“Jewelry Box” by andrea singarella, on Flickr
Three years ago this week, my house was broken into. Every piece of jewelry I owned (including heirloom pieces) and my laptop were whisked away in a pillowcase from my bed by a couple of jerks who were never caught. I never saw my things again and it hurt. Mostly because many of the pieces I did own were sentimental but also because it’s true– you feel completely violated. Unfortunately with hard economic times and the holiday season, tis the season for smash and grabs everywhere. So here is the most valuable lesson I learned from my experience that I wish to share with you.
Don’t make it easy.
You might be lucky and never have to experience this nastiness. But in the off-chance someone does break into your home, here are a few things you can do to minimize the damange.
- If it means something to you, hide it. I have always been a big mess and that would’ve benefitted me greatly in this case except I had just received a beautiful, big, red jewelry box a few days before the robbery and had taken the time to go through my drawers and put all of my jewelry in a nice and easy container for thieves to throw into the pillowcase. The only jewelry that survived was what I was wearing and what was somewhere it didn’t belong like next to the bathroom sink or in the kitchen. I also left the laptop right on top of my bed next to its case. The thieves could not have had it any easier when they broke into my home. Forget drawers as hiding places and try avoiding the Master Bedroom in general. They open every single one of them and rustle through everything (gross).
- Close the doors to all of the rooms every time you leave your house. This was a lesson learned from the police. Thieves want to hit the Master Bedroom right away. They don’t know your home so they don’t know where it is. Make them work to find it and close every door to every room. Try not to let the kids decorate the outside of their doors for this same reason. If every door looks the same from the outside, they’re going to have to try every single one. And if you ever come home and find a door open, immediately turn around and call the cops. This is a sure sign someone has been there and is immediately visible.
- If you have small electronics like a laptop, email yourself the serial number. The police were so frustrated because that was their best lead– and I didn’t have it. Even if the thieves did dump everything, the cops were going to have a hard time reconnecting me with it.
- If you care about it, inventory it and also email it to yourself. I rent and don’t have insurance so for me this wouldn’t have helped monetarily but I had a hard time identifying what was stolen in that very insane time. Not only that but photographing especially important items might help police as well.
- The moment you realize you’ve been robbed, don’t touch anything. Leave your house right away and call the police. The more you touch, the more you mask the thieves.
I get a little freaked out every time around this year and get hypersensitive to sounds outside and things like that. I lightly block entryways so that it’s easy for me to get out in case of an emergency but if you’re breaking in, you’re in for a surprise and a tripping hazard. This year, I thought a good way to deal with my uneasiness would be to share with you. Maybe these tips will help someone out there. I wish I’d known them, that’s for sure. Every time I think of the beautiful charm bracelet my grandparents had given me for my fifteenth birthday I curse that stupid jewelry box. If you simply must have a jewelry box in your home, I suggest using it to hold mementos and doodads instead of your favorite jewelry. Those pieces should be in dark corners.