Monday, May 3, 2010


Easter weekend, on Saturday, we suffered a forced entry burglary. This was our second burglary that involved a forced entry of our home. We have, as most have had, a car burglary. That also involved a forced entry when the burglar broke a side window into our car. Our recent home burglary saw less door damage but more monetary loss than the first burglary at this home. The first was more traumatic, however, since one of our daughters entered the home while the burglars were still about their business. Fortunately, for us and for her, the burglars made a hasty exit and she was terrified but unharmed. 

As I was thinking about all of this, I remembered the time when, as young BYU students, my husband and I were awakened late during the night by the sound of a car entering our apartment complex. It was summer and we had our windows open. Oddly, we knew this was not the vehicle of a neighbor so we went to our window to look out. We lived on the top floor of one building which faced the other building in the complex. The car backed out of the driveway and we assumed that our neighbor on the floor below and facing us was being dropped off after their stint nursing at a nearby facility. About to turn from the window, we noted a man dressed in dark clothing lift the screen from the window of the apartment of our friend. We saw him climb in through the window and drop from sight. My husband hurried to the phone to call police officers who soon arrived with a police dog. However, the man went out the back door as the police went in the front door. It was only then that our sleeping neighbor, a female, realized she had had an intruder. The apartment complex was long and a waiting car at the back spirited off the intruder before the police dog could make him stop.

The next day, we were called upon to go to police headquarters and see if we could identify any known burglar on the mug sheets kept on record there. It was fruitless, of course. It was, after all, night time and all we had was a good idea of size and shape. It was much the same with our latest burglary. It is difficult to identify someone who intrudes. Eventually, we all hope, the dishonest among us are finally found. In our burglary case, the fingerprints found were of a person with large-sized fingers who was wearing gloves. We also had our fingerprints taken in order to see if one bare-fingered print was of the burglar. It turned out to be a match for my thumb.

We now have an electronic alarm system with many bells and whistles which our eight children and their spouses purchased and had installed.

My purpose in writing about this is that, had you asked me when I was 16 if I would ever have an alarm system, I would have responded with a resounding: "NO!" My grandmother and I used to open the doors and windows in the evenings during the summer. We left those windows and doors open and went to bed and never worried about having anyone break in or do us harm. One time, while we were away from home (I think we were buying groceries.), a couple of neighbor boys came in and helped themselves to treats but that was about the worst of it. There was one time when, in the early morning hours, we heard some banging about in the living room. Grandma went into the living room and found one of our neighbors. He was drunk and thought he was sneaking into his own home. When the lights went on in the living room, he was more surprised than we were. After that, Grandma always remembered to latch the screen door. It had one of those simple little hooks that dropped through an eye. I suppose that a credit card would have lifted the latch but we didn't have credit cards.

I wonder if we really were safer in the 1950s or if we were just more naive?

No comments:

Post a Comment