home invasion

So, my mom got in late last night, as I mentioned. Catie was totally psyched to see her Mimi, and instead of being tired (as she should have been at 10 p.m.), instead she was totally wired and hyper.

Rockin' some serious fashion at the airport.

So, we got home and didn’t get Catie in bed until sometime around 11:15. My mom and I sat at the kitchen table talking for a little while after that, and I collapsed in bed a little after midnight.

I had an OB appointment at 10 a.m. today, so I got up, got dressed, and got ready to leave while my mom and Catie settled in on the couch to watch a movie together. Only when I was ready to walk out the door… I couldn’t find my purse. Which was weird, because I always leave it in the kitchen – usually on the table or a chair.

My mom and Catie helped me look (Catie likes to use her “I’m a good finder!” street cred; she has found Dave’s lost glasses and keys more times than I can count), but we couldn’t find my purse anywhere. My mom said she remembered seeing it in the kitchen right next to hers, because we both have black purses.

I went outside to double-check that I hadn’t left it in the car, and that’s when I noticed that the garage door was open and the door from the garage to the house was unlocked. Apparently the previous night, I’d been so tired that I hadn’t thought to double-check all the locks like I usually do. (Dave usually checks them when he’s home, but since he’s been gone, I’ve been extra vigilant about it. Or at least I had been, until the exhaustion kicked in on Tuesday night.)

Then we realized that my mom’s purse was gone too.

I called the local police department. They sent an officer over. He said he was surprised that someone would come in the house, because in this area, typically most crime is just teenagers looking for cash, so they’ll check cars to see if they can find any unlocked doors and then grab what they can. Coming into somebody’s house definitely kicks it up a notch, because how do the thieves know if we have an alarm system, or a dog, or maybe just a pissed-off homeowner with a gun? He also said that usually with purses, they shake them out to grab what they want (the wallet or the cash inside it), then ditch the purse because they don’t want to get caught with it later. He walked around outside and checked our neighbors’ yards and and trash cans to look for any discarded purses. No luck there.

The big issue? My keys were in the purse. And Dave’s keys are with him in England. So I was essentially stranded. And there are thieves out there now, who have keys to my house and both of our cars.

OH! And! When the cop and I went out into the driveway together, I noticed that the driver’s door on Dave’s car was ajar, and I know for a fact that it was locked. So apparently they used my keys to open his car and check to see if there was anything worth stealing in there. (There wasn’t, thankfully.)

The Subaru dealership brought me a replacement key for my car for a whopping $10 (they took checks without photo ID, bless them), and my mom and I disconnected the battery leads on Dave’s car, so if the thieves come back and try to steal it, it won’t start. (Dave’s car is parked in the driveway, mine is inside the garage, and therefore a little safer.) I considered putting a note on the steering wheel, like, “Hahaha! Good luck, mother f*ckers!”, just in case they come back and try to steal the car. But my mom suggested that maybe it’s not a good idea to antagonize the bad guys. She’s probably right.

Anyway, with my new car key in hand, I got my birth certificate and social security card from the “Important Documents DO NOT LOSE!” envelope upstairs, and I set off for the DMV. I got a replacement driver’s license, and that plus my PIN number allowed me get some cash out of our bank account.

I had a locksmith come out and replace all the locks on all the doors of the house. He also took checks without a photo ID, so God bless him too.

My mom and I basically spent the rest of the day calling credit card companies, health insurance companies, AAA, and everything else imaginable to get all of our cards replaced. Between the two of us, we had about $500 in cash (I had just gotten $200 from the ATM that day, my mom had $300 for travel stuff). So that’s a total loss.

Oh, and since my mom’s wallet was taken? She has no photo ID to get on a plane to go home next week. We haven’t quite figured out what to do about that yet. I once had my wallet stolen and used a copy of the police report to board a plane, but that was pre-9/11, so I have no idea if that would work now. We’re going to call the TSA tomorrow to find out what she needs to do.

I had to call Dave in the UK to tell him what was going on, since I was going to have to cancel some credit cards and most of ours are on joint accounts (luckily we still have different card numbers, so the credit card companies were able to just cancel mine and leave his alone). I think I probably scared the crap out of him when he answered the phone and I was crying. He was so freaked out that something was wrong with me or the baby, I think he was relieved to find out that it was just money.

And in the end, it IS just money. A huge inconvenience, to be sure, but it’s not the end of the world. We’re all ok. The main thing is that I am totally freaked out that people were inside my house while we were asleep upstairs. It’s basically my worst fear come true. What if they hadn’t been only looking for a quick cash grab? What could have happened to us? Even with all new locks (and the fact that I’ve checked each of them at least 5 times tonight), I’m still totally wigged out. I took a whole Unisom tonight (instead of my usual half) in the hopes of knocking myself out.

And before anyone asks, my Next Major Purchase? Will most definitely be a home alarm system.

I’m also now considering getting a very large dog. Or maybe a pet puma. Something mean and scary.