The Scene of the Crime

January 30th, 2006 · 39 Comments

window_glass.jpg
Broken Window

shovel.jpg
Tool Used to Break Window

missing_xbox.jpg
XBox Missing

csi_kit.jpg
CSI Kit

fingerprint_desk.jpg
Fingerprinting Dust

board_window.jpg
Boarded Window

On Sunday afternoon Dallas and I went to my apartment. I hadn’t been home since Saturday afternoon. When I walked in I said “oh, crap, I left the office light on.” And then “That’s weird, I left the bedroom light on too.” I went to turn them off and turn up the heat because it was freezing, but before I could Dallas said “What happened here?” About 5 DVDs were laying on the ground. According to Newton’s First Law, DVDs don’t just fall off the shelf by themselves so I was puzzled. Just then Dallas noticed the XBox was missing and then looked up and saw the back window smashed in.

All of a sudden it was like spiraling, like the world was spinning. Like I had one 10 too many rum & Cokes or something. As I looked around I saw all the little things that were out of place. Desk drawers open, keyboard on the floor, dresser drawers open. For a second I thought all my underwear were stolen, but then realized they were on the ground. Someone was looking for something. I called the police. I didn’t know if the incident counted as an emergency, because it already happened so I called 411 and was connected to the non-emergency line and when I told them what happened they connected me to to the emergency dispatcher. Next I called my landlord. Then we waited. Dallas watched TV, which they chose not to steal, along with the Tivo, and begged me to sit down but all I could do was pace. And look around. And try to figure out what was missing. Slowly I started to see more things: The black pearls he got me for Christmas, the 24 karat gold pendant his parents gave me for Christmas, a necklace with Riley’s birthstone, Dallas’ nice cuff links he bought a little over a year ago when he was interviewing.

Finally my landlord came and looked at everything then left to go to Home Depot to get a board for the window. Then the police came. The officer was pretty nice. He took us through the house and asked how it happened, what we’d touched, what we hadn’t what we’d noticed was missing so far. While he wrote up the report he talked to us about who the thief could be. Since the theft was so weird to any normal person – XBox stolen but my TVs left, TIVO left, iPod still here, checkbook on the counter untouched, camera lense laying on the dresser – he suspected it was a drug (coke?) addict who just needed to quickly grab some things to sell on the street to get his next fix. He told us to check the soda or juice in the fridge because sometimes coked out people need some sweets? We talked about how the neighborhood is supposed to be so good now, but he said that he’s worked this location for about 12 years and has seen burglaries triple. I’ve always thought of gentrification as making the neighborhood safer, but he told us how it also brings people with more money, with things actually worth stealing. 10 years ago there weren’t as many break-ins because the people who lived here were poorer and didn’t have much to steal. I never thought about it that way.

The uniformed officer called an evidence officer (Think CSI but not as sexy, no rocking music, and not as good of lighting. He still had a big, huge gun, though.) This guy arrived right about the time my landlord came back. He dusted the window that was broken and another one where someone had removed the screen, as well as my desk, a keyboard, and looked at the TV but it was too dusty to print. Yeh, I guess I haven’t dusted for a while. He wasn’t able to lift a print off anything. He couldn’t even dust the tool used to break the window because the surfaces weren’t the kind that would hold a print. You know this rarely happens on CSI! He filled out a report and left and my landlord and Dallas boarded up the window then my landlord left.

We took a while just to chill on the couch and watch some TV. I took a nap. Stressful day. Later on we tried to clean up. There was a lot of glass everywhere. Lots of mud tracked in. Clothes and things were thrown about. And the thief wasn’t the only one messing things up. Do you know what a bitch fingerprinting dust is to get off of everything? We also took a long time to type out all the stuff that was missing and estimate how much it was worth.

Today I made a claim with insurance. I hope it goes through ok and without hassle. Dallas gave me one of his golf clubs to have for a weapon! I don’t have a baseball bat! I doubt I’ll need it but it makes me feel better. I don’t really know how to swing a club, but I’m sure I’d figure it out in a time of crisis. Wish me luck!

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39 Comments so far ↓

  • dbt

    Golf clubs are superior to baseball bats for beating people, anyway, because they bend but don’t break. Aluminum bat maybe, ok, but what the hell would you use it for when you’re not beating people with it?

