Being burgled

A few months ago, we were burgled.

I had been out all day with the children and got home around 4pm. We unlocked the front door and came in as normal, with me telling the kids to take their shoes off and put them away. They were tired so we went into the lounge to have a sit down and some cbeebies. I just nipped upstairs to put something in my bedroom and noticed a big mess on my bed. There were clothes and jewellery strewn everywhere. I left the house just before my husband that morning and I remembered that he had been looking for something. I texted him to tell him off for leaving the place in such a mess! ‘What mess?’ Came the reply. I explained to him about the stuff all over the bed and he said it wasn’t him. It must have been you, I said, and even sent him a photo so he could confirm it. He didn’t confirm it though, he said he was coming straight home. That was the first moment that I started to panic and it dawned on me that someone had been in my house. I rushed straight down to the kids, terrified at the possibility that someone might be hiding somewhere. Our place is pretty small so it didn’t take long for me to establish that there wasn’t anyone else there.

I started to look around to see if I could notice anything missing, since other than my bedroom everywhere looked just as we’d left it. Our blue tooth music speaker was gone from the kitchen. Our SLR camera was missing from the drawers in the lounge. Where was my watch that I hadn’t been wearing that day? I didn’t want to touch anything in case it was evidence or something, think I’ve watched too many crime dramas.

My husband got home and immediately called the police who arrived really quickly. The biggest mystery to me was how they had got in. The door was in tact and closed just as I’d left it. The police explained how they could have got themselves in and I was just so shocked. These people are clever and really know what they’re doing.

The policeman took a statement and a fingerprint expert came round that evening and I thought that would be the end of it. BUT, you won’t believe this, they caught our burglar! AND within 24 hours of the burglary! Well done Police, I say. They had spotted a couple of guys, totally unrelated to our crime, acting suspiciously in a local shopping centre. The police approached them and found that they had all our stuff on them. They were arrested and taken into custody.

We just could not believe it. Have you ever heard of a burglary having a happy ending? I certainly haven’t. One of the guys fingerprints matched the ones taken from our house so he was charged and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. It was the third time he had been charged with burglary, that’s why he got such a harsh sentence.

We have since got all of our belongings back, which I am just so thankful for. I know that for most victims of burglary, they never see their things again and justice is rarely served. I feel so lucky that things worked out so well for us.

This doesn’t mean, though, that this experience has had no effect on me. I feel utterly violated by knowing that a stranger has been in my home and touched my things. My jewellery, my underwear, how dare they? I feel angry, I can’t help it. I just don’t understand how someone can have no thought for the people they are doing this to. I have had many disturbed nights sleep when I wake up and feel convinced that someone is in the house, it’s terrifying.

I found out that the person who committed the crime was a middle aged drug addict just looking for anything to sell and get more drugs. Strangely, this made things a little easier for me to deal with. I tried to feel some compassion for this man and wonder what kind of life he must have had to get to such a desperate state. I feel sorry for him and hope that he can turn his life around and use his time in prison as a positive experience. I hope that he never puts anyone else through what he has put us through.

I hope I never get burgled again! It’s horrid, but I know it could have been a lot worse.

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Gemma

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