This week I had an out-of-town client visiting from Maine. We see them once a year, so my wife and I treated them to lunch. Near the end of a great meal of catching up, we were interrupted by a phone call.
One you never want to hear. It was the office saying that the Police needed to talk with us. No other information.
My heart leaped as we hastily said goodbye to our visitors. A quick call to the police left us breathless. They had discovered our passports, immigration papers, business contracts and some unused visas with our names on them. Next to our demolished safe, in the middle of a street in the north end of town.
We raced to our home, where police and crime scene investigators walked us through our home that had been ransacked. Clothes scattered over our floors, drawers emptied, closets strewn everywhere. Electronics, jewelry and cash missing.
Through this ordeal, being interviewed by the police, discovering patterns from others in our position, and observing the aftermath, I discovered some interesting things about robberies.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Robbers rarely go to the kitchen or dining room. Want a good place to hide your valuables? Next to the canned goods is a great place. The Police told us that the only time a robber enters that area is to grab a snack from the fridge.
- The path seems to be similar. Break the door down, head for the Master Bedroom, check other rooms quickly, then if there’s time, check the TV room for electronics. Our robber had time to check all our bedrooms and the TV room. We’re so lucky.
- Top Drawers. In some of the rooms, our robber only looked in the top drawers. The Police said that most valuables are stored there. Ours aren’t there any more. They also looked in almost every “box” on top of the dressers.
- Firearms. They’re often looking for guns. They look under mattresses and under beds. We’re Canadian, therefore, he was disappointed. If you keep one loaded in your room, remember that it becomes a weapon of offense in the wrong hands.
- Security Systems. The Police told us that the only deterrent for robbers is a very loud siren alarm that a robber thinks others will hear. They work so fast (4-5 minutes to sweep a house) that a “call the police” alarm is often wasted.
- Smooth surfaces. Every robber goes for jewelry boxes. In order for the CSI to get a good fingerprint, they need smooth surfaces. Make sure if you keep your valuables in anything, be sure that it’s smooth. The police got several good prints in our home.
- Pray. Like we are. That our robbers get caught. The police said that most robbers seem to be very smart in the planning (sometimes staking out the area for days; unscrewing security lights, etc.) but they’re “quite stupid” in getting caught since 99% do.
We now have it all turned over God and to the police. We’re assembling our final list of stolen items (this is harder than we thought since it’s hard to remember what’s in every room, every box, every drawer). Pray with us. We want to feel safe again. And that our robbers are put away for a long time.