When we lived in Zimbabwe, many, many years ago, we were broken into and robbed on more than a few occasions. Mum slowly but surely lost all her valuable jewellery. Her ever pragmatic attitude to this was that she could not be accused of not doing her part for charity in Africa.
Last night I donated my favourite black leather handbag that my Mum bought me for my birthday and gold watch which Sean and I had 'His 'n Her's' of!
I went out to ladies night Christmas dinner and Sean and the kids were at home. Sean was up late (for us) and didn't go to bed until about 10:30. 20 minutes later he was woken by the noise of people in the back garden. He called me to see if it was me trying to get in but I was still at the party. He called again a few minutes later to say he thought they'd gone and I came home.
We tried to work out (rather optimistically I suppose) if it had been a big cat coming though the window but were confused as to why the window was open all the way (we always leave them on the first latch to keep cats and monkeys out!) We could also see something on the grass in the back garden. Since it is not good practice to go wandering round in the dark in South Africa we left it til morning to go and see what it was. Turned out to be the contents of my handbag. At least the things with no commercial value. luckily there were no important things in there and, in fact, the handbag and watch (which was in it) and a few Rands from my purse are the only real things lost!
My bag is usually put away but last night I left it behind at the last minute and left it on the table... NOT near a window... at least not within arms reach. Turns out a rake can reach quite a long way into a small house!!! It wasn't even our rake! It belongs to our neighbour and has been missing for a few days! They must have seen the bag before the curtains were closed and then waited til Sean went to bed (about 3 HOURS later) to reach in and get it.
THEN! Then they stood outside the window. Ate some sweets that were in my bag. One each. Left the wrappers on the grass and my notebook on the wall. And a few foot prints, big ones of an adult man and little ones... boys school shoes I think, just so we could be absolutely sure they are audacious and couldn't care less if we know who they are. Sean looked out the window which possibly made them turn slowly and wander off. He didn't see them though. They were still going through my bag as they left since they dropped my handcream on the path by the neighbour's house. They kept my reciepts. Presumably to claim against tax? And my medical aid card. The old one.
I think the thing that pisses me off the most is that they didn't snatch my bag and run in fear of getting caught, but that they casually hung around to wait for Sean to go to bed and then reached right into our house with a rake, and then stood around, no more than a metre from the window, choosing what to take with them. Bastards.
On the plus side it was a non violent crime, no one came inside, no one was hurt and Shannon does not even know that something happened. This time. Which gives us a chance to improve our security and our awareness so that we can continue to remain safe. At least in our home.
And it strengthens my resolve to get all our ducks in a row so we can move somewhere less crime ridden!
NOTE ADDED: They also took a bag from No. 10 in the complex - she got off less lightly and lost her ID book, driver's license, bank cards et al!!!
Mother of two
9 years ago