One More Straw…

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you probably already know about what I will write today….

This blog, nearly five years old, was started in reaction to the carjacking which occurred on August 8, 2004. Back then I needed a place to vent, and today I use it for that purpose again.

I Always Knew It Was When And Not If
I am no fool. I know East Atlanta is an easily-accessible neighborhood surrounded by people of low morals who don’t give a fuck about anything but getting what they want, regardless of how they go about doing so. I have heard the accounts of many of my friends and neighbors who have had their lives disrupted by crime in the past five years so I was as prepared for this day as I ever could be.

Yesterday was a strange day even as it began. If you look back to yesterday morning’s Twitter/Facebook entries you can see that I was in no mood to get out of bed. Had I vacation days to spare I would have stayed home, but alas I went to work instead.

Because I’ve been a bit absentminded this week I had yet to perform my weekly data backup that travels off site. As I drove off from the house I played through the scenario of what I would lose if this were to be the day that my house was hit. Comfortable that no serious data loss would occur, even if my data drives were stolen, I continued my journey to the office.

My work day ended about 1pm when I received a call from my alarm company alerting me that they have received alarm signals for one of the motion detectors as well as the side door. I told the representative to send the police to investigate, but that I’d be unable to meet them at the house. But this incident felt different, this one felt real.

When I arrived home I found my kitchen door wide open, and called 911 to get the police to come out (for inexplicable reasons they were not dispatched by my alarm company) to the house. This is what we found.

That broken window is on the second story of the house and seems almost impossible to get to without the aid of a ladder. However, the robbers may have had a ladder. When I went into the den only to find my computer missing, I realized that the first attempt at entry was through the sliding door on my second-story (with no stairs) deck. The crooks were thwarted by my Rube Goldberg security system, but managed to find alternate entry through the kitchen window and exited from my kitchen door.

The computer is a loss. The thieves also absconded my Wacom graphics tablet. Thankfully, that’s all they appeared to take. In fact, they left my data drives on the desk. Sadly(?) I’ll make no insurance claim since I carry a high deductible and nothing else appears to have been taken. Why they didn’t want my 32″ tube television or broken XBOX360 baffles me.

Over the next few days I’ll assess my physical and emotional damage. Who knows, maybe I’ll start working on yesterday’s Bucket List sooner than I imagined.

The Upside
With nothing more than the idea of a quick vent I posted a Twitter message announcing my bad luck. Within minutes I had an outpouring of concern and condolences from friends.

That reaction was amazingly heartwarming and words cannot express how grateful I am to all those who responded. A special thanks goes out to my friend John (aka HamWithCam) who came over quickly and helped me get a piece of plywood in place of the broken glass.

Anyone want to buy a nice fixer-upper in East Atlanta?

May your fortunes be better than mine.
Paulie [eatl/ga]

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14 Responses to One More Straw…

  1. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    Hmmm, the first photo is being difficult. I’ll fix it once I get out of a meeting.

  2. Beth says:

    That sucks …. and the police never made it too your house even though the alarm was going off? I’ve been bad about setting mine and wondering if its even worth it to have one.

    Between our two ‘hood houses we’ve had multiple break-ins — you may remember the time when all they took were clean hash shirts laying on my bed and my alarm clock. You have my empathy.

  3. Barb says:

    We are just glad it wasn’t worse.
    Hey- I’ve got a house next door to me for sale, want to move OTP? One big benefit is it is very near Tasty China. The other benefit is you get to live next door to us! (okay, that may not be a benefit, but Allan has a full beer fridge, so it could be)

  4. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    According to the alarm company they never sent the police. That’s another issue that I’ll be following up on.

    To the APD’s and East Atlanta Security Patrol’s credit, they were on the scene fairly quickly once I finally got through to a dispatcher.

    I believe the alarm is necessary, not because it keeps people out but it let’s them know that they need to get in and out quickly.

  5. Martha says:

    If you are ever in need of a vicious and trained guard dog just let me know

    Anyone doing anything fun this weekend?

  6. Annie says:

    Sorry, Paulie. That sucks! I am glad that you weren’t home when it happened.

    I would prob. still be there if I didn’t have kids. But, you know, as much as I loved living in East Atlanta, and as much as I miss it and the neighbors, I do not regret moving to a safer area for my family’s sake.

    I am so glad you are safe. I am dreading the day when someone I know is harmed in one of these crimes. And I honestly think that sooner or later someone I know will be. I just hear of too many of them.

  7. Michelle says:

    Over the past year I have been thinking about what thieves would steal if the got into our house. I imagine them going for the flat screen tv, flat screen PC monitors, bikes and jewelry. (Although after hearing about Beth’s hash shirts and alarm clock, I’m not so sure.)

    This past weekend I cleared my jewelry box of all high-value items and they are now stored in a place that robbers wouldn’t easily be able to access. I think I’m going to start locking the bikes up inside the house as well.

    Regarding weekend plans…..Tomorrow Drew and I plan to help out with Sarah’s Hot To Trot race in Decatur.

    If the rain holds off I’d definitely like to get a bike ride in. Anyone up for that?
    Need to do yardwork and put another coat of paint on the front door, weather permitting.

  8. Mindy says:

    Sucks all around. The 2nd story thing is crazy.

    On Tuesday of this week, I set my alarm for the first time in about 6 years. I’ve always had mine for mainly fire prevention thinking that an alarm would not deter thieves. But I do like the idea that it will make them leave quicker. Recently. my neighbor had his door kicked in about 10am there was an alarm. They tossed the mattress, his desk and his tv stand and were gone. In & out, boom. We have lived in EAV for over 10 years. We had a car broken into when we first moved here but other than that nothing. All around us neighbors are getting hit and I too feel like I am waiting for the ‘when’. Enough to push me OTP? No, but leaving Georgia all together is sounding very appealing!

  9. Barb says:

    We are going to try to ride Sunday, though nothing actually set up, weather and partying on Saturday will determine what I do on Sunday.

  10. Martha says:

    About the only thing I have worth stealing is the flat screen TV. I really don’t think they are intersted in the bike…when Brad’s house was broken into they walked right by both of his bikes. They aren’t as portable or easy to sell as the tv’s/laptops I guess. I just hope for the robbers sake they don’t wake up Nibbles, she’s really grumpy after her 3rd nap of the day.

    Of course when my car was broken into, all they took was my first aid kit. The time before it was the owners manual…so who knows what they really want.

    I might be able to ride on Sunday, I’ll know better after my long run tomorrow. If there is an interest in riding the Comet, I know of a pool we can use at the end. 😉

    I really need to mow the back yard but I doubt it will be dry enough this weekend for that.

  11. Andrew says:

    Haven’t you read the AJC? Crime is down in Atlanta. This town seems to be falling apart. I have a feeling I won’t be walking from Phillips to the Peachtree Center Marta station after Thrasher games this year. Too much risk on the streets these days.

    My only security system is two large, overly friendly dogs. I only hope that one of them (a boxer/pit bull mix) looks scary enough to prevent anyone from scaling the fence and entering my house and yard.

  12. Andrew your right, crime is down. I must have misidentified this incident. Obviously it was just the neighborhood kids playing baseball and I just can’t remember where I put the iMac but is definitely still in the house. 😉

  13. Andrew says:

    I chuckled when i saw this tonight…

    Maybe if you had locked up your broken 360, the thieves would have take it off your hands.

  14. Andrew says:

    I chuckled when i saw this tonight…

    Maybe if you had locked up your broken 360, the thieves would have take it off your hands.
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

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