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Oh I’m sorry….burgled.

April 28, 2011

One afternoon about a year ago, I walked outside to find our shed door wide open, emptied of its contents.  Ok, the Christmas tree stand remained.   They must’ve run out of room in the getaway car – it’s a nice Christmas tree stand!   They busted the lock.  We always kept it locked because we knew of neighbors who’d had their outbuildings and cars broken into. Heck we had the same problem in the past.  I’ve had several purses and cellphones taken.  I’m sure that leaving the car door unlocked facilitated their removal, but that’s beside the point.

On this day though, we couldn’t figure out when the robbery occurred.  We’d been home all night and evening the night before, with both dogs alive and present.  Our housekeeper had been at our house during the day when we weren’t.  I got pretty nervous when I realized that the offenders must’ve been there while someone was home.  Sure, cars are vandalized and looted when owners are home all the time.  Shoot, between the Family Y and Newman Tennis center, it’s a miracle that anyone’s windows are intact.  But our shed is at the back of our driveway.  In the backyard.  Through the gate.  They took such a large amount of stuff, including two Trek mountain bikes and a Honda lawnmower, a vehicle would’ve been necessary to get it all out of here.  So were they sneaking up and down the driveway, back and forth, back and forth until everything was loaded (I’m picturing Oompa Loompas, though I’m probably off-base)?  Did they actually pull up in the driveway?  Either way, I didn’t like it.

Many of the neighborhoods that do exist in Augusta are really just areas.  They have multiple entrances and exits.  This practically guarantees random passers by either on foot or in a car.  For the most part, this is ok.  I don’t live my life in fear by any means, but it’s something we think about.

To a girl who grew up in a suburban Atlanta neighborhood, with one way in and out, this is something that takes a little getting used to.  The biggest crimes we dealt with included toilet paper, plastic forks and pink flamingoes.   My brother once got in trouble for throwing all of the pool furniture into the neighborhood pool.   I’ll bet everyone double checked the dead bolts that night.

Recently some friends moving from Columbus were house hunting.  They kept saying “is this a good area?”  We just finally said to them, “These are all good areas.   But nobody is excluded from the random acts of thievery. Everyone knows someone who has been robbed.”

Actually, maybe we don’t.  Did you know that robbery is actually the taking of something with the use of threats, force or intimidation?  We weren’t robbed.  We were burgled.  The nice lady at the RCSO told us so.  The Man called to report it and she argued with him about what had transpired.  He said “We need to report a robbery.  Our locked shed was emptied of its contents.  Can an officer come by to file a report?”  Her response?  “Well, that isn’t a robbery, it’s a burglary.  You were burgled.”   Lady, I don’t know about you, but when someone comes onto my property where I live with my children and makes off with my stuff, it doesn’t matter what it’s called.   Call it a rodeo if that’s what you have to put in your report.  I’m going to go with SUCKS.

Back to my point.  Although there have been rashes of burglaries and car break-ins, such things are inevitable.  We do have an alarm, we lock our cars and doors and otherwise live our life as usual.  It still sucks, though.  At least they left us with the Christmas tree stand.

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