I was burgled last week. I was home and in deep, deep sleep.
From an email to my father last Wednesday:
Around 3.45 a.m. the alarm system alerted me to an open door. I really can’t say for certain that I locked the back door last evening, although I think it highly irregular of me not to do so. In any event, I came downstairs while on the phone with ADT, and assumed the wind had blown the door open slightly during the rain, and that I had not latched it well last evening. Outdoor security lights were on, but the wind and rain could have activated them. I hardly thought possible that my home had been invaded.
By light of day, though, I see that several things are gone from the kitchen. I lost my school cell phone and some other electronic equipment, my wonderful camera, and my school keys. A winter coat is gone from the hall tree, but not my favorite coat. My school computer was untouched on the kitchen table. Police were here this afternoon. “Situations like this, burglars tend to grab anything that can be quickly and easily pawned, with no questions asked. A computer that cannot be unlocked because of a code is no good to a pawning burglar,” said the detective. Locksmith is here now rekeying everything.
Needless to say, the ADT alarm system will be on all the time from now on. This is my third robbery/burglary in six years (car window bashing, and two summers ago a bicycle stolen from the unlocked garage), in addition to one other attempted break-in several years ago. This neighborhood is safe enough; I checked crime stats just last week. The problem is homeless folks, some drug activity a few blocks away, and opportunists.
Aside from feeling somewhat violated, especially in the light of day when I realized that someone uninvited had stood inside my home taking things while I was stirring upstairs, I am OK. This is part of the price one pays to live in an urban, multi-cultural environment. I’m passionately committed to that cultural experience, and I want to live in a place that looks like the world I inhabit!
Auggie, of course, was sound asleep beside me when the alarm sounded. He was no help at all.
The burglar kindly closed the back gate one his or her way out. Bastard.
So now, with hundreds of dollars of new locks, a padlock on the back gate, a quick investment in even more security lighting, and renewed zeal in enabling the alarm system, my home is fortress, if not to the standards of I Am Legend!
Auggie continues to sleep the night through in oblivious slumber.