Saturday, April 12, 2008


Not the best day in paradise.

Our apartment was broken into last night. Apparently, while we were sleeping, someone sliced our screen by the kitchen door, slid the window open, came in, grabbed N's purse and my backpack, and went back out the door. I may have been woken up by the exit, but didn't notice anything gone until the morning so didn't take the appropriate actions at the time. The backpack was the only really valuable thing because my laptop was in there. Nothing much to do about it. Sometimes a thousand dollars walks out the door, right? The police said I could give them the serial number and when they check pawnshops they can look for it there.

Otherwise, we will spend the entire day (and Monday) dealing with the purse issue -- canceling credit cards, killing and creating a new checking account (because a checkbook with numbers was in the purse), new driver's license, entire new set of locks on all the doors (house keys), and I have to get the car re-keyed as well if possible. Ugh. Fortunately, our upstairs neighbor is a locksmith by trade.

It will all be done and the landlord will add security screens to our apartment in the next week or so. If I browse the rental section in the next couple of days, however, no one should be surprised. The only thing to worry about going forward (after the next 3 or 4 days of work) is identity theft. If anyone has tips on post-burglary identity theft prevention, let me know.

I feel a little bitter after typing this message and the tone may have come out, but really these things do happen and one can't stress out about it. As long as nothing important was stolen, which it wasn't, if you know what I mean.


Mamaebeth said...

with your police report, i think you can put our a fraud alert on you and your wife's credit reports... this basically locks down your credit stuff for 3 years i think. we had to do this for phillip a few years ago and it caused all sorts of issues when we had to buy our house and set up new utilities... i think we ended up with almost everything in my name at the time. anyway, put out the fraud alert.

also my aunt signed up herself and my grandfather for that new identity theft service, the one with the commercial with guy who says "this is my actual social security number"... don't know the name offhand, identity lock maybe? anyway she has been very pleased with it so far. there is no more junk mail at all and they get to periodically review their credit history for errors.

bunnygirl said...

What a hassle! I'm glad nothing else was taken and no one was hurt. It feels sort of scary and violating when that sort of thing happens, and I hope there will be no repeat!

fairyhedgehog said...

That's just so nasty and shocking. I hope you're not too shaken up about it.

It's a lot of hassle with sorting out the aftermath but it sounds like everything is going to be OK and that you're taking steps to keep safe. I wish this hadn't happened and I can understand you feeling bitter. You have the right.

Anonymous said...

Paca, so sorry about the robbery but so thankful that none of you were hurt. The nuisance value of replacing keys, bank accounts, etc. is exponential and irritating, plus losing your laptop so you have every right to feel bitter. Glad you are getting new screens. It does sound like everything will be OK. muffytrue

pjd said...

Yes, that sucks rocks.

You are doing all the right things to protect yourself. Not much more you can do that I know of. A couple years ago my wife's purse got stolen, and within an hour they'd cashed a check at Wal-Mart for $150. Wal-Mart was a bunch of jerks dealing with it. We'd stopped payment on the check and closed the account, but Wal-Mart threatened us with a collections agency anyway. Not only did we need the police report, but they required my wife to submit a notarized affidavit saying the check had been stolen. Then they lost the affidavit after we gave it to them and required another.

I hope you don't go through something like that. It sucks enough just to know someone took your stuff.

Robin S. said...

I've had my car windows smashed in and a load of wrapped Christmas presents taken, as well as a beautiful woven wrap my great-grandmother had made. I was in a relative's house, at a party, and came outside to take my things in, and found the windows smashed and everything gone. I was young and close to broke at the time - and I couldn't afford to buy more presents.

That was a feeling of violation, as bunnygirl said- but can't compare at all to how you must be feeling.

And yeah - I know exactly what you mean about the important things not being taken - you're so right- but still - that feeling of violation just hurts and angers a person, and it's natural- so please don't apologize, honey. No need.

Maybe moving would feel better.

ril said...

Paca, my sympathies to you and yours, and I admire your philosophy. Property is just stuff and as long as no one has been hurt, the most precious things are safe.

I'd like to think I could be as Zen about these things, but I know if this happened to me, I'd be more than a little bitter: I'd be mad as hell and want to exact some righteous retribution. Thing is, there is no righteous retribution.

I wish you well with fixing up the damage and don't blame you at all for wanting to get the heck out of that apartment.

writtenwyrdd said...

Oh horrors! I'm so sorry to hear about this!

Paca, send me your email (mine is writtenwyrdd at earthlink dot net)and I'll send you an email with some identity theft prevention info. Meantime, I believe you can have an alert on your credit reports by calling the credit bureaus. I'm vague on the details, but if you are wary of identity theft, that's probably the best way to go. Also, call your creditors and explain that someone has stolen your checkbook and if they have any pending checks there might be problems.

Sammy Jankis said...

Aw man, paca, that sucks. Go to this website, if you do nothing else follow the instructions in step one to let the credit bureaus know your identity inforamation may have been stolen. This will put a fraud alert on your file. You may also be able to put a credit freeze on your information (read under item #4). You've already been violated. I'd take every step possible to make sure they don't open accounts in your name, etc. And you'll likely have to be wary for ID theft for the next few years because some thieves warehouse numbers for a while before trying to open accounts with them. You can almost guarantee that in the next two or three days you will discover checks that were written or credit card charges that were made before you were aware of the theft.

Sammy Jankis said...

Oops, link to web site mentioned above:

Precie said...

A little bitter? Oh, paca. You must be close to nirvana to sound so centered. I'd be cursing a blue streak and pretty darn incoherent.

I'm so relieved that you and your family are safe, and I'm glad your landlord is a locksmith and is taking steps to increase your security. Hang in there.

ChristineEldin said...

This is awful. I'm really sorry. But you sound like you're trying to keep your calm and do things in a practical manner.
I don't know much about this stuff, but sounds like an impulsive burglar. Maybe drunk teenagers--"Hey, let's see what we can get" attitude. In and out quickly.

I'm off to read your next post...