Our neighborhood turns less idyllic

Our neighbors were robbed. Someone broke into their home while they were gone on vacation and stole computers, jewelry, electronics, etc.

They live across the street from us. We aren’t particularly close, but just recently we had coffee together at another neighbor’s home, getting to know them a bit.

I noticed them outside their home today, but I didn’t think much of it. In fact, it was just this morning that I thought, “Hm, haven’t seen them in several days, I wonder if they are on vacation?” Then, I noticed the police car. It was like someone took a sledgehammer to all my neighborhood peace.

The thieves had been watching the house and knew they were gone. There were people in their home, steps from our sleeping household, wreaking havoc in the middle of the night. The Mrs. Neighbor apparently stepped into the house, arms loaded with luggage from their trip, noticed something wrong immediately and walked straight back out. It took them hours after the police had been through the house before they could muster up the courage to go inside. They didn’t sleep there, either. I know I couldn’t have.

I walked over to offer whatever support and hugs I could and they just looked stunned.

I am very angry for them. I cannot imagine the sense of violation, knowing strangers had been touching things, looking at things. I am very angry for all of us, because these evil people have come in and touched our neighborhood with fear.

It also made me suddenly feel very vulnerable in my home. I think of all the times we’ve been gone on vacation, or when Darling is out-of-town. Do we need an alarm system? A dog? (shudder) Better deadbolts on the door? I guess I just don’t want to be an “easy” home to break in to, knowing that locks only keep the honest honest.

Sunshine did what any 9 year-old would do–she grabbed her Nancy Drew Sleuth book and started to dash over to help the police. Saying, “They need to find clues to catch the robbers. Did they look for fingerprints? I think I should go help.”

I brought their 11 year-old daughter to our house from where she was huddled in their car. I sent her back home later on, armed with fresh chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t know what else to do. I felt horrible that I had somehow missed thieves dragging things through their front yard in the dead of night.

As I tucked Sunshine into bed, she was very concerned about the robbers coming back to our neighborhood. We did the parental thing to assure her that our home is safe, no one will break in here. But I have absolutely no security in that statement. We are all vulnerable to the evil choices other people make against us. She asked me, “Why would someone do that?” I had no answer. ‘Cause their mean? Selfish? Greedy? Desperate?

Mrs. Neighbor assured me that it was just “stuff”. No one was hurt. Honestly, replacing the stuff (as annoying and time-consuming as it will be) is not the part that makes me the angriest. It is the fact that every time Mrs. Neighbor wears the pearl necklace the thieves somehow missed, she will remember. That their daughter and son would feel fear in their own home. That somewhere, someone would cast aside all inhibitions on human decency and would declare that our neighbors property and peace of mind were somehow less valuable then what the thieves wanted.

It makes me angry and scared. Angry at being scared.

I hope those nice folks at Humor-Blogs.com have never been robbed….. 🙁

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