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Robbery: My First Brush With Crime (As a Victim)

This was the first time in my life to experience robbery inside our home.

12 January 2017, probably around 1:30 am, I was asleep. Hours earlier, at around 10:20 pm, I informed my employer via Skype that I would be absent. I told him that I need to rest and make up for the lack of sleep during the past few days. Lack of sleep for days in a row might have affected my concentration at work.

Working online at night just to follow someone else’s time zone is always a challenge. But I was lucky to have a kind and considerate boss.

After a few personal writing tasks, I went to sleep. At 12:30 am, my husband woke me up with a message: to call our boss when I’m fully awake.

The Robbery

At around 3:00 am, my husband went down to get coffee. He found that our screen door was open and the padlocks of our gate were gone. He woke me up again and we went downstairs together.

The padlocks were gone, the garbage can was not in its usual place, one slipper was upside-down at the door’s hinge, and someone made a hole on our screen door. So I looked around and saw my sister in-law’s work station a bit messy — the pencil cases were moved.

We woke up my brother-in-law to see what things were missing. It was my sister-in-law’s Longchamp bag with cash and my brother in-law’s iPod Classic in it.

I went upstairs to get my cellphone but I couldn’t find it anymore. My newly bought locally-made brown leather bag was also stolen. Inside that bag was a smaller hand-made bag I use for casual errands which contained my wallet and personal items. My wallet was just a pouch where I put my IDs, money, coins, and my USB flash drive.

Wow! It dawned on me that the thief was able to come upstairs to get my bag and cellphone and I was just within a few feet away sleeping.

I thank God that no one was harmed. But the weird thing was, my husband who was working online at that time, didn’t hear anything. No barking dogs nor coarse sound from our gate.

It seemed that the thief had a WD-40 to oil the door’s hinges, and knows how to unlock padlocks without creating a sound. He might have been trained by a ninja!

Another incredible thing, the thief went first to the house across the street. The thief took our neighbor’s wristwatch and a bottle of wine. Then at our house, he might have taken food on our table (because we noticed something was missing). He must have been hungry, bless him!

The Response

My husband walked around the neighborhood to see if there were traces of thrown bags on the street or anyone suspicious walking. As soon as he reached the Barangay Annex office, he reported the incident and came back with three barangay tanods or patrol men.

My sister-in-law had already called the police a few minutes earlier to report the incident. She also asked the barangay tanods of updates regarding recent robberies that happened in the neighborhood.

The patrol men said that there have been reports of robberies and nothing more because no suspects were ever reported. The police came at around six o’clock in the morning because (and they said) they couldn’t find our address. However, my sister-in-law had already filed a complaint for the slow response of the barangay tanods and policemen.

This is how inept our local criminal investigation. If the simplest robbery like this couldn’t be solved, what more of homicides and other heinous crimes?

The Aftermath

I immediately called the bank to report my stolen ATM card. I immediately made affidavits of loss for each of the government issued IDs that need to be replaced.

Also, our neighbor who has a CCTV camera installed was able to gather info about the robber. His image was caught on camera and they tried to get a closer image as much as they could. According the CCTV footage, the robbery happened around 1:30 am and the robber was seen carrying a plastic bag coming out from the neighbor’s house across the street. Unfortunately, the image got blurry when enlarged. And until now, no update as to who may be this robber.

My family were very thankful that no one was harmed. If this incident was one of the adversities in life, I’m praying to God to let me know sooner the benefits or its blessings in disguise.

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