Friday, October 19, 2007


Comes as a bit of a shock, doesn't it, to realise that somebody's entered your house and stolen some of your belongings? Yes, and it's scarier still when you consider that the house was occupied at the time...people asleep...

We're the victims of what's known as a 'sneak in'. That's as opposed to a break in. No windows smashed, no locks forced, no wilful wreckage or damage, nobody hurt. Some chancer has simply walked in through the (unlocked) front door, climbed the stairs to the first floor, grabbed a handbag, and made off with it.

I suppose it's our own fault, in a way. I'd left the house at about eight o'clock in the evening, wasn't sure whether our youngest daughter had a key on her, and so left the door unlocked. My wife had gone to bed unusually early, upstairs, and a friend of ours who was staying for the weekend had done the same, downstairs, as he wasn't feeling too well. At about ten thirty our friend woke up for a moment, heard somebody come in through the front door, and just assumed it was me returning. Went back to sleep.

In the morning my wife realised her handbag had gone. Not good.

Still, worse things could have happened, and so we haven't taken up offers of counselling (but thanks guys) and life goes on - along with the alarm system. The real curse is what was in the handbag. Forget the mobile phone, the Blackberry, the purse and the money. They're all replaceable. The bank cards, the driving licence, &c &c can all be cancelled. The precious photos of the kids are nowhere near as precious as the kids themselves.

No, the real loss is the paperwork. It's the filofax with its hundreds of contacts and appointments. It's the confidential patient notes, the job applications from prospective employees, the lecture notes, the annotated books. It's the countless hours of work that can never be recouped, the indispensable record of a life in progress - and one connected to the well-being of others at that.

And now some little git who probably can't even read has chucked it all over a wall somewhere.
Oh well. Maybe they'll spend the money on glue and roll up at a certain local hospital in need of treatment...

One can only hope.


RobinSlick said...

Oh my god, Steve. I am so sorry! And I can just imagine what your wife is going through...Christ, I almost slashed my wrists when my hard drive crashed this summer...

I think of these things only happening in Philadelphia - how naive am I.

The house directly next door to me was robbed in pretty much the same way -- on my birthday, yet. While both my husband and I were home. When the police questioned us as to whether we heard anything, we were like "of course not...if we'd heard anything, we'd have called you!"

Ahem. Here's what they actually told us: Robberies such as what happened to you are the norm these days so they advised us to leave a $20.00 bill right out in the open so that when the burglar breaks in, he'll see that, grab it, and run out without taking anything else.

I was incredulous. I'm supposed to leave these people easy money?????

I then asked the police "Did you dust for fingerprints or anything next door?"

He laughed.

"We can't even find murderers and rapists in this city and when we do, hardly any of them spend time in jail...just take our advice, leave the $20.00 on the table, and get a safety deposit box in a bank for anything you care about."


Know of any safety deposit boxes that can accomodate 30 guitars, keyboards, drums, etc.?

And here I thought if we moved to the UK...

Steve Augarde said...

Yeah, it's a pain. The police were actually very good - kind, sympathetic and helpful. Whether they'll catch the culprit might be another matter.

Part of the problem, ironically, is the modern door locking systems that come as standard nowadays. There's no self-locking latch, and so they require that the door be physically locked with a key every time it's shut. In a busy household with people constantly coming and going it's easy to forget sometimes. It also means that if a door's locked from the inside, the key has to be removed before anyone can unlock it from the outside. So you have to keep remembering to lock the door, but also to remove the key. And so then of course when you want to go out, you have to find a key...

We've become a lot more security conscious, as you can imagine, but I hate having to be so mistrustful.

Mark Kelly said...

Steve, it's a crap situation having to be so wary from now on. We often leave the door open after we go to bed - to allow one or other late-returning teen child to get in after a night in the pub with their mates. Thankfully they've been OUR late-returning teens so far and not some other parent's feckless and dishonest youth.

Get a dog that barks when anyone approaches the door.. like the one we have, which come to think of it must annoy you and our other friends each time you come a-calling. Hmmm, then again, maybe not the best security idea.

I feel for Gina and the lost work/contacts, that is bad. Chin up, The Augardes.

Steve Augarde said...

Thanks Mark. But why keep a dog when I'm barking myself?

Seriously though, worse things happen - and at least the place wasn't trashed. I leave it to my own kids to do that.