Wednesday, May 07, 2008


(The following was written late last night and I am finally getting around to posting it with the photos)

I contemplate a glass of wine or something stronger--the day certainly deserves it, and I listen to my own fingers typing for music. It's 2:00 am Wednesday. A restless Sprout, a late-working spouse still at CNN (it's a primary night after all), and the events of the day have driven me from my bed with an undeniable anxiety attack.

The studio was broken into and robbed last night (Monday).

The burglars were idiots.

They left my iPod (no, I no longer leave it there at night), my printer, my fax machine, my laser printer, and my briefcase with my digital camera, my 360 GB external hard drive and my 7-port hub. They took... the toilet paper holder out of the bathroom, the new towel ring I bought on Sunday with the toilet paper holder at Home Depot, two halogen work lights (my photography lights), a little cd player/radio and the 5 HP compressor out of my shed. The compressor is the only serious loss.

Though the policeman who took my statement tried to assure me the break-in wasn't my fault, I know it was. I didn't go back last night after the electrician left to put the alarm on, double-check all the deadbolts and lock the shed. I was lazy about changing the burned out front porch lights and so didn't have the screened-in front porch well-lit.

No more.

The doors are alarmed with no entry delay. The motions are all on and I made sure they're unobstructed. The doors are all deadbolted. The window that was smashed to see if I had a working alarm system has been replaced. The front porch light bulbs have been replaced and they are on for the night. Indeed, for tonight, all the studio lights (the banks of fluorescents) are on. The shed is locked. One of the horses may be gone, but the barn door is well and truly locked.

Jane Davidson--a fellow fuser from Chicago--came down for a pre-arranged studio tour this morning at 10:00 and arrived to two police officers, Stacy, Dan the Carpenter, me, and eventually my spouse, all discussing the break-in. She was very sympathetic and helped me clean up the broken glass. Her cab driver was so nervous at seeing the police he was going to drop her off without charging anything... bet there's a story there. But now's not the time for that story, this is MY story.

MY story gets more convoluted. Turns out (one of?) the burglar(s) tried to sell one of the halogen lights to the body shop across the street from the studio at 5:30 this morning. Unfortunately the body shop guy didn't give him the time of day so he didn't see the actual light (nor was he offered the compressor). He said the guy was jittery and seemed high even at 5:30 am. The rest of the description he gave me of the would-be seller exactly matched the description of someone I met yesterday morning in front of our house as I was hosing off the car seat and the car mats after Jessie threw up in the car on the way home from school (what a week!). I was in a not-too patient mood and scared him off with my crabbiness before he hit me up for anything, but I found out later that he also approached a couple of my other neighbors, and they both remembered him quite clearly. He told all of us he was living with another neighbor a couple of doors down so I stopped by and asked her if he lived there and she said no. But when I described him, she admitted she knew him, and would only say he had family on the block... and then she pointed him out as he walked by further down the block.

My spouse would have been proud of me. In former times I would have marched up and accosted him. But this time discretion won out over valor and I decided just to pass the info I had on to my neighbors, the police, and the neighborhood security force so they could watch out for the guy. My guess is that he'll disappear for awhile--warned off by the neighbor a couple of doors down.

Now I shake it all off and prepare to go forth tomorrow morning to meet Bill and discuss display, get stands, and prepare to ship. I didn't fire today so Bettina's test flight will be tomorrow instead. And I'm off to sleep. The pictures are the broken window in the office, the ransacked desk (with the toppled cardboard boxes in front hiding the briefcase), Jane hanging in the studio, and the opened (and fingerprinted) bathroom cabinets.


Bill said...


We've had our share of break-ins, burglaries, and smash-and-grabs. It is enraging, irritating, horrifying.

Hugs, kiddo.

ren said...

well damn, that absolutely sucks. yeah, sure, you didn't lose much but it's still the kind of thing that

i am glad, however, that you are weathering it and that the things that were lost are things that can be replaced.

rest easy now knowing that you made it hard for this to happen again.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe you are as calm as you seem to be. This would leave me in a tizzy for WEEKS.


Dee said...

glad the idiot missed the more expensive electronics! let me know if you need to borrow photography lights and i left you a vm re: compressors

i hope the cops catch this little dickwad!!!