Speaking of crime

We had a bit of excitement tonight.

My wife and I came home around 9:20pm tonight after a dinner date in the city. I try and unlock the door, and find out that it’s locked from the inside. I’m a little puzzled, but I’m thinking maybe my wife’s parents did that, because they had called earlier that they are coming over to drop something off. I unlock the security lock and open the door, but it doesn’t open all the way, because the chain is on.

Now it’s definitely getting weird. Nobody is answering and the lights are on. I take another look through the crack and see that drawers have been opened. Allrighty. Time to call 911.

I call 911 at 9:32pm. The cops show up after 10pm about 10 minutes after we break the chain and get inside the apartment.

We’d been burglarized. All my video game systems are gone, except the XBox 180, which apparently isn’t quite hip enough any more. Both of our laptops are missing, as is my GPS receiver and video player. Thieves scored big, it seems. The place is a complete mess. All the bedroom closets have been turned upside down, the jewelry box is open, and every drawer on our computer desk and TV stand have been opened.

Sir William Gibson, the youngest of our two cats, is scared shitless. He’s hiding under the bed, the sofa and is running away from everyone, including my wife and I. At first we thought he’d jumped out of the bedroom window left wide open by the thieves, but it was a relief to find him shivering under the sofa.

The cops take down our information including a preliminary list of things stolen, and they leave after about 30 minutes. The Evidence Collection Team (fingerprinting) is going to arrive later they say, and we’re not to touch anything while we’re waiting.

The Evidence Collection Team arrives at around 1:30am, and the two officers start collecting fingerprints. They find one fingerprint in a place there shouldn’t really be any prints. They leave soon after 2am, and we start cleaning up the place.

That’s when we find a surprise. It seems that the thieves had left something behind. They had stuffed a laundry bag of ours (yes, ours) with both of our laptops, the GPS receiver, an old camera and a video player, and they had left the bag on our bed under a whole lot of crap they’d gone through. They had left the most valuable, moneywise, things they were stealing behind. Of course the two laptops were also the most valuable to us in other ways. They have a lot of irreplaceable files on them. Family photos, Emails going back several years, personal finances, etc. Who needs backups, right? We are really lucky to have them back. Gotta think about that backup strategy next…

At this point I’m getting kinda curious. I have my laptop on 24/7, and so it would’ve been turned off by the thieves. I know there’s gotta be some information on the laptop to pinpoint the time of day they broke in. I turn on the computer and immediately check the Windows event log information.

The information contained in the logs startles me. Reading the logs I know for a fact the computer was on at 8:41pm, 40 minutes before we came home. There are entries in the system log that seems to suggest that the time the computer was shut down was 9:20pm. Approximately the same time we turned the key in the lock of our door. It looks like the thieves might still have been inside our apartment at the time we arrived home. Good thing I didn’t kick the door in like I thought and instead called the cops. Who knows what might’ve happened.


3 Responses to “Speaking of crime”

  • Grimey Bastards!!!

  • holy shit, that is awful. Glad you got your laptops back, they are to me prolly the most irreplaceable thing I own.

  • Crap!! Sorry to hear you got burgled. Glad to hear the data is intact. Definitely a wake up call for backups… I’ve got comprehensive backups (brain-dead whole-HD copying nightly) that insure against drive failure but not against misguided raids, thieves, fire, etc. Burning stuff to DVD-R is still silly (how many dozens of disks per backup?) but maybe accelerating my S3-based selective network backup idea would be good.

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