Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A day's march nearer (aka Part 2)

So, yes, you read that right, we returned from our two week vacation to find we had been robbed. Or burglarized, the technical term, as the policemen who appeared later that night informed us. It turns out that one of our windows may have been left unlocked (whether or not this is true is still in dispute), possibly by Toddler J, who knows how to unlock the windows and occasionally plays near the window in question, and the thieves came in, took ALL the tech from the one corner of our house where it all used to live, put it in our kitchen garbage can, transported it to our larger city garbage can, and wheeled it all away. We figure the whole operation took less than five minutes. Among that which was lost was the husband's Mac, including speakers and external hard drive, our printer, the husband's microphone and stand, our HDTV antenna, our router, and all our power cords. So, here we go with lessons learned from our burglary:

--It's all well and good if you obsessively remind your husband to back up all your photos and videos on an external hard drive in case of computer crash but unless you have stored that hard drive somewhere else, all will still be lost when you are robbed. We had posted the best of Baby and Toddler J's photos online, so those are safe, but all the outtakes and all the video clips and all the music the husband has recorded are all gone. About once a day, a wave of sadness over this hits me.

--If your toddler has learned to unlock windows, it might make sense to check and make sure all are locked before you head off on vacation.

--Replacing tech is expensive, particularly when your deductible is such that it requires you to pay basically two thirds of the replacement costs anyway. We have decided that all we really need to replace is the computer, the hard drive, and the printer. So long recording studio (the husband doesn't have the heart for it anyway right now); so long HDTV (we hardly watched it except for major sporting events, and I, for one, will not cry to miss those).

--Installing a home security system is less expensive (though still pricey, don't get me wrong) but more time-consuming than I had assumed. As of Monday, after 4 hours of installation by an ex-Navy guy, we are now equipped with door and window alarms, motion detectors, and a whole host of security back up systems. We are now learning how to arm and disarm our system without setting it off. Thankfully, there is one remote arming device for my key chain, without which I think I would go insane, particularly in a few months when I will be always be leaving with two children.

--It's a good idea to keep your house clean enough that when you are robbed, the police aren't confused about which mess was made by the thieves and which mess was, umm, just really, really messy you! This little piece of embarrassment sent us (finally) on a housecleaning mission which, I am pleased to say, has left us with a house that is 80% clean and infinitely more livable. I will say that the mess most likely contributed to very little else being stolen in that it frustrated the burglars (as far as we can tell, they didn't even go in the master bedroom, the mother load for criminals, according to the police and the security company), but that is still not reason enough to keep it like it was.

--My old Dell that the husband (and me, frankly) so disparaged has finally come in handy, it being the only computer we have at the moment. I'm typing this on it right now, in fact.

--AT&T, my old nemeses, are up to their same old tricks. When I called say our router had been stolen, they said "That will be $75 because your old router was no longer under warranty." Of COURSE it wasn't!

--When you leave for vacation, you should do the following things, according to all the experts who have volunteered information during this ordeal: leave on multiple lights; leave on the radio or the television (most prefer to tune into CNN for some reason); notify the police department with the dates of your absence; set light timers inside and outside your house; and tell all your neighbors to watch your place. We did the last of these and it was not enough.

--When you present yourself at the police department to follow-up with your detective, the other officers on duty will most likely assume you are there to turn yourself in, since this is, apparently, based on our morning of observation, what most people are doing when they come into the police department on a weekday morning. We were there because they needed to fingerprint the husband to exclude his prints from those they found, but everyone else was either there to turn him or herself in, sign an arrest warrant, or pick up warrants for court proceedings. Who knew?

--CSI is a crock. Our forensic specialist was an old guy who reeked of cigars who brushed the window for prints, brushed the file cabinet for prints, sort of dusted the door jam for prints and then spent the rest of the time telling us all the places he couldn't dust because of the pitted or grooved surfaces or the material or whatever. And that was it. No other tests, no other special methods of investigation, nothing. Weird.

--Getting robbed generally sucks, if you'll excuse my language. But then, I could have learned this lesson without actually going through the ordeal, thank you very much.

1 comment:

Linsey said...

Happy Birthday to Jacob. I'm really sorry about the break-in and the lost pictures and video is especially heartbreaking. Stupid burglars.