Thursday, September 23, 2010

The break-in

One of my biggest fears has always been for my home to burn down. 

I don't know why I am so fearful of this. But, the thought of losing irreplaceable memories just makes me sick. 

On Monday, I was at work and I got a call from a neighbor, but I was with a patient and did not answer. But then another neighbor called just after that. My heart stopped. I just knew that my house was burning to the ground. The crockpot that we left on had malfunctioned and every memory was turning into a pile of ashes. I could just see it. 

I answered the phone "Is my house burning down?" 

"No, but the police are here. You house has been broken into."

Oh. Just a break-in. 

Wait.... Just a break-in? Someone was in my home? Did they destroy it? Did they take my computer and hard drive with all of my pictures? Did they take my mom's jewelry? Oh no!

My co-workers were amazing and helped me quickly leave so that I could rush home and meet Rusty and the police. I called Erica as I drove. I don't know what I expected her to do, but at this point I had hit total panic mode. 

I never, ever thought that I would be so upset about a break-in. Until it happened to me. 

Yes, I am glad that we were not home. Yes, stuff can be replaced. I know it could have been much worse. 

But, someone was in my home. In my bedroom. Standing on my furniture- helping themselves to things that we have worked very hard to attain. 

Someone walked through my home with pictures of us and our loved ones staring back at them as they shopped among my belongings. They were surrounded by scriptures hanging on the wall. They even stole a radio that was sitting next to the Bible on Rusty's night stand.

They took a lot of things.... 
4 tvs
2 latoptops
wii, wii fit board and games
3 cameras with pictures on them (including my "real" camera and the new underwater one that we just bought for our trip to mexico)
ipod and wireless speaker transmitter
Bose ipod docking station
Rusty's watch

But most importantly, they took my sense of security in my own home. And that can never be replaced. There is no homeowner's policy to cover that. 

The cops that came out were totally inappropriate, saying things like "Oh, they will come back. They see what else you have and know that insurance will pay you and you will replace the stuff." Thanks buddy. True or not, he succeeded in freaking me out. We are having all of the doors replaced with ones that cannot be kicked in. And our gate and doors are always locked now, with the alarm on. Always. 

Also, when Rusty would tell them what was missing and the value of it, he would make remarks about "Who pays that much for a camera, watch, etc?" Saying, "You paid that for a watch? What do you do for a living, man?" They didn't take fingerprints. They acted like it was all a big joke. 

They may do this every day, but I don't. This is kind of a big deal to me and they were not helping at all. Not even a little bit.

So, to answer the questions that we have gotten 100 times:
  • Yes, we have an alarm. 
No, it was not set that day. However, we have been told that with a "smash and grab" type burglary like this, it often does not matter if you have an alarm. Sure, it is a deterrent, but often times it will not stop them. They know that they have several minutes before the alarm company can notify the police and that the police actually respond. 

Our neighbor saw the crime happening and called the police. I truly believe that they probably responded quicker to that than they would have to "another" house alarm call that could very well be a false alarm. 

The alarm would have notified the neighbors, but in this case, our neighbor was all over it- even without an alarm. Don't get me wrong, we will always have it set now. Our home is turning into Ft. Knox. But we were lucky this day that even though it was not set, our neighbor was alerted that something was wrong. 
  • No, we do not know if we were targeted or not. 
The car was caught on our neighbors security tapes circling the neighborhood 4 times prior to the burglary. We think that they were possibly scanning the neighborhood looking for a house that looked empty. They most likely rang the doorbell and when I did not answer, decided that it was safe to come in.
There was another burglary in the back of the neighborhood that day, but the homeowner did not find it until they returned home from work, so we don't know the timing or if it was the same people. Their front door was kicked in though and all they had stolen was a computer. 
  • Yes, we have thought about the fact that we have had contractors in our home. 
All of that work was done downstairs and the workers were never left alone. We do not have any reason to believe that they knew about our media room. 
It could be totally random, that they just chose our house and hit "the mother load" once they made it to the media room. This seems to make sense since they did not head straight to the media room, but took stuff from the living room and bedroom too. Or it is possible that they saw the tvs from the road when the blinds were open. We just don't know. I have blogged about the media room before, so for all we know, it was one of you- my blog readers :)

  • The dogs were in the garage.

