OT: Has anyone had their home burglarized?

Okay— so I just registered even though I have been lurking since I picked up my knitting needles again since the late summer. And, I think the reason why I am posting is because even after taking a mental health day from work and knitting furiously I am now still anxious.

Last night when I came home from feeding the horses at the barn where my horse lives and hanging out with my best friend at the barn, I came home to a cold house. It was around 9:30pm and I should have noticed the fact my house was freezing and that my kitty family was not visible. I live in the country and I usually only leave the outdoor lights on when I am not home (or my mom who lives with me as she just graduated from college as a returning adult and is looking for a job). As I stepped into my house, I heard a huge commotion-- and my first thoughts were that maybe my kitties were playing? Then I felt the floor vibrate with running feet-- I backed out of my house scared to death realizing that as my eyes adjusted to the lack of light that my back door was wide open and my living room was in a disarray.

When I backed out, I heard the footsteps running behind me in my backyard and through a bush line that seperates my house from an old home and property that is being prepared to be razed for development so it is an empty home.

I did not know whether to go back into my house or what-- so I then left the house and got into my car and called the police. I saw the burglarers backing out of the empty home and drive away. I guess they were not ultra professional criminals since they had to back out of the old driveway and they had not planned on that obviously.

As soon as it became dark today-- I felt… scared. Even though my boss told me to definitely take a sick day to secure my windows and doors and straighten my house— the burglarers had gone through every single drawer, closet, box— even my shoe boxes in my closet! They had busted a window in the back of my house and yet I can not find anything major they took. I have a MAC mini computer and I dont think they could find it (it is very tiny) and I have a laptop which was unplugged and hidden underneath my comforter since I had stripped the beds earlier that morning.

After waiting all night and getting the crime scene people out there to take fingerprints it was demoralizing to realize that the burglarars wore gloves and there is a slim chance of them being caught. The neighbour (I dont know if you can call someone who lives 10 acres away a neighbour) said that his home had been broken into dueing the day time a couple of months ago. It jus tmakes me feel violated and as if someone has taken away that false hope of… being safe.

Even though I have tried to do just me things today, I feel like I can still hear those running footsteps in my house and it makes me paranoid to even leave my house. I keep thinking what if they come back… rationally I dont think they will. As I think they think I saw them pretty clearly… I pulled out of my driveway about an acre away from them as they backed out of the other driveway.

Anyhow… I have knitted two dishcloths today, but I still feel a lurch everytime I hear a sound.

Anyone have any experiences?

Thanks

Christina

I’ve been lucky in that regard, but I didn’t want to see you sitting there all alone.

I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. I imagine it must have been terrifying. My sister was burglarized years ago, and though she didn’t have much for them to take–just a jar of change–she felt violated all the same.

It is very unlikely that they would return, but I understand your discomfort. They may not have taken much of monetary value, but they took away your sense of safety, and that’s worth a lot.

Hang in there.

Ive had my house broken into when I wasnt home & have also had my purse snatched. I know that feeling. :shock: Its AWFUL!

:heart: HUGS, Christina!! :heart:

Im afraid I dont have any brilliant advice for you…what you are feeling is NORMAL and not much helps but a little bit of time.

Maybe talk to the officers that took your report…ask them to check your house over for safety improvements you might make.

Fortunately, I have not been burglarized either. I’m so sorry this happened! I can’t say I know exactly what it feels like, but I can imagine it and how scared you must be. I think your feelings are normal and it’s just going to take you some time. Make sure you do all you can to secure your home and it will help you feel safer within. Welcome to the forum!

Aww… I’m sorry to hear that your house was broken into. :frowning:

I’m glad your okay, and sooner or later you won’t have that fear. If you feel insecure, maybe ask a friend to stay for a few days?

I really appreciate it. It makes me so angry. When I moved here (I used to live in a house on a couple of wooded acres) and I used to feel very vulnerable. When I moved to my current house, I moved when I saw this little farm house was available because it was so close to my horse and barn friends. My barn manager and horse live less than a mile down the road-- and I would not even worry about locking doors if I were just going to the barn. Now after a year I do since a high school is being built across the street and there are more strange workers and people around. I am kinda of OCD about double checking doors, and just checking rooms and closets when I come home etc-- and since I moved here I did not really have to do that for the most part. I could fall asleep soundly turn off all of the lights in the house and even not wake up once my mom came home from her part time job late at night.

