Around this time every year, I post on Facebook, call family, and remind friends to be a little more cautious.
You see, almost 4 years ago, our home gotten broken into a mere 3 days after Christmas. The day before, we had returned from my Mom’s house and I unloaded bags and bags of Christmas presents. Some were still in the decorative holiday bags and others in regular back pack, suitcase type bags. After 2-3 trips back and forth, the car was emptied and the presents were gathered in our living room. I had to sort and organize my, then 4 year old, daughter’s toys and clothes before putting them away in her room. The next day, I left for work around 3pm and wouldn’t be home for several hours.
As we pulled up to the house that night around 11pm, I knew something wasn’t right. We had left when it was daylight out and now that it was dark, I could see that my bedroom light was on. I hadn’t left it on because I hadn’t turned it on before I left for work. Chills crept through my body. I pulled into our carport and I saw our cat sitting in our OPEN back doorway. I didn’t know whether to puke, cry, scream….I couldn’t move. With my daughter asleep in the backseat, I got out of the car, locked her in, and proceeded into the house. The back door had been pryed open with a crow bar and then kicked in. My house was FLIPPED UPSIDE DOWN. I called Gabe, who was in Fresno (I was living in Modesto at the time) and he yelled at me to get out of the house and call the police. I returned to my car, moved it to the front of the house and called Modesto Police Department.
The rest isn’t really important. They never caught who did it. We never got the stolen items back. My daughters Christmas was taken from her. 99% of her presents were taken. My world was a complete mess for weeks afterwards. I didn’t feel safe in my own home. It was determined that the person, or people, who had done this, knew my schedule. I left and returned around the same time 5-6 days a week. They had most likely watched me unload the car the day before. They most certainly lived nearby.
This is where I remind you to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Back your car into the garage before unloading bags of presents, or groceries. Keep your car and home doors locked. Remove packages from your porch as soon as possible. Keep your garage door shut. Hide bags while out and about in the car. Keep your blinds shut while you are not home. Watch for unknown people/vehicles in your neighborhood. Do everything you can to eliminate the possibility of being broken into. I know it can happen to anyone, at anytime, but you can take steps to make the possibility a little less possible. Protect yourself!!
Happy Holidays from our house to your!!