TG has been stomping around the house for the last several weeks in a barely contained rage. Two weeks ago, while on vacation in NC, TG’s house was burgled. The same thing happened almost exactly a year ago. TG blogged about this last crime here, and here. This time the household really got slammed. The thieves came into the fenced-in backyard, found a ladder TG stupidly stored outdoors, climbed up on a low porch roof and were able to break a lock on a window and roam around the house stuffing what they wanted into black trash bags. The neighbors saw an unusual car (smallish square gold-colored SUV parked in the driveway, but they though this was the cat sitter) that remained there for an hour and a half or so. You can see they had plenty of time to take what they wanted.
They tore through all the drawers of clothing, throwing stuff onto the floor. They ransacked TG’s wife’s jewelry. They got several computers, three cameras, a game system and assorted fancy bags to carry the loot in, and once again, just like last year, they got an antique stoneware jar with all of TG’s money that he intended to take to the beach for his writer’s retreat.
After they left with the swag, they attempted to steal TG’s car, succeeding only in breaking an old key off in the lock, jimmying the door and screwing up the ignition lock. One has to wonder why the car alarm didn’t go off and if, and TG suspects this is the case, the alarm did go off, why didn't anyone pay any attention?
The chief and only clue was that TG found his house key on an old Verizon lanyard obviously dropped by the thieves onto the roof when they were going down the ladder. This, and other indications, makes TG think that this is the same guy who robbed him last year, having made a copy of the key that the neighbors had and kept it for a year.
The police response has been pathetic. When called, four officers roared up in separate cars, and, guns drawn, stormed through the house and declared the theft an “inside job” because there were no signs of forced entry. Unfortunately they missed the fact that the upstairs window was wide open, the screen cut out and the broken lock was lying on the floor. Morons. The detective, who was the same guy who investigated last year, took the details over the phone and has yet to show up or even return TG's calls. The second cop who came when TG insisted that they take fingerprints informed us that all thieves wore gloves these days and it would be a waste of time, though he grudgingly did a bit of fingerprinting. Enough to screw up the rugs. He refused to do the outside windowsill because he wasn’t going to climb a ladder.
Those of you who are suggesting that we should put in an alarm system, we already did that after last year's incursion. It secured the first floor, and they got around it by going in a second floor window. We now have motion detectors on the second floor.
So, essentially, TG’s house has become an ATM for this kid and his pals. Whenever they feel the need for some spare cash they can roll up when we’re not at home, smash in the sliding glass doors, (that’s what they did to the neighbors) knowing that they have an easy ten to fifteen minutes from the time the alarm goes off and the cops show up. We now know that the neighbors don’t hear alarms or at least don’t respond when they do.
Mrs. TG has now relented on the issue of keeping firearms in the house. Of course they do no good if no one is here to shoot the burglars when they come in. But TG is going to rearm himself anyway. All the heavy-duty weapons that are in storage are a bit too destructive under the circumstances; the Rocket Propelled Grenades brought back from Afghanistan are going to do serious damage to the infrastructure if TG fires one of those babies off. TG is looking into something a bity smaller and more portable.
So all the work involving security changes and insurance details is pretty much done, which leaves touring the area pawnshops and trying to convince the Prince Georgia’s County, Maryland, police that they should be doing their jobs. Which means that TG can get back to blogging about the state of Thrillers, novel-writing and book publishing in general. Look for updates on this crime. TG let it slide the last time it happened. Not this time.