Have you ever had your house or workplace burgled?TWICE! On two different continents. Crazy right?
1) In 1995, my parents and I had moved to Durban, South Africa from India. I was about 8 years old. One day in December, our apartment was empty as my dad was at work and my mom was attending my school's annual day. When my mom and I returned home, we saw that the front door was open. We walked in. In retrospect, that was a bad idea. Anyway, all electronics had been stolen, including the TV and my dad's camera. Worst of all, my mom's passport (which I also shared) was also gone. Imagine living in a foreign country without your passport! We never got any of our stuff back, and we had to get our passport reissued.
2) My husband and I used to live inside a very safe university campus in Rajasthan, India. It was considered so safe that kids would play around unsupervised, people would keep their doors open all day long, and no one really locked their cupboards. Anyway, in November 2011, we had gone out for dinner, after having locked the house. A security guard stood 4-5 houses away. My husband returned home early, and everything seemed fine from the outside. As he walked out into the dining room, he tripped over something. He turned the light on, and realised that burglars had broken down our backdoor. He gave me a call, and I rushed back home. Things we lost: my DSLR, two point & shoots, iPod, expensive watches, pen drives, cash, and more. This time too, we didn't get anything back.
In both the cases, we changed houses within months. I guess you become paranoid, so even the tiniest sounds at night make you uncomfortable. I must add here that after getting burgled inside such a guarded university campus, I'm not quite sure how safe we really are anywhere.
Almost 30 years ago... Returning home from the work, meeting the dog outside (he was not supposed to walk on his own, but sometimes he did) and he does not follow me home, as usual. The security chain is on, so i can't enter and the first thought - something happened to one of my parents. Going to my neighbors, phoning home, nobody answers, worry-worry-worry. Meanwhile, parents arrive from work, my dad takes a stepladder from the neighbors, climbs in and opens the security chain. The apartment is turned up-side-down, the clothes everywhere. Calling the police and waiting - about three hours. After they are gone, starting to put things back, checking what's missing. Our dog (all 6kg of him) returns home. Missing some jewelry - both real and custom. Grandfather's gold watch, grandmother's gold wedding ring, my mom's gold watch, two necklaces - mom's and mine. For months we discovered more and more small items missing, for months I came from work later, so not to be the first one to open the apartment.
The time when I had to go to the police station to identify my water meter is less traumatic, as the time, when we were at work on the move from one place to another and came in the morning to discover that all outside parts of A/Cs were removed.
I taught at a small Christian school in the US, and about 30 years ago we never even locked the doors.
In the summer no one was at school. When I returned from a vacation I went there to pick up my paycheck (before automatic deposit), and didn't notice no one was in the parking lot.
The office was right inside the door. I went in and didn't find it strange that the principal's door was open and his light was on. I heard someone in the hallway so I called out "Hi Jack" (the principal's name). I had something to mail so I went to the secretary's desk to get and pay for a stamp when I noticed the container was on her chair and empty which struck me as strange so I went looking for "Jack."
I was walking through the building calling his name and finding all the rooms open and trash cans full of electronics like TVs. When I got to the business office the huge safe was knocked over and someone had tried to chip away the concrete from the back.
I realized that Jack was not there, but a burgler was. I went back to the office and called the police and debated whether to wait inside the building or outside (I do not have a sufficient amount of the fear gene). I decided to wait outside when who should drive up but Jack! He drove around the building to see if he could catch the thief (who had fled into the woods at the back of the property). The superintendent also arrived shortly followed by the police.
The burgler had been there for hours going through every classroom and office. When he was later captured and prosecuted it was the value of my Civil War chess set that was still in his possession that allowed him to be charged with a felony.
Yes, decades ago, during broad daylight.
I was at work, my wife and son had gone along with her parents to their place.
When we came home the back door had been forced open: easy, using a screw driver forcing the lock. Since the thief had fled wading through a small stream when caught breaking in in another house wet footprints all over, in our bedroom ALL clothes strewn all over the ground, likewise everything in the living room, he needed dry clothes, and took the opportunity to take away the little jewelry my wife had.
It felt dirty, we washed all the clothes, and for months afterwards made a lot of noise when entering the house so if there were a burglar inside he would hear us and run away.
We installed extra locks, and a heavy roller shutter covering the whole backside of the ground floor.
It took years before the feeling disquite when entering the house slowly receeded.
My Aunt is 78 lives alone and has no children. She fell two weeks ago and broke her pelvis. She was due home from hospital yesterday. My cousin went to her house to get it ready for for our aunts return and discovered that the house had been ransacked and trashed. Every drawer and cupboard in the house had been emptied on the floor. Even the jars of coffee and sugar had been tipped out. This was a serious set back for my aunt and caused her to spend another night in hospital. We still do not know what was stolen as only she can tell.
My only experience was more funny than frightening. I used to work summers at a greenhouse, and one morning a new employee started work, left for lunch and never came back.
The next morning the plastic sheeting over the main "house" was sliced open, but only one item was missing:
A five-foot-long "torpedo" kerosene heater. Like this.
Not mine, but burglar once intrude our neighbor's house.
First they cut the steel grid mesh on windows, which is very common in Indian homes.
and they sprayed Sleeping gas.
and stole Two Gas Cylinder from there.
Really, they stole Gas cylinder.........
OMG...we all were laughing after we got to know about theft of gas cylinders.