True stories with a twist!

I’ve heard writers say
“It just wrote itself…”

and thought how absurd it sounded.

So when I started this post, meaning to tell you all about the exciting trip I just took, the words started pouring out. But they weren’t what I had planned. There were no words about the trip; only words about what happened at home while we we were away.

Emails began splashing across the ocean into the new environment we were experiencing,  forming stories with rather frightening scenerios.

Our house was the scene of an attempted break-in. The police answered the call sent by our alarm system and began investigating the crime scene. Meanwhile, we were thousands of miles away, full of fear and apprehension. “What is happening? What are they not telling us? Should we cut the trip short and go home immediately?”

No matter what we decided to do, it was impossible to get a flight out of Chile during the high season. We had no recourse but to stay where we were, seeing new sights, while constantly searching for new information from our mobile phones, and counting on the professionals back home to manage the crisis.

When we got home several days later, it was time to confront the truth.

This is what we found: luckily, the sliding glass door in the kitchen couldn’t be forced open. The wooden dowel we had previously placed on the track blocked the door from being pushed along the track to open it. Breaking the glass would set off the motion detector, so that option was impractical for criminals who prefer time outside of jail.                                                  2018-02-20 14.01.49.jpg                                                      Failing to gain access through the back kitchen door, the thieves moved to the front of the house and tried to pry the master bedroom window open. They were able to break the window lock 2018-02-20 14.02.50and open the window about two inches: nice going, thieves! But then the alarm went off and scared them away.

We are now in the midst of a police investigation while fielding questions from worried neighbors and learning whatever we can about how to increase security in our homes. Top suggestions so far are increased outdoor lighting and cameras focused on all entries to the house.

Has anyone found other deterrents to keep personal property safe when you are away?





Comments on: "WRITING BY ITSELF" (24)

  1. Put a dog bowl in the kitchen with a little food in it and a water bowl. (even if you have no dogs) Choose large dog size. You could also leave a few dog toys where they can be seen. Oh, and lights on timers.

  2. Yikes. I hope You had a great trip and I am so happy they weren’t able to get in. Cheers!!! 🙂

  3. Quite a scary experience it must have been

  4. That is not the kind of news you want to hear when you are far from home. The good news is that it sounds like the burglars were deterred!

    • It is more shocking to hear that news when you’re far from home; the first instinct is to fly back, even though realistically there is nothing you can do after the fact.

      • Exactly. We had a similar incident while in Sweden one summer. In our case, the attempted perpetrator was a raccoon who did several hundred dollars damage to our roof trying to break in through an air vent.
        An observant neighbour noticed the problem and notified our son who was dropping by the house to check on things. He notified us, and a friend did a temporary fix until we eventually returned home and could get it properly repaired.

  5. Helen Carey said:

    I have metal rods in my two slidng doors made by an old boyfriend of my daughters. The relationship didn’t pan out but I am grateful for the rods.

  6. Adrianne Bendich said:

    Thanks for sharing. All the suggestions sound good. Do the police have any other suggestions?

  7. No wonder your post wrote itself! Now you have me thinking of ways to protect home when we are away. Sounds like you have done all the right things already.

    • Thanks, Dora. More outdoor lights are suggested by the police. If they have more suggestions when we meet with them I will let you know. This sounds so obvious to me, but always lock your car doors. Its surprising how many people leave them unlocked, and even leave the keys inside!

  8. Our two dogs are a pretty good deterrent. When we travel we always have a dog/house sitter. Don’t like leaving the house unattended ever. We have to be careful what we post on social media about upcoming trips (not that you did) because there’s no way of knowing who can access that info.

    Glad this had a good ending but it is unnerving to say the least.

    • Al, that’s a good solution. I love dogs, but now that there are no children at home to help walk them, I have given up owning more dogs. A dog sitter his a great idea; we always used to put our dogs in the kennel when we went away.

  9. Glad it turned out to be nothing too serious. The best barrier for thieves in my opinion is good neighbors, who help keep an eye on the place. Hope you were still able to find some enjoyment on your vacation.

    • I am the Captain of the Neighborhood Watch program for my neighborhood . You are right, Bev; good neighbors are the best deterrent to crime. In face I have asked the police dep’t. to present a home safety program that we can all attend. They said they would do it for us.

  10. How scary for you, and how helpless you must have felt to be so far away and not be able to deal with it. So glad the alarm scared them away. Sounds like you took good precautions. I hope it didn’t ruin the enjoyment of your trip too much.

    • Thanks, Carrie. Yes, it was a shock, and although our first impulse was to get home, we realized that there was nothing we could doing. So we let the police do their job, and we went about our job, which was to learn and discover Chile and Argentina.

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