i was supposed to head over to my parents' place this morning but since i went to bed at 7am, i didn't wake up until noontime. i called my father to see if he was still at home. he wasn't, but told me he had something serious to me. right away my mind thought maybe somebody in my family had gotten into an accident. "we were burglarized last night," he said. apparently it happened right when they were having dinner at my place. nobody called to let me know because they didn't want to distract me from my late night work. i went down to the cafe and my mother filled me in on the details.
growing up in belmont, it's the kind of town where you felt safe enough that you didn't have to lock your doors at nights. in the 23 years that my parents have lived in that house, the worst thing that's ever happened was maybe a car was pelted with eggs one halloween long ago. they're not that naive, nowadays they do lock the doors, but nobody thought somebody would actually break in, not in belmont - that is until last night.
apparently the house was an easy target, with no lights on and no cars in the driveway. these burglars could've been just driving around the neighborhood looking for just such a house. the backyard is also dark, with lots of trees and no security lights, and that's apparently how they got in, climbed on top of a trash can and came in through a back window. not sure how long they were inside the house, but the place was trashed. nothing was smashed, but every cabinet and drawer were emptied of content, as the thieves went through the house systemically looking for items to steal. they were selective: they didn't take anything other than jewelry. the bulk of what was stolen belonged to my sister - including some priceless family heirloom stuff - she figures maybe $10k worth of jewelry were taken. something must've happened because they never got to my parents' bedroom - maybe they heard them returning and left - so that meant none of my mother's jewelry were stolen.
when the police arrived, they actually said there's been a slew of recent burglary in the neighborhood. little good that news does now, but that could've been useful if they let the neighborhood knew ahead of time, so people could be more vigilant with their home security. the cops must see these sort of things all the time, but it's not until it happens to you that it becomes vividly real. when my parents originally bought the house, it came wired with a security alarm. i don't think they've ever used it before, and it's sort of fallen into disrepair over the decades. now they're going to reinstall a new alarm.
it's always a weird feeling having your stuff stolen. and when your house is burglarized - your home, your shelter - it's one of the ultimate violations and makes you feel perpetually unsafe. my mother was afraid to go home today, said she'd call my father when she entered the house in case somebody was there. the insurance company might pay for some of the lost items (those that have receipts and can be proven to be stolen) but the heirlooms are irreplaceable. it could've been worse, they could've taken my mother's jewelry as well. my sister also has a laptop which she usually leaves at home but for some reason brought it with her last night - perhaps saving it from getting stolen.
and on the spectrum of bad things that can happen to you, getting burglarized is bad but it's far from the worst. stuff for the most part can be replaced. lives can not. nevertheless, it's still no fun being victimized. and i'm not sure if my parents and sister will ever feel safe living at that house again.