Problem Solved

Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions about how to deal with the crackberry. Those who suggested only using it during work hours were on the mark, I thought. And those who suggested making it clear about the lines in which people could or could not contact me were also pretty good. But I’d like to extend my greatest thanks to the person who organised for someone to break into my apartment last night and steal it.

And no, I’m not joking. When I woke this morning I went looking for the crackberry and couldn’t find it. “Odd”, I thought to myself, so I checked all of the unusual and silly places such as inside the fridge or the microwave. And so I called it, and it went straight to voice mail. “It’s here somewhere”, I thought to myself, and I’m sure I’ll find it later today. And then I went looking for my wallet, and that was missing too.

“Oh my goodness, someone has broken into my house while I was asleep”, I soon realised. Feeling a little embarrassed to have to make the call (in case I was just absent-minded), I held off for a few minutes before calling my boss to tell him I was gonna be late. And then all of a sudden I blurted it out, “I think I’ve been broken into while I’ve been asleep”.

Thankfully I didn’t lose much. Work will cover the phone, thank goodness. I’m pissed off about the camera, since it was such a nifty little thing, though thankfully all of the photographs were backed up. And there were only a few dollars in my wallet (they really should have robbed someone who hasn’t just spent three months traveling around Europe), but I did lose the cards which is a pain. Most traumatic was the loss of my Lismore Workers Club Membership Card which guarantees me six free beers when I return home for Christmas!! So yes, I can still laugh.

And I’m also quite philosophical about things. I was reassured that I wasn’t the only stupid person who has slept through a burglary when my boss told me the same had happened to him and his wife a few years ago.

In fact, today at work a few people have told me stories of having slept through burglaries. “My friend lives on the fourth floor and her house was broken into”, a friend and colleague told me late this afternoon. Also today Damo told me of a friend of his who lives on the eleventh floor of an apartment door, and was broken into.

Through sheer athletic strength, it’s not uncommon, apparently, for people to climb up the side of apartment blocks and climb through windows and balcony doors. I know, for sure I bolted the front door last night, I’m less sure about the balcony door. And I’m guessing that’s where they gained entry.

Blackberry or Crack-berry?

The police arrived really quickly this morning and fingerprinted the balcony door. I couldn’t believe how fast they were, as they arrived literally minutes after my report to the Police Assistance Line. “We were just around the corner”, they told me when I remarked at how quickly they arrived.

“Don’t worry about the mess”, I told them, as they came through the door. “The place hasn’t been ransacked”, I joked, “it always looks like this”.

They fingerprinted the door but nothing showed up, unfortunately.

No blackberry to worry about.

“Are you okay? Do you need to speak to someone?”, one of them said to me, sensing the tears were welling up in my eyes at one point. “If it’s any consolation”, she told me, “they wouldn’t have wanted a confrontation if you’d woken up”.

In some ways, I’m glad I slept through it. A friend of mine who is much older than me came home a few months ago to discover a burglar in his house. I’m glad I didn’t have to confront that. That would have really freaked me out, I’m sure. No, I just slept through it all.

I guess I did, however, sense that something must have been wrong, as I woke briefly in the middle of the night. Within a few seconds, though, I was fast asleep again until half-past five this morning. It wasn’t until I was ready to go to work that I noticed anything was wrong. Nothing had really been disturbed.

The only thing that’s a little disturbed is me. If I’d been mugged or something like that I would have felt grief or anger or something like that. But because it all happened in the middle of the night while I was fast asleep I just feel odd.

While some of you might think it’s ironic that I went away for 10 weeks and left the house empty and nothing happened, I think the ultimate irony is that it all happened while I was fast asleep in my bed. If I’d done my usual trick of falling asleep on the couch watching the television it would have been a far different story.

PS… In chatting with friends today and tonight, I’ve been reminded there are some things about living in the city you just don’t tell your family in the country about. A friend reminded me she has never told her family she was once mugged. Another friend reminded me she has never told her family about her house being broken into. For a lot of people, Sydney is a scary place they don’t want to hear about. This is probably one of the stories. So if you’re a family member who reads this blog, please keep it to yourself or else everyone else will just worry. OK?

14 Replies to “Problem Solved”

  1. Poor you. I was burgled a couple of times at my old flat a couple of years ago and it’s a horrible experience even if they don’t take much. Glad the police came around quickly… did they find anything at all? The idiot who did my place left a drink bottle so they caught him through his DNA and I took him to court. :)

    Make sure you change all your email passwords, and passwords for any websites/online banking if you logged on from the blackberry. I think with blackberries there’s a way of wiping them remotely, so talk to your IT people/telco as well.

  2. Thanks Tom. It’s amazing how many people, when you ask, have been burgled. All the passwords are fine, as I didn’t really get much of a chance to use the blackberry. Maybe it was the “cosmos” looking after me? :)

  3. That’s horrible. We got broken into once when we were asleep but fortunately the window broke spectacularly and they were scared off.

    We were scared awake and the next day threw money at a security system – apparently we were the only house in the street without one.

    Lucky your cute little laptop is okay. :)

  4. I’ve had my garage broken into several times and my car once but thankfully not my apartment. I know how strange it feels.

    The oddest robbery story I know is a friend of mine and his then girlfriend (now wife) who were having sex on the cabin bed of their river cruise on the Rhine and were robbed of the girlfriend’s bag which was on the bed at the time.

  5. I’m so sorry, James. And what a pain about the cards. It’s creepy, thinking about someone walking round while you’re asleep, but I’m glad you weren’t hurt.

  6. Sneaky buggers! I think it’s a good thing that they didn’t disturb you – personally I’m not into confrontation! It’s such a horrible feeling – you have my sympathy..

  7. Sorry to hear it James! I can empathise, I was robbed while I slept (ok, was passed out in an alcoholic stupor and had earplugs in) in a hotel in Cairns years ago. I was majorly squicked out about having someone wandering around the room while I slept!

    (Oh, and when did you beome a glowing white spectre? Was it the fright? Man, you make ME look tanned in that photo.)

  8. The more you talk and read about it, the more you realise this story isn’t uncommon. Unfortunately. Thanks for the well wishes.

  9. Years ago when I was living in Forest Lodge we were burgled one night and slept through it all. My expensive camera equipment was stolen, among other things. Not a nice experience.

  10. Hey james….hope ur okay mate…..I caught someone on my balcony last year….believe you me….it’s better you slept through it!

  11. A distressing thing to happen but the important thing is that you are okay James. It could have turned out differently if you were awoken by the intruder.

    I had it happen to me when I lived in Little Eveleigh Street, Redfern. I roused slightly when I heard someone and thought it was my flatmate then I heard the door close. When I got up I realised that the noise I’d heard was that of the hamburglar.

  12. glad u’re safe!

    had my car broken into a couple of times, then i got an alarm and breakins stopped.

  13. Neil, Cotton, Denys, Cotton – thanks for your wishes. It still amazes me how many people who are regular readers of this blog have had it happened to them also.

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