Now— when it became dark at 6:00 or so I would not even leave the house to go do the fun barn things I do.

So that makes me angry-- it makes me angry that someone was watching to know when we are generally not home (my mom is home practically all day-- and then gone in the evening-- I am home in the early part of the evening 6:00ish and then leave for a bit and return by 9-10pm ish).

I think it makes me even angrier that my stuff was thrown around carelessly. My knitting things were all over the bedroom floor-- papers and books just thrown around and they left the house open to where my cats could have gotten out and that made me so upset and angry. Lucky for me and it must have been scary for them they were hiding underneath the sofa and would not even budge for dinner or hours later until they felt it was safe.

The police gave me some great suggestions. I got some dowels to prevent the windows that did not have locks on them from being slid upwards-- as I said my house is really old. And I am going to get a timer for the lights so it looks like someone is home. Now I have to remove the black powder stuff that is EVERYWHERE on my dresser drawers, closet doors, door knobs, the window sill, etc.

One of the cops mentioned getting a firearm, but I told him how in the world would that have helped me? Unless it was in my purse-- then it would have not have helped. Besides if it were left in my home, I am sure they could have found it and used it against me.

Another cop suggested getting a dog.

I don’t understand people. I don’t understand when it is obvious I am just a hardworking average person trying to survive and how someone could come in and take something from another person… that is just so beyond my realm of thinking.

Getting a dog wouldn’t be that bad… Everyone around the area have dogs. We have two who bark at everything that moves :shock:

Let me just say… If you are going to get a dog, get a puppy and train it to be a good dog to people you know and a mean dog to people you don’t know.

First of all, {{{HUGS}}} to you, Christina.

When I was 14, my apartment was robbed while my family was sleeping. My younger brother was 8. He always slept with his door opened because he was afraid of the dark. The morning after it happened, my brother said that he dreamed that he woke up and saw someone by his door. This person put up their finger and ‘shushed’ him, so my brother went back to sleep - thankfully. It obviously wasn’t a dream.

The burglars obviously knew what to look for - they knew where my dad kept his wallet, and they took some random things like a small radio and a toaster oven. A neighbor found his wallet the next morning in his backyard. Luckily, my dad only had about $20 in there, so it wasn’t like they stole all that much monetarily. They did walk away with something very valualbe, thought, and that was our sense of security. I remember waking up in the middle of the night afraid to look at my door because I didn’t know what I would do if I saw someone standing there. I would lay in bed for hours, just staring at the wall trying to will that sense of being watched to go away.

So, yes, I kind of know what you mean. It made me sooo angry to know that there are people out there with so little respect for another person’s belongings, for another person’s home. It took a while, but I eventually learned to relax and feel comfortable in my own home again. Granted, we always made sure to lock the windows and doors, and I still get a little freaked out every now and then whenever I’m home alone. I moved out a long time ago, but it’s still strange to be in my home alone.

It does get better, chica. The officer was right, the chances of those people coming back to your house are slim to none because they know that they’ll get caught. Cowards wouldn’t risk that. It takes time to heal, but you’ll get there.

Hugs,
~Sharon

We have dogs and there was an intruder in our backyard who got bit, but the pound took the dog anyway and said if they bit again, it’d be put down. But maybe that’s just the law here. No point in having a guard dog here if they’re just gonna kill it if it does it’s job. :rollseyes: But it could be different there. I know this must be a difficult time for you! That’s just a crappy thing for someone to do to you.

I think that having a dog that barks is enough to make a burglar choose another house over yours…they will choose the easier place to burgle.

is burgle a word?:roflhard:

When I was a kid we went away on vacation and came home to a completely empty house. The thieves got an 18 wheeler and jsut backed it up to the house and hauled everything out. They even cooked some food and left the dirty dishes in the sink. It makes me wonder what kind of society we have created to make someone so desperate to choose to do this.

