"If I had known I was going to get robbed today, I would have…"

"...cleaned the house more."  That's the funniest thing I heard Ashley say on Monday.  It was funny, but it reveals a lot about our emotions at that time.  We don't live in filth, but our house always looks lived in (unless we have friends or family over).  Ashley is slowly prying me away from my dirty ways. 

Photo courtesy of riot jane

That one statement is very eye-opening because of how true it is.  It's not just the cleaning the house; there are SO MANY things I would have changed to reduce the impact of our robbery.  You know the things I'm talking about.  Every time you've said "We should really do {Insert important thing to do here}." and then you thought to yourself "Naaah, I'll do that later when I have more time.", those are the things you want to get done.  If it seems important, then you should make sure it happens and happens quickly.  You never know when some asshole will decide to make your house his or her personal blue light special. 

As promised, here are a few of the things I wish I had done to better prepare for this craptacular event.  Some of these things are not something I actually got burned on, but I'm doing now just in case it happens again.  So, without further adieu, here is my list:

  • Get a safety deposit box at the bank.  The fire safe was woefully inadequate for keeping my documents safe from burglary.  In fact, I made it easier by providing everything in a central location conveniently packaged with a carrying handle! The safety deposit box is so cheap, it's a no brainer.  My important documents belong in a steel box protected by a double lock which resides in vault protected by inches of concrete and steel.  Your stuff belongs there too.
  • Organize my desk better.  My desk is a mountain of papers and knick knacks. There is now an area where something is missing, but I'm not sure what it is. 
  • Have an itemized list of valuable things.  It's important to know what you have and any applicable model numbers and serial numbers.  Pictures of said things would be good to have also.  This is proof of what you have and might also help the police get your stuff back.
  • Lock the back door deadbolt.  If someone is going to get into my house, I want them to have to break into my house.  It might seem silly, but I want the robber to at least have to work for it. I never really thought it was important since we're kind of isolated here.  Apparently we weren't alone on this one, because our neighbors are now locking their back deadbolt after they heard of our misfortunes.
  • Have surveillance or monitoring.  A security system would be nice to have.  At the very least, I could have had a webcam recording solution to try to capture images of the thieves.  I found a few guides to do just that here and here.
  • Have more control over my laptop.  Shit, I write software for a living.  I totally could have my machine running a service hitting a private url awaiting instructions.  At the very least, a simple ping would let me know what ip address my laptop is running from.  Even cooler would be a way for me to grab remote control of it and lock it down.
  • Load better ammo in my guns. This is more for if someone decides to break in while I'm here.  I used to have some crappy target ammo in my revolver and Ashley's little gun had no ammo at all. (Honey, it's time for you to get that handgun carry permit.)  We're now loaded up with some nice hollow point ammo.  A trip to the gun range to keep fresh with the guns will follow shortly.
  • Backup my data offsite.  We didn't lose much on the laptop because most of it is stored on my PC which managed to not get stolen. (Hurray for the plain beige box!)  It was still a wake up that I need to get my stuff out of the house.  I signed up for backup service from Mozy.com.  It's only $5/month.  I would be kicking my own ass if I had lost data because I didn't pay such a small amount.

That's about all I can think of at the moment.  This seems like a good post to end on for my whole getting robbed thing.  If by some miracle the police come up with some good news, then I'll report back.  Please learn from my mistakes and protect yourself.

2 Comments so far

  1. Brandon @ May 21st, 2008

    Hollow points should do the trick. You should start a savings account for the cleaning bill now. Just in case.

  2. Karen @ May 2nd, 2009

    I just wanted to tell you that our home was broken into on 04-07-2009 and I’m going thru a lot of the same things you and your family did. Part of me wants to sit in a corner and cry…the other part wants to yell/scream/rant/rave..etc.

    But…we have a life and a family to continue with and we refuse to let the JERKS that did this to us “rob” us of anything else. We lost a lot of stuff and what wasn’t taken was broken..some things I understand..like my laptop, my kids wii, 2 nintendo ds’s, some games…they also managed to leave with a fireproof lockbox (with handle) which contained lots of important papers as well as over 200 savings bonds, which had been purchase by MY grandmother for my kids prior to her passing…

    The police were pretty much useless…and insurance will cover some things but not much. All my jewelery was taken, including my wedding band and engagement ring..which I didn’t have on that day, because we were working in the “butterfly garden” at my sons’ school. None of this is fair…but I appreciated your blog…

    I’m sorry for what you went thru…but thanks for letting me know we weren’t alone…

    Take care…

    Karen (and Rich) Warrington
    Newark, DE

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