    Sorry to hear you got broken into. Remind me to take some insurance photos…

  • Jeff

    I got robbed in Dec. 2002. They took cash that they found in a drawer, and my watch. They left thousands of dollars worth of electronics…and finger printing dust is a bitch to clean.

  • me

    Where were you from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon? Tramp…

  • rachelle

    I’m just thankful because it could have been a lot worse. I could have been home that night. I could have been home alone that night. They could have taken a lot more stuff. I got my laptop back from being repaired late last week, but luckily I had it with me. I guess they weren’t interested in lugging Ruby out of there.

  • sara

    you called information? yeah of course the put you through to the emergency line…

    Sorry about the breakin though. That sucks.

  • rachelle

    I called information to get the Chicago Police Dept. phone number. I didn’t know it offhand, besides the 911 number, but I didn’t known if that’s what I was supposed to call. I think 411 put me through to 311 that put me through to 911.

  • tien

    jesus. that sucks. is all that jewlery replaceable?

  • Erin

    Seeing the pictures now makes me even sadder for you! I told you, I have an axe – a small one! – and you can borrow it. :)

  • ab

    Oh I’m so sorry. We had our car stolen last summer and the cops told us the same thing. Thieves come to the better neighborhoods because that’s where the better stuff is. Hang in there, and keep that golf club handy. It’s nice to just know it’s there.

  • rachelle

    hey, you’re not still at monster, are you? i thought i saw mention of you being somewhere else. i’m not there any more either!

  • ak

    eek! bucktown/wicker park may be the happening place, but over the years, 5 different friends have been robbed from a hold up in the morning outside of his house, to a stolen car, then even a gauging out the entire back door from its hinges to coming through the ac window. beware & be careful.

  • Mhirra

    OMG I’m sorry! That bastard! I’d get a stun gun also! It scares me coz I’m moving to University Village soon and part of the neighborhood has been revamped.. but not all.

    Im soo glad you’re okay and hopefully everything gets replaced.

  • Billp

    Why don’t you go to all the local pawn shops and try and find your Xbox.

    (don’t forget to take your serial number).

  • ab

    Rachelle, no I left Monster in 2003, then I moved up to Portland. Seems like nobody from our “generation” is there anymore. The San Diego office just recently closed.

  • Crackhead

    I feel sorry for you!! Dam CrackHeads. Yeah your landlord may need too put up the bars on the window. One of the drawbacks for living in the city: Crackheads!!!! Don’t use a golf club. Use a chainsaw and dentists chair.

  • rachelle

    also, i forgot to mention that i have a security motion sensor now that im making sure to turn on at night and when i’m gone.

  • cam

    the things you own end up owning you….

    love that movie

    thankfully you weren’t hurt……xboxes can always be replaced

    people who live in big cities blow my mind…buddy of mine was held up at gun point in a park in milwaukee……the guy actually said “ill put a cap in yo ass”….

  • cam

    oh yea

    i am very sorry that this happened to you. it seems so unfair when stuff like this occurs. i hope you are getting along ok….be safe and be strong

  • mike

    man oh man bad luck is running your way right now!! First your laid off, then you bowl a 66 and then some one breaks in. I am glad that no one was hurt and that you all are safe. Is Ruby OK? Well, I am sorry about the way things are going but, it will all be ok for you I am sure.

  • Preston

    I’m sorry to hear you were robbed. I lived in the Ukraine Village and last September my apartment was broken into they got away with 800 dollars. I wasn’t home either. Shortly after I moved, not because of the break in I just found a better place downtown. Good luck with everything I hope it all ends up ok. At least you were’t home and you’re alright.

  • neil

    terribly sorry to hear this happened! very glad you weren’t there at the time. Most importantly, was it an XBox 1 or 2? :)

  • joe s.

    ouch! Thank goodness you’re okay but that really sucks!

  • mike

    That sucks. I know what it’s like to be robbed. It’s a terrible feeling, but it will subside.

  • safe highrise

    Time to go back to ny and live in a safe high rise building with doorman…

  • ChrisM

    Oh this news bums me out Rachelle. Dont know what to say that’s not cliche so I’ll say sorry about it and hang in there.

  • Devyn

    I was somewhat shocked to see the pics when I clicked in today. Ouch! Sorry you have had to go through the experience of being robbed. Glad to know you weren’t home at the time.

