Wednesday, September 23

Do you recognize this muddy boot print?

So I'm hanging out on campus this afternoon, studying in my favorite spot (an area right by the grad student offices, I turn the lights off and sit in the big blue chair in front of a big window), with my laptop open in front of me. I check my Gmail for the millionth time (am I waiting for a specific email? maybe, maybe not) and lo and behold! I have mail! Not what I was expecting:

To: N. Loop tenants
Subject: Break in @ N. Loop

I just rec'd notice from N. that several of the apartments were broken into today. Please call B. to have doors secured asap.
I believe she has reported break in to the police today.

No joke. That was the email our property manager sent to us, an hour and a half AFTER she had found out about it. I experienced several moments of panic as I threw all of my books into my backpack, put my shoes back on and fled the English building to find that, yes, it was still raining and I had thrown my umbrella into the bag with the rest of my stuff. I booked it across campus, made it to the Institute building parking lot, jumped in my car and began the ten minute drive back to my apartment. Slow drivers irritate me on a good day. Slow drivers on a day when I am imagining that all of my worldly possessions have been stolen and they are the only people in the world standing between me and my destination? INFURIATING. I did try my best to remain calm and said a little prayer. In my head I took a virtual tour of my apartment from the point of view of a burglar: Piano right by the door, but probably too heavy to actually steal. Definitely the TV, the DVD player, and ohmygoodnessallofmyDVDsaresittingrightthere outintheopenjustbeggingtobestolen! *deep breaths* My Anthro pillow (you know, in case they were burglars that had good interior decorating tastes). My Lladros? Would a burglar even know what those are? Probably not, because let's face it - they are robbing someone's house! If they were able to recognize very expensive Spanish glass work, they probably would have chosen a different career path! My Bose radio, definitely a goner. My most desperate thought, though, was what if they stole Casanova?! I would not be able to recover if something happened to Casanova! (if you really must know, Casanova is my stuffed lion that I've had for 12+ years...)

I finally made it home. There was a police car parked out in the front of our building and 4 of the other 6 tenants were all standing in the front entryway. The door had obviously been kicked in - the lock was busted, the frame torn from the wall. I immediately looked to my apartment door and *BIG SIGH OF RELIEF* it didn't show any outward signs of having been broken down. After the Forensic Officer (nice lady!) finished processing the "crime scene" in front of my door, I unlocked it and entered and *ANOTHER BIG SIGH OF RELIEF* everything was just as I left it. Piano, check. TV, DVD player, DVDs, check. Anthro pillow and Lladros, double check. Bose radio, check. Casanova? Big enthusiastic check!

After it was determined that my apartment had not been broken into, I returned to my door and inspected a bit closer. Sure enough, there were two very distinct boot prints - someone had obviously tried to kick the door in. And with a lot of force, too - my key hook on the inside had been knocked off the wall and the "B" on the wall outside of my door (for my apartment number = B2) had also fallen down. Two of my neighbors were not so lucky - doors kicked in, property stolen. We are now trying to find a handyman who will be able to replace at least our outside door tonight. If all else all fails and we can't get the door replaced, my upstairs neighbors have volunteered to buy a couple of 2x4s and basically nail us in for the night. I offered to smash up some light bulbs and scatter the broken glass on the floor in the front entryway (a la Mission: Impossible!).

So, in conclusion, if you recognize the above muddy boot print, please contact me ASAP since I would like to give the owner of said muddy boot print a stern talking to and then ask them to please return the stolen property and apologize to my neighbors and I for basically being a menace to society.

In all seriousness, I am grateful that my solitary deadbolt stayed strong against such insurmountable pressure and that nothing from my apartment was stolen. As I reflect on the experience, though, I realize that having all my worldly possessions stolen, while it would have been a real bummer, is not the worst thing that could have happened. No one was home, so no one was hurt. TVs and Bose radios can be replaced. The Anthro pillow can't be replaced (no longer in stock = sadness), but I can live without it. My "worldly possessions" are just that - of this world. Family, friends, testimony, love: these are the things that matter most. And no burglar can steal those from you.

Although... I really would miss that Anthro pillow :)

1 comment:

  1. I was enthralled as I raced through your story going through your very emotions and even reading aloud at times to get the full benefit of what you went through today. Ha ha, can you tell I have been stuck inside my apartment for several days now??? :) Thanks for sharing. Sadly I do not know who the muddy foot print belongs to, but as soon as I get out I will be on the look out.