October 12, 2008

Attempted Burglary- A Stranger in My Backyard

Consider this the preface to the post:
I am a big fan of soundtracks. A good soundtrack is a critical part of a movie/television show as it helps to paint a picture and set the mood. Think
about watching a horror movie,
without the sound it is just not that scary. The music sets the tone, even if you are not familiar with a particular movie the music
affects your feelings
and emotions.

I'd argue that even the most familiar flick can become a bit more threatening with
just a few tweaks here and there. The point here is that when I tell a story I often wish that I could have my own soundtrack playing in the background, but I am the guy that wants his own theme song.

We live in a safe neighborhood in which the neighbors know and look out for each other and like many neighborhoods there is a certain amount of crime therein. It is not a regular occurrence so the appearance of a police car parked the wrong direction in front of my home was unexpected.

As I pulled into my driveway my eyes scanned the area searching for evidence of why the police were there. Slowly exiting the car I wondered why and where the police were. It took all of a moment to notice that my neighbor's side gate was wide open and that my own side gate had been pushed open as well.

My neighbor is a sweet old lady who lives alone. I was very concerned about what was going on wanted to immediately check on her. At the same time I wanted to be cautious. I didn't know what was going on, couldn't say that the police were there because of a problem or for some innocuous reason.

The front yard was empty and I couldn't hear anything. It seemed natural to assume that the police were either inside her home or in the backyard, at least I suspected as much. I decided to take a moment to poke my head inside my own home. I figured that it couldn't hurt to take a quick look inside.

Wandered through the house and didn't notice anything so I popped back outside. This time I was greeted by my neighbor's son who started out by saying "Mom's ok." He told me that a short time earlier his mother had woken up and discovered a man inside her bedroom. He had his back to her and was rifling through her dresser.

When she asked him what he was doing he took off running. I was relieved to hear that was all he did and that she was not hurt. When the dust cleared she got out of bed called the police and her sons and started to take inventory of what was missing. Wedding ring, anniversary ring, assorted odds and ends of this and that, call them tchotchkes and knick knacks.

But the most important thing he stole was a sense of safety and trust in the sanctity of her own home. It was a profound violation.

During my conversation with her son my neighbor walked outside. When she saw me she hugged me and asked me why I hadn't been home. I asked her if she had screamed and she said no. But she said that if they had seen me (she assumes that there were two, but doesn't know for certain) they wouldn't have done this.

The thing is, I am pretty sure that they did see me. I took my daughter to school that day and noticed a strange car parked in front of our homes. Certainly it is possible that the car had nothing to do with anything, but when we reviewed the chronology it makes sense that this white sedan was a part of this.

I haven't mentioned yet that I made a point of walking the perimeter of my home to see if this guy had tried to get inside my home. The answer is that he had. I found evidence that he had been on my back patio and had tried to open my sliding doors and it appears that he might have tried to force open a window in the dining room. The good news is that he didn't get in.

Outside we spoke with the police and I described the car I saw to them. Made a point of asking the officer what he thought. He assured me that we live in a safe neighborhood and that no matter what we do there are going to be episodes like this. I can live and agree with that. Really all I can do is try and make it tough for them to get in here and hope that they will find an easier mark.

But I'd be lying if I said that it didn't anger or concern me that someone would do this. I take this very seriously. A brazen attempt like this makes me wonder what they are willing to do. My family's safety is sacrosanct.

I will do what I need to do to protect them.

So now along with all of the other stress and chaos I have this to think about it. I am sure that in a few days the memory will fade and I'll be more relaxed about things. But for a little while here I have found myself making extra sure that the doors are locked, windows are closed and that my favorite Louisville Sluggers are accessible.


Baila said...

This is scary stuff. Try to stay vigilant even after the incident recedes. I'll do the same in my home.

The Social Reformer said...

thats crazy!

The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

Sorry to hear it. I know what you mean about protecting the family; I had a break-in on Rosh HaShanah night a few years ago (I, too, live in a "safe" neighborhood), and it had me thinking about carrying for quite a while.

Jack said...


I will.


It is.


If I didn't have young kids in the house...

Val said...

Stay safe.

shirasimcha said...

I really wish my husband felt about our safety the way you do.

FlutePrayer said...

I'm very sorry that your home was invaded. I know that is extremely unsettling and hope you are not robbed of your peace of mind for too long by some two bit punks.

My parents were fortunate to survive not 1 but 2 break-ins by the Night Stalker because my dad was a baker and got up at 2am, just in time to scare the creep out of the house both times. He got a car and a bunch of jewelry the first time, but was unable to take their lives. I am extremely grateful for that.

Thank you for being a great protector to your family. It is encouraging to read of your deep love and dedication to them.

Jack said...


Will do.


Send him out to LA and we'll talk. ;)


Wow, that is pretty scary. Glad you're family is safe.

The Misanthrope said...

The police will aways say it's safe unless there is actual gun fire, and even then it's a toss up.

Wife and I many years ago came home after going to the movies and we left daughter home with the sitter. There was a drive-by shooting up the street and a kid was shot, now where we live is always in the top five of safest cities. Wife ran into the house, I walked up the cop and asked what was going on and he said nothing and everything was good. I walked into the house and got the story from the sitter. I walked back out and started telling that cop off, but he stopped me and told me the whole story.