The one with the lock on it, but of course - it wasn't locked. My white gold necklace with the diamond pendant that David gave me on our wedding night was gone. That's when I burst into tears (imagine a twerker crying). The thief could have taken so many other things (like the landline phone or address book pictured. Things that will have real value soon because they are almost extinct). Why the necklace? WAHHH! That was priceless to me. What about the sentimental value? Thieves are not the most thoughtful bunch.

Filing cabinets make shitty safes. This is why we own a real safe now, people! One we keep locked.
The cops came that night. They took ages to show up even though their headquarters is only 3 city blocks away. When they arrived they seemed really nonchalant about the whole thing. Apparently this happens all the time so they didn't seem too surprised. The forensic investigators came and dusted everything for prints the next day. They found a lot of mine, but I tried not to look guilty. Then I spent hours getting the black powder off everything. 
David's Johnny Walker Blue Label was taken, along with several other bottles. We're classy.
And for the record, I finally convinced Dave to recycle the giant empty beer can.

The thief had entered through a window at the back of the house by pushing up the pane and sliding it over. He had used one of my plant pots to hoist himself inside. He took whatever he could carry in one of our green re-usable shopping bags. He had enough time to search the study to find the Macbook power cord after taking the Macbook from the lounge room. He stole some other small items as well, like my digital camera. Which probably doesn't seem like much right now but back in those days, kids, most phones didn't have the great cameras in them like they do today.

You can see the thief's running shoe imprint on left where the cops dusted for prints, and the window that he came in through. Not sure why he left the cookbook. 
Luckily David had taken out Home and Contents insurance when we had moved in and we were able to get everything replaced. Funnily enough, insurance companies aren't too interested in replacing your green shopping bags.

Dave picked up the replacement necklace from the jeweller without me knowing and gave it to me on a bench, in the moonlight, overlooking the ocean. He said he wanted to give me another special memory of  receiving the new necklace to help me forget the robbery. Mushy bottoms!

David installed extra locks on every single window and the back sliding doors, and installed a simple home security system that *called our home phones in a break in. And he bought a safe. It's taken me years to not dream about someone breaking into our home, especially because our neighbours were broken into a few years later. I was incredibly creeped out that a stranger was in my bedroom, going through my personal items without me knowing. Yuck. Who knows, maybe he even stole a pair of undies that I haven't even missed. Bahaha. Shouldn't flatter myself. Actually, that's also very yuck. Reminds me way too much of the prison-panty-mail ring that Orange Is The New Black had on their show.

*The night I was literally pushing my baby into the world our phones both got calls (from the alarm system) saying our home was being broken into. Besides a death in the family I'm not sure there is much more stress inducing information you can give a woman in the throes of labour. Turned out to be a false alarm and we still don't know why it happened. My elderly neighbour still brings it up with my 2 year old son. "I could hear your mother bringing you into the world the night you were born." I really wish Dave didn't have to call her husband to see if he could check our house for us. I'll never live that down.

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