Yes. Looky here, Miss Femmy Smarty Pants!! :rofling:

{Hugs} Christina. I’m so sorry this happened to you. :frowning:

My family’s home was robbed when I was home for Christmas vacation my freshman year in college. I can still remember the panic rising in my throat when I came home from my Christmas job to find police cars in our driveway. The burglars had broken in during the day when nobody was home (usually my grandmother, who lived with us, would’ve been there, but she was gone that day). They kicked in the door, the dogs did nothing, and they took really random stuff (including a case of beer!), some valuable some not. It was extremely disturbing. I felt very violated knowing that thieves had been in our home, in my room, etc. We lived in the country as well, and so were isolated from neighbors who might otherwise have scared intruders away. We got an alarm system after that and felt much safer. I would highly recommend it to anyone living in a rural area - the peace of mind was so worth the cost.

I’m really sorry for what you’ve been through. Are your kitties all right?

I been robbed more than once. The last time was a moving compaby delievering a dresser, my strict instructions to my roommate was leave it on the hall, I will take care of it when I come home. I arrived about 15 min after they left opened the garage and my old dresser was out there, and I knew in my heart what happened. My jewelry was in it and it was gone. I had a 2 carat ring from my marriage and it was missing along with other pieces. The cops came, the man worked for the moving company 7 years (they swore he wouldnt steal) had a criminal record a mile long, he sold it for fast cash for drugs having no idea its value. He tried to sell a tv to a pawn shop a couple weeks later with a fake id and then they cops were called and traced the TV , he stole that ladies jewlery as well. The company finally fired him, but he had done the damage. So I spent 2 years every single time I saw their moving truck I stopped and went inside and told the people the company has employees who rob and showed them my police report and gave the detectives name to anyone who wanted to check. They are rarely seen anywhere in town. They use to have most of the main accounts with furniture stores and I am proud to say no longer do. However the flip side the man who I did help get those accounts has become so big, he is a royal ass and treats me like I am too small when I call and need service and like he did it on his own.
I still get angry, I still dream of ripping his limbs off and shoving them down his throat. My insurance also informed me my jewlery wasnt covered as well as the moving company insurance didnt cover the4ft, just damages. The things you learn when it is too late.

Welcome Christina.
Wow, that’s so horrible. :frowning: Sorry that’s happened to you! {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

I’m from the city originally, and I’ve always considered the country to be so much safer. Gives me chills to think of someone breaking in. We live in a rural area now.

Femmy, I can’t get over your story of having your whole house emptied! :shocked: Good heavens!

Annette, wow, good for you for following up and getting that guy fired from the moving company. And warning people.

We’re lucky, we’re almost always home. And we live in a duplex house, so between our neighbors and ourselves, our house is never vacant. But still, you never know what’s possible.

My husband says when we own our own house, he wants to put in an alarm system. You all have got me thinking, and I have to say I think it’s a good idea. I also like the idea of having some kind of video system, if that’s affordable these days. Seems that’s you’re only chance of catching people, is to catch them on video.

OMG I’ve heard of that happening. That has to be a HUGE shock! :shock: Did you ever get anything back or find the thieves?

Wow… hearing some of your stories are amazing.

I can not even believe that someone can empty a whole house and sleep another day in their lives. That is beyond cruel and crass. Monsters.

I feel fortunate— I am still going through all of my paperwork but I have to admit it is difficult because I can not begin to know what is really missing from it.

Other than that-- I have spent the afternoon pruning my hedges around my windows and since I live in a pretty old farmhouse, I have been nailing the windows whose locks really do not work now. I know this can be a fire issue, but the bedrooms are close to the front and side doors and the back room (where the burgalers entered) is in the back with the kitchen. I would rather break a window in the case of an emergency than feel vulnerable. The police advised me to do something like this-- they said that for the most part a burgler makes a decision to enter the house very quickly-- if it takes more time they may decide to go to a more vulnerable home. I will also actually use the backdoor light more often since in the past I did not turn it on since… well I could not see the light back there. lol

I am also planning to buy some light timers this weekend as the police suggested.

