We were burgled.
This was a first for me and for my Glugster. We’ve had phones stolen and cars broken into and such, but we’ve never had someone in our house or anything like that.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning- we’re guessing between 3am and 4am- someone came into our house and helped themselves to some of our stuff.
I discovered something was up when I woke up coughing- because I have bronchitis, not because we were gassed or anything- at about 7am. The first thing I always reach for is my phone, and this time my beloved Blackberry wasn’t next to my bed. I was a little puzzled, but I looked around and looked under the bed, and then got up to see if I’d maybe left it on the chest of drawers or something. That was when I found two of the little drawers from inside my jewellery box on the floor- empty except for my strawberry earrings which are obviously plastic.
I was now a little wary- but not entirely awake- so I made my way downstairs to see if anything else was amiss.
The back door was ajar, and on the lawn outside was my handbag- unpacked, my wallet- open and rifled through, Damien’s spiked leather armbands, a broken DVD player that I believe was under my bed and 2 more of the drawers from my jewellery box- mostly empty.
I grabbed the stuff, shut the kitchen door and went to wake my Glugs.
I spose I coulda been a little more gentle, but I was trying to make sure the cats were okay and see what else was missing when I woke him with “Babe, there was someone in the house.” Then he realised his laptop and cellphone were missing.
The guy missed my camera- which was next to my bed and perhaps invisible in the dark- but went through the camera bag, thankfully not taking my long lens. He also didn’t take my laptop which I think he may have decided was too big and heavy. Then Damien woke up and discovered his phone was also gone. After a quick headcount we realised Magic was missing too. Greebo was under Damien’s duvet and Taxi was hiding under my bed with the babies. The cats were visibly freaked out, peeping out at us with huge eyes, and Taxi stayed jumpy most of the day. Damien went looking and found a very scared Magic down the road, hiding in a bush outside another complex. He allowed Damien to pick him up and carry him home, which is very unlike him. All cats then accounted for I was a little happier.
The crook took the PS2, my precious Thomas Sabo dragon earrings, most of my earrings which are almost all costume jewellery, all our cellphones, the laptop, the DSTV card (WTF!!?!?), and a large chunk of my feeling safe at home.
Now, before you launch into comments about the state of our nation, this could SO have been prevented!
Plain and simple, we were lax and complacent. We got lazy. Firstly, it turns out the electric fencing around the complex wasn’t working, which we didn’t know. This was barrier number one, and its not functioning meant the crook could happily climb the wall into our garden, out of sight of the 24 hour security guard. He had a look through a few windows, prolly looking for dogs or something, before trying the back door.
Second, we did not properly lock the back door and security gate. The maid had been there that day, and even though I know she usually leaves it open, the door wasn’t checked. Third, the alarm wasn’t armed, mostly because the cats set it off, and its not a pleasant noise to wake up to- but it woulda scared the bejeebers outta the dude when he opened the back door. And fourth, the upstairs security gate wasn’t locked.
I understand that the principle is there- that you don’t go into someone’s house regardless of how open and unlocked it is- but thats not the country we live in. If you don’t take the necessary precautions in our beloved South Africa, you are going to get yourself screwed.
I was rather impressed in that it only took 2.5 hours for the police and the detectives to come around and do their thing. I wasn’t even expecting to see them on the same day let alone that morning. They took our stories and the cellphones IMEI numbers, as well as the serial number of the PS2 (yes, we still had all the boxes, I’m one of those people).
And then we started the process of acquiring replacement or loan phones (thank you darling sister C for the loans), doing the sim-swap thing and claiming from insurance. Now, this is all good and well, but I never added my beloved BB or Damien’s new Nokia to my Outsurance- which is strange for me because I usually adjust my out-and-about cover as soon as I get new phones. This means the insurance on the phone they have on record is not enough to replace my BB. We are also going to have problems with insurance BECAUSE the house wasn’t properly locked and protected.
What makes me sad is that the first thing I thought once I’d made sure everyone was okay, was that it could have been worse. Instead of an opportunistic schmuck, he coulda been a vindictive SOB and tied us up, or attacked us, or more. It wasn’t bad enough that he’d been in our house.
And we had to miss my Glugster’s newest niece’s christening and family lunch because we had to wait for the cops and such! My sister and colleagues scored ‘coz they got to eat the cupcakes I baked as a gift…
In all honesty, you wanna know what bugged me the most about having some stranger in my house and sneaking around my bedroom? I sleep naked… lawdy how I hope it was cold and I was covered!