Freaky deaky…

(Written Monday night, but inadvertedly unposted when written.)

Earlier tonight (around 9pm) I was on the phone in my home office with a classmate, talking about our final paper/project, which was due tonight. In the middle of our conversation, I heard some banging on the window.

*Bam! Bam! Bam!*

“Hello? It’s the police,” I heard from outside my office window.

That got my attention.

I asked my classmate to hold and opened the window a smidge. “Yes?”

“It looks like your neighbor next door was burglarized,” he said. “It looks like someone cut a hole in their screen and climbed in through their kitchen window.”

Doh. That kitchen window is right next to my office window.

“Your neighbor just got home and found the front door open. What time did you get home today?” he asked.

“Um… around 7pm,” I said. “When I got home it was already dark, but I didn’t notice anything unusual.”

He police officer asked me a few more questions and I mentioned that another one of our neighbors had sent a note around about some vandals (someone shooting BBs through peoples front windows!) in the area, but that I hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary lately. I said I’d give him a copy of the note and that if he had any questions, he could come to the front door and I’d be happy to help as I could.

I got off the phone with my classmate (who had heard enough of the conversation to get freaked out on my behalf) and went to the den to let Yoshi know what was going on. Since the cops were already outside, Yoshi went out to check things out and to talk to the other neighbors.

This is what we found out:

  • When our neighbor next door got home (around 9pm), she noticed that her front door was open and the lights were on. She called the folks in the next building to let them know she wasn’t going into her place and that she was calling the cops. She had been out since 8am and usually gets home earlier than 9pm, but had some errands to run.
  • The cops showed up shortly thereafter and searched the building (it was around that time that they talked to me through the window).
  • I had come home at around 7pm. It was dark and her apartment was dark. I didn’t notice if the front door was open or not, but I would assume it was shut.
  • Upstairs neighbor got home around 7:30pm, did not notice anything unusual.
  • Yoshi got home around 8:00ish. Says that the apartment was dark at that time.
  • Next door neighbors were home since 4-5pm.
  • Upstairs neighbors were home and watching a movie.
  • The best we can figure, ALL THE NEIGHBORS WERE HOME while the apartment was broken into and burglarized. Nobody saw/heard anything!
  • When we last heard, the neighbor had a bike, a PDA, some jewelry and other small items taken. I’m so grateful that we have bars on our windows because otherwise I’m sure we’d be an easier target than that other apartment.

    We live in what we thought was a safe neighborhood. We have neighbors that we talk to and we all watch out for each other. Our next door neighbors have lived here for 10 years and never heard of anything like that happening. The ones who live above us have lived here 15+ years. The ones on the other side of us have lived here 15+ and 20+ years. Except for the occasional car break-in, and the vandals we heard about (about a month ago), no one has had any major problems with crime.

    When stuff like this happens, it makes me think twice about living in L.A.. I know the crime isn’t as bad as everyone else in the world seems to think it is, but it’s certainly unnerving to know that our neighbor was burglarized within minutes and none of us knew it happened until it was over.

    Good thing I am a paranoid freak and keep everything locked up tightly.

    *goes and chains the door shut*

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