As for my kitty family-- they are all safe (I wont say how many I have… lol it is rather embarassing, I found a stray who happened to be pregnant-- some of th ebabies had health issues-- mama was a kitten too and I nursed them all and kept them because I did not have the heart to see them leave to unknown families. The kitties were petrified though… they had hidden underneath the couch and did not come out for hours after the police and crime scene techs left.

I feel more secure… but at the same time… it makes me nauseous to think about going to my part time job tonight as my mom also works as well… and even though I would only be gone for an hour or two at most-- it just makes me feel… panicky that someone may try again or they may come back. I guess that just disappears with time.

OB Knitting: I started knitting again (I only knitted very very briefly as a teenager-- so briefly i never finished the one thing i tried to make lol) this past late summer when I saw a coworker of mine knitting in the breakroom. I told her I remembred it being so therapeutic and she said it was her prozac. She said she would teach me and that day I bought needles and yarn and she taught me after hours. :slight_smile:

I am by no means so very advanced now. Most of everything I learned after relearning how to knit and cast on has been through these videos. :slight_smile:

I do not have a lot of time to knit unfortunately. I work full time and have a part time job at an airline. I am also a full time student trying to finish enough credt hours to get enough hours to sit for the CPA exam here in NC. Then my horse… lol I do all of my knitting at my part time job (unless I spend the weekend knitting in the evenings) as a part time reservations agent. It is great- I knit while talking to customers though I do have to put the knitting down in order to type. lol It keeps my focused without getting inpatient with people-- or if they are rude it keeps me just slightly removed where it is kind of like water on a ducks back. A lot of the people in our lost baggage department knit all of the time-- as it helps keeping you focused but not letting the continous calls of angry passengers get to you personally.

I have to admit, I am in awe of some of your projects! I love this site. :slight_smile:

My mom’s house was broken into two years ago. Thank God she wasn’t home. The kid that did it had just been let out of jail that afternoon. He was 19. Apparently he was desperate for drug money. He went thru mom’s neighborhood that evening. A lady up the street said her 5 dogs went crazy and she saw a guy running away from her door. A man a few blocks away said that some guy pounded on his door, yelling for help. The man thought something was fishy and told him to go away.

Eventually the guy found mom’s house, broke in the window on the back living room door, and ransacked the house. He didn’t take anything. Mom doesn’t have expensive jewelry or guns. The kid was high already, so he wasn’t terribly with it. Her biggest loss? Beside a broken window, he ate a jar of pickles that was in her fridge, they found half of one on the floor. So he was apparently there for awhile, I just feel sick when I think that she could have come home when he was there.

My brother was helping to put the house back together when he found a coffee cup on the top shelf of a kitchen cupboard that had $400 in it from one of mom’s bingo wins. Talk about an unlucky thief! The cops caught him an hour after mom called for help. He was still in the same neighborhood. They caught him in someone else’s garage, trying to get into the house.

He was supposed to pay reparations to my mom and others, but it would have been 69 cents per week and mom didn’t want to have the reminder of it. She still gets scared, sometimes. She bought better screen doors with deadbolt locks and she already had security lights.

I asked her to think about what she would have done if he had come to the door while she was there. I pointed out that she probably would have opened the door. She agreed with me. We had a big discussion about safety. Leaving lights on at night. Not giving info to people over the phone, even if they say it’s an emergency. Not letting people in the house, even women. I worry about her all the time. Having elderly parents is just as much a worry as having kids.

I’m sorry this happened to you. Do you have a friend who could come and sleep over for a few nights? It might help keep your mind off of it.
Take care! Give those kitties a treat, too. They deserve it, poor dears.

Lovetheduns… I found this in DIY and it might offer you some more ideas.
http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/pac_ctnt/text/0,2019,DIY_14161_32499,00.html

Sad to say I have been in your shoes too. DH came home one day and our house had been broken into throught a window that we had left open since it was a pretty day in September. I remember walking down the hall and feeling like you just didn’t want to be there. It does get better though. It also makes you mad. I have also had my car broken into twice. We live in a small town now and I feel a little safer but I still lock the doors at night and try to be safe as I can. I am sorry that it has happened to you. LOTS OF HUGS.

Robin