    As for this being part of life in the big city, it happens in the burbs as well.

  • laila

    When my apartment was broken into, the most valuable advice I got was that theives who have a successful break-in often return – I guess they feel comfortable with a familiar place. After our break-in, our theives returned for another round before we managed to effectively burglar-proof the apartment. Good to hear that you got a motion detector. Some bars for the window wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Sorry to hear about it, though. I know that it sucks.

  • CAROL BECK

    Wow, sorry to hear what happen to you. Glad you are doing ok. I do think you need bars on your windows also. That would make you feel safer. Take care.

  • crackhead

    You got me double pissed reading this. Carry a pistol with you at ALL TIMES. If some crackhead is breaking in, go Charles Bronson on that ass. Why the hell do we have to suffer because of your addiction?? F-crackheads!!!!!!!

  • DP

    Wow that really sucks, I’m glad you were not in the apartment at the time of the breakin.

    Bars on the windows and other defensive measures are a good idea, but please do not expect to fend off a drug addict with a baseball bat or a golf club. The previous poster was correct in that a firearm will level the playing field and enable you to defend yourself against a larger or drug crazed attacker. However, you live in Chicago, which has essentially forbidden private handgun ownership since 1982. You may wish to look into obtaining your Illinois FOID card, an inexpensive shotgun, and some training in handling firearms.

    While you are at it, it wouldn’t hurt to petition your local lawmakers to restore your second amendment rights.

  • Bob

    So sorry Rachelle. I’m glad you weren’t there and that you’re OK.

    So, have you become a Republican yet?

    You know what they say: A Republican is a Democrat who got mugged (or, got their house broken into).

  • aunt ali

    Hi Shell
    I am very glad you were not home. Thank the LOED that you are all right. Get a big dog and put fake pitchers of a slum in your windows. I pray that it never happens again. Bars on the windows; sounds like a nice place for x-mas tree lights. This is a bad thing that happened. I wish you good things from now on.

  • CVAL

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this kind of trouble. It’s totally annoying and disturbing. I hope they catch the creep though. Best wishes on the recovery of your stuff.

    P.S. No offense Dallas but I think Rachelle is really cute!

    Always the Best!

  • mary

    Im so sorry Rachelle, I cant believe you went trough this. I would be so sad and scared, please please get a pair of those bullet proof window glass or whatever their names are, and add another knob/lock on your door

    good luck

  • mary

    Im so sorry Rachelle, I cant believe you went trough this. I would be so sad and scared, please please get a pair of those bullet proof window glass or whatever their names are, and add another knob/lock on your door

    good luck

  • mike

    Rachelle,

    I’ve been a reader of your blog for years, but have never left a comment.

    I’m sorry you had to go through this.

    And ignore the right-wing trolls.

  • Nan

    seeing ry’s picture on the floor shocked me. i can’t imagine how you felt when you and dallas walked in and discovered this. thank god you weren’t home. let me know if i can help in any way at all.

  • Anonymous

    Hi. I am new to your blog..found it through Agnes. Anyways..man that sucks! I used to have an apartment and one time just a few dvds and a few cds were stolen. The landlord had let in a repairman, and then totally denied it saying “who would steal bob marley!?” and “taxi driver? robert de niro isnt any good..why would anyone want that dvd?!” which was really freakin lame, not to mention a stupid argument. the only payback i had was that a few of the cds that were stolen, the cd happen to be in my car, so the thief only got the jewel cases. still annoying. i also had my bike and my wife’s back stolen as well..and they were U-locked! :(
    really annoying.
    im sorry you had to deal with all that.
    get a dog, a baseball bat and a bigger boyfriend :)

  • Josh

    Hi. I am new to your blog..found it through Agnes. Anyways..man that sucks! I used to have an apartment and one time just a few dvds and a few cds were stolen. The landlord had let in a repairman, and then totally denied it saying “who would steal bob marley!?” and “taxi driver? robert de niro isnt any good..why would anyone want that dvd?!” which was really freakin lame, not to mention a stupid argument. the only payback i had was that a few of the cds that were stolen, the cd happen to be in my car, so the thief only got the jewel cases. still annoying. i also had my bike and my wife’s back stolen as well..and they were U-locked! :(
    really annoying.
    im sorry you had to deal with all that.
    get a dog, a baseball bat and a bigger boyfriend :)