In the middle of June, I was a victim of crime.
It happened like this:
Before eight, still in my nightgown, the doorbell rang. I peeked through the curtain in my room to see a tall, burly, African American man, wearing a dark hoodie and holding a brick in his hand. I realize it reads like a bad-dude cliche, but I tell it as it was. I went to get DH up from his downstairs office. Something about the doorbell ringer felt “wrong,” somehow.
Before DH had a chance to even stand up, BOOM! —a loud thud, the house shook, and the door upstairs was kicked-in.
I, always leery of guns, said, “he’s IN,” and then I added, “get the gun!”
DH managed to get his gun and run upstairs as loudly as he could. I heard a scuttle. I called 911. I let them know it was ongoing.
I was too scared to go upstairs, but when DH came down they had run away. (I only saw one, but DH confronted two.) The first was in our bedroom, and ran out with “something.” Only after the police arrived (within minutes) I realized the burglar had taken my pocket book.
They escaped in a car that was waiting for them downstairs, a Subaru-like gold or gray SUV with a sunroof.
I have alerted the bank, and the credit bureaus, and something called ChexSystems. (This last one recommended by my bank.) All accounts were closed. As they took all my seeing glasses, (those were in my pocketbook) I couldn’t drive until I had an exam and glasses made. My address book with many addresses that I still wonder how to retrieve, was also in the robbers’ possession. Not that they can get much from it. Some of the people in it are not living anymore. It was that old.
Weeks later, we were notified by a check-cashing service that someone tried to cash one of my (by then canceled and account closed) checks. They provided a phone number where someone pretending to be me said she indeed wrote that check. They have the crook on camera. The police have a detective on the case.
These criminals are not just brutes, they’re not very smart. In the end they got nothing they could use.
I have had friends and neighbors tell me we were lucky. It could have been so much worse. That brick could have been used to bash my head. They could have gotten more stuff. They could have had a gun.
So why do I feel so unlucky?
Too many people are victims. As I shared the story with dear friends, they opened up about their brushes with brutality. We made jokes about the difference between outlaws and in-laws. You know, the first burst in and leave quickly, the second burst in and… you get it.
Suggestion: do not tell crime victims they were lucky. It is well-meant, but let time convey this, seeping in as all experiences that awaken us will do.
The physical damage is relatively light. The emotional will take time to absorb. It took me almost two months to write this post.