I feel violated. On Tuesday night, our car was broken into while we were seeing The Life of PI. We screwed up. We were late going to the movie and rushed out of the car, leaving Dan's wallet behind in a visible spot. To add insult to injury, as we pulled into the parking structure in Burbank, there was a giant digital sign warning people to lock cars and hide valuables, due to theft problems. Doh!
After the movie, we walked to the car and Dan noticed that he didn't have his wallet. We didn't see it in the car and tried to keep calm, as we thought that it probably had been left at home. We used points on my AMC Stubs card to pay for the movie, so Dan didn't need his wallet.
When we got home, I discovered that I had been sitting on his wallet, that it was on the passenger seat, a very unusual place for it to be. I didn't notice it, because I had a bulky coat on. We went in the house, relieved and started to get ready for bed, when Dan received an alert on his phone.
Thank goodness for modern technology! The text let us know that Dan's card had been used at a local Ralph's Grocery Store. Upon inspection of the wallet, we saw that all of his credit cards and debit card were missing. These thieves were smart, they left his license and enough other cards (theme park pass, store rewards cards) to make us not think to check it when we saw that the wallet was in the car, buying them more time.
On the drive home, we didn't even notice that they had sliced a chunk out of our soft top convertible roof. Our Smart definitely feels violated! They patched it over, so that we wouldn't notice and that bought them time.
Within minutes of the text alert, Dan had his cards canceled. He called up Ralph's who were less than helpful, even though they have the perps on store cameras. We went to the Burbank Police Department and filed a report with very nice officer, who is going to follow up with the store. That particular parking lot has had problems and we were not the only break-in reports of the day. I will be surprised if they get caught or if we can get anything back from this, other than our own hard lesson learned. The biggest thing, is that we will have to replace the roof. This was an expensive lesson learned.
I've only been a victim of theft a handful of times and this was the first involving my car.
When I was in elementary school, I had a bunch of my toys (including my new skateboard that I had bought with my allowance) taken from our garage. The result was actual awesome, as my mom took me on a Toys-R-Us shopping spree. It was the only time time that I ever received toys outside of a birthday or Christmas. I won the kid's lottery that day!
In my late teens, I left my purse at a Kenny Roger's Roasters in Burbank. After three weeks, I received a call from the restaurant to tell me that my purse had been recovered and was sitting in their safe. All of my money was gone, but they hadn't touched several store gift certificates that totaled way more than the cash taken. The expensive lesson learned was more to do with having to cancel bank accounts and going to the DMV, when I didn't think that I was getting the purse back.
On my first wedding anniversary trip to Vegas, we returned home to find that both of our brand new mountain bikes were stolen from our carport. We had a race that we were signed up for the following week, so we had to immediately repurchase what was lost and we learned that that there is no such thing as a thief-proof bike lock.
I'm generally an exceedingly trusting individual, however, each time something happens, it's hard to not have a bit of that trust evaporate.
Last week, a close friend of mine, had her home broken into and many things stolen. I can't imagine how jarring and violating it would feel to have my home robbed. It's bad enough to lose stuff, but far worse is the loss of security. They live in a beautiful, quaint and very safe community. It doesn't make the crime worse if it happens in a "good" neighborhood, but it feels somewhat more disturbing, more of a breach. There really is no such thing as a "safe" neighborhood and really, doesn't everyone aspire to live in a community that is safe? A dream shattered.
My aunt and uncle also live in a "Safe" neighborhood, the kind where you feel like you can leave your door unlocked. However, they had a recent rash of home break-ins in their neighborhood and this has prompted them to get an alarm system. They just had it installed a few weeks ago, after thirty-five years of living in the neighborhood.
I feel like i've been living in a bit of a protected bubble. I live in the house that I grew up in and a majority of my neighbors, I've known my entire life. However, the neighborhood has been on a slow moving downward slope.
It may just be a phase, maybe due to the economy, but I am feeling less and less secure living here. I used to think that it might be the neighborhood or maybe Los Angeles, but it's probably more of a case of the grass being greener on the other side thinking, which is never quite the reality. Good and bad things happen everywhere. Is there such a thing as Mayberry? Or my favorite fictional town, Stars Hallow?