February 15, 2005

Why Alarm Systems Are Beneficial,A Cautionary Tale

We had some excitement here last Friday. It started out like any other day, but certainly didn't end that way! I had a lot of things to do in the afternoon and my mom offered to take John and Jeremy while I ran some errands but I kept Joe with me. So off we went to the library to return some books and videos and then to Target for miscellaneous items. Somewhere along the line I got into a very bad habit of not locking the front door but just setting the alarm. I should back up here. Two years ago I had a lovely young man knock at my door offering to install an alarm system for free. One of the reasons they chose us was because of visibility, apparently we have a house people look at! They also wanted to establish some history of people using their product and to become familiar with their name. In a couple of weeks they were going to come again but they would then be selling the alarm system and thus be able to say, your neighbor has one, blah, blah, blah. O.K., I like free things and the security of the alarm really appealed to me, what can I say, I'm a sucker!

Back to the story....

After a productive shopping jaunt, I returned home. I knew the front door was open so I did my usual carry-everything-in-at-once-and-give-myself-deadarm. So, I have Joe and all the bags. I put my hand on the door and...nothing! It won't open. No red flag that something was amiss because I was too annoyed at having to unlock the door! I put down the bags and unlocked the front door. Upon entering the house there should have been the usual alarm beeping to disarm but again...nothing! At this point, I really was not thinking much of anything because I figured my mom came home with the boys and went out again. So I called mom at my sister's house and she told me she had not been in the house. Alright, now I am a little spooked! She stayed on the phone with me while I looked around the house. I didn't tell her this but I picked up Jeremy's plastic sword to protect myself. I know, I know but it seemed like a good idea at the time! I looked all around and there was nothing out of the ordinary. I hung up with her and called Kevin. I thought maybe he came home and when he left, locked the door. He told me he had not been home and to call the alarm company. As I went to get the phone I saw the alarm light blinking and pressed the button to disarm it. Weird. Terror level = orange.

I still have not called the alarm company. My mom arrives with the boys, Kevin arrives shortly thereafter. We are trying to figure out what happened. Did I lock the door? Was it latched? Could the wind have blown it open? We find the alarm number and I call. I tell them what happened and he reviews the history. The front door alarm was triggered at 1:17 and the back door was triggered at 1:18. Someone was in my house!! Even creepier, I left the house at 12:45. It was almost like they were waiting for me to leave! The alarm guy asks me if anything is missing and I tell him, "I don't think so." The computer is still here and so is my digital camera. (Phew!!) The television is not missing and the video camera is on the dining room table. Kevin says, "No one is going to steal a 125 lb television in broad daylight in one minute." He tells me to go look upstairs and see if my jewelry is missing. No, it is still there.

We called the police and they told me two officers were dispatched to the alarm but found nothing. They secured the premises, aka, locked the doors, and left. Kevin was a little upset with me. I learned my lesson. Now when I leave I have this place under total and complete lockdown! Basement, check. Backdoor, check. Frontdoor, check. National Guard, check. Alligators in moat, check.

John was feeling frightened that night and I told him we don't need to be afraid. I explained that while someone had been in our house, we were still under God's protection because we were not home. I also said the God was telling me that I need to use more wisdom about the things I do and not be so careless. We prayed for God's hand to be upon us and to give us pleasant dreams and a good night's sleep. I told him if he felt afraid to come into my room but he slept soundly all night. In the morning he told me he knew God was protecting us and was not afraid. Child-like faith!


gina said...

Thank god everyone is safe. It's sad a sad lesson I recently learned as well. After moving to our rural, little cul-de-sac, everything seemed safe and serene after the "BIG CITY",so little by little I got lax about locking the doors(Knowing you'll be coming home with your arms full and 4 kids , well it just seemed easier). Then 2 weeks ago, my neighbor across the way got robbed. It happened in the 3 hour span I was out running errans ( usually i 'm home, was some watching the area?)Walked in and out of theri unlocked home.:( tThree days later, they were robbed again. Jimmied open a locked sliding door around the back of their home( I can see the front ) WHILE I WAS HOME. Can anyone say bulk purchases of alarm systems? The whole cul-de-sac made a run for one.

mamabear said...

That is so scary. I am so glad you were all okay, and "bad guy" wasn't still in the house. Two years ago when we moved to this small town we now live in, I left my truck unlocked one night (we supposedly live in a VERY safe neighborhood), and somebody(ies) got into it in the middle of the night and stole all my kids' toys. Their Gameboys, all the games, a digital camera (my daughters), and other misc stuff. Funny, they didn't take my radar detector though. THat's why I figure it was a bunch of kids, any adult would have known the radar detector was worth more than the two gameboys put together. Scary though. After that dh put up a security system around the perimeter of the house, cameras eveyrwhere, 7/24 recorded around the clock. Anyway-be more careful about locking your doors, and trust no one (unfortunately...)

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