Friday, August 25, 2006

Burgled.

You know what the absolute last thing you want to find when you come home from a spontaneous and kick-ass night of drinking, dancing and karaoke singing is?

That your home has been broken into and your things have been stolen.

I got home at about 11:30 on Wednesday night after a night of much merriment, to find that my key wasn't working. It wouldn't turn in the lock for some reason. Now, I was a bit tipsy and perhaps not thinking so clearly, so I just thought "hmm, lock isn't working. Weird. I'd better call Buffy."

So, I call her, she confirms that the back door is unlocked (STUPID!), so I climb over the fence into the back garden and go in the back door.

I walk through the living room, and head straight for the door to find out what's wrong with it, and I realized that the little switch that stops the door from being able to open has been flipped. The switch that can only be flipped from the inside.

And it occurs to me - someone has been inside my house.

I walk back to the living room to see my laptop gone, the couch and chest of drawers pushed out of the way, the doors to the sideboard open, my old handbag emptied on the couch and an empty fishbowl which used to hold foreign money.

I didn't even see this when I walked through before. It just didn't register, you know?

I immediately think of the cats, and find them both in my bedroom, hiding. It's then that I notice my room - my desk has been pulled out from the wall, the TV is tipped over, the DVD player is gone, the bowl of change is empty, the fan is on the floor, the desk drawers are open.

It is amazing how fast you can flip from a little bit drunk to stone cold sober when you need to. I called 999 and got the police, and told them what had happened. They said they'd send a car over.

My first instinct is to call Jess, who I'd just been out with. She was appalled for me, and offered me a place to stay that night if I didn't want to stay alone. I then called Heather, who I'd been drunkenly talking to and sharing the joys of karaoke only moments earlier. And then I called Buffy to let her know we'd been burgled. In those three phone calls, I probably used the word fuck more than I have in my entire life.

And then I called my mom. Because when something horrible happens, I want to call my mom. It's probably the first time I've ever been glad they're an 8 hour time difference away, because it was only 4pm their time, so I didn't terrify them by waking them up in the middle of the night.

I was pretty much over the shock and crying part of the night when the police arrived, about an hour later. I took them through the place and showed them what had happened, they made their notes and told me a crime scene investigator would be by the next day to look for fingerprints, so I should try not to touch anything.

It was probably 1 by the time they left, and I was both really tired and unwilling to sleep. So, I made some pasta and watched a TV movie about John Ritter as an abusive husband who learns that it is bad to hit women. Very inspiring, really. It was about 3 when it was over, so I turned all the lights in the flat on, and tried to sleep in my room. I didn't get much sleep.

The next morning, I called a locksmith first thing, then called my insurance company. I went through everything with the insurance people, then they called back to say that they'd get someone to call me today to go over it again.

The locksmith came and started changing the locks. I have updated and very awesome locks now.

Then the crime scene guy arrived and started dusting for fingerprints and the whatnot. It was very little like CSI, disappointingly. He said there was very little of use, fingerprint wise, which was disappointing but not really unexpected. Have you ever heard of a break-in where they actually caught the bad guy? Other than on TV?

I spent the rest of yesterday being all depressed and lazy until I finally mustered the energy to put the living room and my bedroom back to rights. Then I locked all the windows, dead bolted the doors (even the front door, which I normally never do when I am home.) and went to bed.

I spoke to the insurance people again this morning, went through everything twice and gave them the list of things that were taken.

I am now missing:
  • My laptop. With every photo I've taken in the past three years, other than the ones that made it to flickr, and every song I've downloaded in the past three years. And everything I've written.
  • My digital camera with it's 1gb memory card.
  • My new mobile phone
  • the DVD player from my bedroom
  • about £200 in foreign money
  • My wireless broadband modem
  • The Sims 2, which was in the laptop.

They then had to refer me to another company, who have to call me to arrange to come out to get all the info. And the earliest time they can come to see me? Next Thursday. And then it'll take however long for the company they put me in contact with to replace the stuff.

I spent all day yesterday thinking things like "aw, the kittens are so cute, let me just grab my camera ... shit." and "how much did the DVD player cost? I bet I can find it online if I just ... shit."

Oh, and the cash? Not covered by my insurance because it wasn't a violent entry. Stupid burglars couldn't even do that right.

2 comments:

Bette O'Callaghan said...

Sweetie, I am so sorry about your break in. A little locking the barn door after the horse is gone advice...I have taken to printing out all of my blog entries, just in case my computer dies. Take care darlin'.

Sister Sarah said...

Alice!

I am so so sorry...it must feel horrible. I hope the kitties are ok!

Smile!