Sunday, November 07, 2004

Crime doesn't pay (very well and there's no super plan)

Last night we were burgled. I went to bed at about 1:30 am, woke briefly at about 2:30 thinking that I’d heard a noise, listened for a moment then went back to sleep. (In the past, I’ve got up upon hearing strange noises. Last night I didn’t – chiefly because I thought the noise was outside.)

In the morning, Wifely found that the burglar had taken things from the empty bedroom he entered and from the hallway, before leaving. He (presumably it’s a he) didn’t venture any further into the house.

At first we thought nothing of significance had been taken, only to find that my wallet had gone, along with my bag which contains my MP3 player (including the only two CDs I’ve received from the great Canberra blogger CD swap – the other two are, shall we say a little tardy). Bummer!

When the police arrived, Wifely asked if it would have been better if somebody had got up when the burglar was in the house. Immediately and in unison, the two young cops said: ‘Yes.’

Wifely said: ‘So if you disturb them while they’re still here, then they’ll bolt, will they?’

One young cop: ‘Generally, generally, yeah. Sometimes you’ll get a nutcase.’

My humble view is that the police may need to re-think their automatic support for the ‘get up and interrupt a burglar’ strategy. Just saying, that’s all.

Later that afternoon, I got a sudden jones to get into the novel I started reading two days ago. (The Da Vinci Code -- no snobbery please, it was a birthday gift from an in-law and I'm contractually obliged to read it). I realised it was in my bag with my MP3 player for bus-trip distraction. Bummer again.

Later still, I’m working on my nanowrimo novel when my mind turns to the two notebooks with my scribbed ideas in them. The novel is at about 13 000 words after almost a week and I’m starting to stuggle a little. A fresh idea injection could be just the thing. Guess where the two notebooks were? The insurance company can reimburse me for the $5 cost of the notebooks but they can’t replace the ink.

This is what pisses me off most about crime like this. The burglar got away with a small amount of cash (about $40) and an MP3 player that’s probably worth about $100 at the back of a pub. But the cost to the victim in terms of psychological distress (a criminal walked through our house while me, Wifely and the Dude were sleeping!), of irritation (replacing all the plastic cards and other emblems of modern life in my wallet) and of genuine loss (of things like the notebooks) is enormous.

Mr Burglar, if you read Canberra blogs in between hits of smack: mate, you’re a jerk.

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