What you need to know about being burgled

Monday mornings aren’t my favourite or my best for all kinds of reasons – but this morning there was an extra sting in the tail – we were burgled last night.

Yep. Last night, some time around 4am, some scumbag broke into the house where Flea and I were sleeping, and rifled through the kitchen, dining room and lounge – helping themselves to some of our belongings in the meantime.

They’re just things, right?

I’m a HUGE believer that things are just things, and can be replaced – or if not replaced, lived without perfectly easily. So it’s not the end of the world.

But I do feel mystified by a mentality that tells someone it’s okay to sneak into a house and steal things that belong to someone else. I just don’t get it. And if you’re the kind of person who steals a child’s toys – and their piggy bank – you’re a scumbag. No two ways about it.

We called the local non-emergency police number and reported the crime. This gave me a crime reference number, which I could use for insurance purposes.

We got very lucky

Looking into our insurance I realised that my laptop probably wasn’t covered – it was a freebie from a PR company as was my phone, so no purchase receipt. And cash is never covered in these sorts of crimes. Once I’d paid the insurance excess for the few other missing items, was it worth it?

By a quite extraordinary stroke of luck, the police stopped the suspected burglar within a few hours. The thief was driving a car that had been stolen from one of our neighbours, who was also burgled. Inside the car the police found my laptop and phone, Flea’s DS, and some items belonging to other local residents.

The items in question have now been sealed in evidence bags and taken off for finger-printing, so I’m not sure exactly when we’ll get them back but I feel incredibly fortunate that we WILL get them back, eventually. Big thanks to our local police for being on the ball. Although my house does look like it’s been occupied by a family of careless miners – every window, door, floor and surface is *covered* with dust. Ugh.

What’s interesting, though, is the police told me the name of the chap who they arrested this morning.  He’s local, and well known to the police.

I Googled his name and found the suspected burglar in minutes. He’s a self-confessed alcoholic and drug addict. He’s homeless, jobless, and has a dirty great knife scar across his face. He has more than 80 criminal offences on his record. And he was sentenced to 18 months in prison less than four months ago. Not the sort of person you’d want in your house at 4am, to say the least.

Our man was sent to prison and immediately appealed against his sentence. The result? Just a week ago, three judges ruled his sentence was too severe and this guy deserved “one final chance” – so he was released. Free to roam the streets and climb through a window into a home where a six-year-old is sleeping. Thanks for that, appeal judges. It’s great to know you’re out there, keeping us safe. 

I’m all in favour of rehabilitation and second chances, and understanding the underlying causes of crime. Of course that’s important. Really important.

But it seems CRAZY to me that someone has a record of committing almost 90 burglaries, and can be let out of prison 12 months early because they deserve “another chance”.  Sod that. My kid deserves to sleep safely at night. I deserve not to have to change all the locks on my house and my car. Isn’t that more important?

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