It was just another day.
Well not really. It was quite a hectic day at work with more than normal to handle and I was feeling a little frazzled. Frazzled enough to agree to join in on Wacky Wednesday midday feast with the ladies in the office (which I usually politely decline).
When I got a call from my neighbour, I knew something was up. We only ever whatsapp and only on very random occasions.
“Cindy, your house has just been broken into! They took your TV! ADT are here now, but you should probably come home!”
It took me a few minutes to process what she was saying but then it hit me. I called Seth in a hurry, told him to leave, called my Mom (who lives in a Granny flat on our property) who had incidentally just read it on our neighbourhood watch Whatsapp group, “Burglary in process at XXXXXXXXXXXXX…. Oh gosh that’s us?!”
I tried to wait for my burger to arrive before I left – because priorities. But then I left without it – because real priorities.
Anyway. When I arrived Seth was just finished meeting with the police officers to give them our statement and record of what happened. Not that we knew anything, but anyway.
I just stood there, taking it all in. Surveying the scene it was obvious that they got in through the front gate and door. Probably the crow bar gang or a copycat group. They pried open the gate and then the door – leaving both totally broken and needing to be replaced, not to mention the plaster on the walls where they levered the crowbar.
In case you’re wondering – the alarm went off, but they continued undeterred.
In the space of 2-3 minutes they managed to leave with our TV, tablet, a drawer from my bedside table with the most eclectic collection of randomness inside it and sadly my antique jewellery box that my grandmother left me when she passed away. Besides the jewellery box being a thing of beauty in and of itself, inside it she had collected a range of jewellery items over the years that she left just for me. Most which was costume jewellery but there were quite a few pieces of proper value in there too.
Honestly it was stuff I never wore (we didn’t have similar taste in jewellery – I prefer silver/platinum and she LOVED gold) so I never took the time to have the items valued. I actually didn’t even have a proper record of what was in there which really sucks having to try and claim for it now.
Our neighbour managed to catch a bit of it on a grainy camera fottage (we’re quite far away from their house). The video showed a silver/white car (but no clear image of the number plate). They drove around the block, then stopped near our house. They got out and rang the bell a couple of times before getting back into their car and leaving. Then about 10 minutes later they came back, lifted our sliding gate off the rails, pulled their car in and were in and out in like 3 minutes.
There have been so many cases like this in our neighbourhood that it’s scary.
Since then we’ve been spending all our time trying to get things fixed and also up our security. We’ve installed an antitheft bar on the gate and a “crowbar proof” front gate. We still have to install the new door and get quotes for all the rest of the items, because did I mention that Knox came down with a crazy fever on the Thursday morning (the morning after the burglary) and has had one ever since. Apparently chicken pox is going around the school and then yesterday morning Riya started with the fever and life is just freaking nuts right now.
Everyone is asking me if I feel violated. And of course I do, but right now I am mostly just freaking annoyed at how much of a lass it is to get everything sorted. I sleep fine and besides a couple of meltdowns from the kids about having the TV stolen, we are all doing OK.
I refuse to live my life in fear.
Are we more aware – definitely. Are we increasing our security – abso-freaking-lutely.
But am I going to freak out at every noise, never be home alone, put cupboards in front of my front door so when they break in they fall over, or put my dogs in the front so they could potentially get hurt if someone decides to do this again? NO.
The sad fact of our country right now is that it’s bound to happen at some point. We’re all going to be victims of crime. It’s disgusting and disturbing and heart breaking. But somewhere long ago I sort of made peace with it. If that’s even a thing.
There’s much to be thankful for.
- We weren’t home
- They didn’t take too much and anyway, things are just things
- The dogs were’t hurt
- We weren’t home
It’s so easy to despise South Africa for forcing us to live like this, to consider moving to another country or something equally drastic. But that’s not for me.
Yes our country has a long way to go, but I really can’t help but feel like we’ve got much more good going for us than bad. Even if it will take a while to prove it.