They broke in through our side door:

Which is now boarded up while we wait on it to be rebuilt. It's kind of unnerving, living like that. I am ready for it to be put back to normal.

The media room:
There used to be 5 tvs. Now there is one broken one, hanging upside down.

The footprints that they left from standing on my furniture covered in sheetrock dust.I don't know why this creeps me out so much, but it does. 

A different cop came back the next day after I played vigilante (long story) and called them because I thought I had found the suspects! Anyway, he decided to take prints, so now our house has black powder all over it too!

Here is a picture of the vehicle that was caught by our neighbors security camera:

Everyone has been so extremely supportive during this week and I am so thankful for friends and family that are praying for our sense of security to return. Honestly, I really never thought it would bother me so much. I am surprised at how it has affected me. 

Every day I feel a new emotion: 
Monday, I felt helpless and victimized. 
Tuesday, I was just mad. 
Wednesday, my girlfriends took me out for a girls night and I laughed. It was all just funny. 
Today, I am pretty much over it. I just want my home back. Oh, I don't want to pay our homeowner's insurance deductible.  I mean, they rip me off and I still have to pay thousands of dollars to fix it? I don't really get that. 


Kelley said...

Here it is! I've been waiting for this post. I'm so sorry this happened to y'all. Those shoe prints freak me out, too. The picture of the van freaks me out as well. If I saw that roaming through the neighborhood, I would think it was a mother with her kids in the back. Maybe it was... Maybe a stay-at-home mom who reads your blog did it, except...her shoes probably weren't as big as the print left on your furniture. I hope those prints turn up some suspects. I will be praying that you feel safer and safer in your home with each passing day and that those doors get replaced soon!

laura debellas said...

I am so sorry. You and I apparently have the same luck. We were robbed on our anniversary in March, had 5 car accidents b/c April and July, found out we can't have children in May and a family emergency. And I just found out 2 friends are pregnant this week and didn't tell me. Total pity party for me today! I am so sorry though. I can totally understand.

Anonymous said...

Praying the Lord while Bless you during these trials and that He will comfort and protect you both. ((Hugs))

Kiki said...

Um, that looks like my van! Except, I promise it wasn't me. Levi can be my alibi.

That totally stinks and would completely freak me out. I'm so sorry that happened to y'all.

Carissa said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you guys and I still just can't believe it. I wish I had words to say that would make it better, but there are none in a situation like this :( I'm still praying for you guys, and I sure hope they catch the people that did this. I had my car broken into in high school, and about 2 months after, the police called and they did catch the people that did it, so maybe they will get these guys too. I'm sorry the officers were such jerks though. That's just terrible! *Hugs*

Kimberly D. said...

Will be praying that they find the guys who did this to y'all and for you and Rusty. Hopefully, the police will start taking this more seriously in our neighborhood. That is so disappointing with how you were initially treated.

Lisa said...

Oh Jenni, I am so sorry this happened to y'all. It makes me sick and I hope they catch those guys.

Lainey-Paney said... wasn't me.

I am sooooo sorry this happened to you. So sorry.

Our home was broken into when I was younger. Luckily nothing was taken, but the home was broken into & a stranger/burglar came into the home WHILE I was alone at home. It took a LONG time for me to feel safe again. That victimization feeling is just awful.

Maybe it wouldn't have happened if you were home to answer the door---but don't play that game. Your stuff may be gone, but YOU were safe. That's what matters.

Erica said...

I am sorry for this to happen. My mom's home was burglarized a few years ago and it does take time to feel safe again. But just remember that it is just it can be replaced.

estetik said...

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