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May 03, 2008

Goodbye PeaCoat

This morning started off rough.

Frinklin got up early to help out friends with their 72 hour film festival submission only to find that one of our cars was broken into overnight. It was nothing terribly dramatic, and unfortunately (or fortunately, since it meant there was little damage to the car) it was a situation where one of the doors didn't close properly and was jimmied open. Everthing in the vehicle had been rifled through but the person who broke in only stole my expensive and very cool pea coat. Note to self: don't leave expensive and cool stuff in car.

In the grand scheme of things this isn't a huge deal. The car is relatively unscathed, nothing major was taken, and both Frinklin and I are mostly just annoyed. But it's unsettling to have someone violate your privacy and your space. This is the second time that Frinklin and I have been robbed. Both times it has been due to a door left ajar; last time it was in an old apartment we couldn't wait to move out of in 2001.

Before moving to Tacoma I received a lot of half-joking warning about the crime rate here. I, myself, have joked about livng in a city where crime is just considered part of daily life. A few months after moving here Violet came to visit from Chicago (where she was terrified of living in her own haunted house and somewhat crime-ridden neighborhood alone). Her first night in town we told her we lived in "the good part of Tacoma" with a lower crime rate, "less violent crimes."

Frinklin went on to say, "We do tend to have a lot of kidnappers and serial killers though," naming Ted Bundy and a couple of others. We laughed it off (I know I'm going to hell) and got ready for bed.

Just as we were readying the pull-out couch Violet looked outside and asked, "Are those police lights?" We all rushed to the window to see cops blocking off our street and officers with German Shepherds marching up and down our block. A helicopter began circling overhead and spotlights swept the ground. Frinklin called the non-emergency police number and was told in a stern voice to, "Stay inside. Lock the doors. Do not exit the house unless instructed to by a uniformed police officer." Oh. Great.

Violet told us the next morning she slept better that night than she had in months.

"The police were everywhere! I felt so safe!" she smiled.

The TPD is no longer hovering around my house and even when I call them to report a prowler they don't bother to stop by. I've had my car egged twice, my mail stolen, the guy trying to get into the backyard, and now the car, all in three year. But I feel relatively safe due to the 90 lb. German Shepherd/Pit Bull (who's my puppy?) that doesn't like strangers sleeping next to me at night.

It's just emotionally draining to have someone violate your space and have to put your stuff back together again. And there's the enevitable "what if" thoughts that haunt you. What if they come back? What if they took something I didn't notice? What if they try to break into my house next? What if they hurt my animals? What if they hurt my husband or me?

I'm tired of thinking these thoughts. What I'd really like to do is leave a big 'ol sign on my car that says, "Hi. This message is for the person who broke into my car and stole my coat. I've lived in Tacoma long enough to know that a video camera is the best way to keep your property safe. Bring back the coat - put it on the front porch. I've got you on tape breaking into the car. If you don't return the coat within 48 hours, I'm turning in the tape to the Tacoma Police Department. Thanks."

Posted by Ensie at May 3, 2008 12:14 AM

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That is so lame and you can't help but feel violated. It's not like they were stealing vegetables out of your garden because they were starving. They stole a pea coat in the middle of spring. WTF?!

I'm really sorry that happened to you and I have a spare pea coat from Old Navy that I have never worn if you'd like to have it. :-)

Posted by: Mandi at May 3, 2008 10:15 AM

I remember having the same violated feeling when my cars were broken into years ago. The missing stuff is a bummer, but just the thought of some creep rummaging through your business is disturbing. You've motivated me to consider putting one of those "Smile, you're on camera!" signs on my front fence. Of course, I may or may not rig up the actual camera.

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