Just got word that an elderly relative of ours had a lot of jewelry stolen from her home. This was not a run of the mill break-in, but rather, it is suspected that the live-in aides caring for her did it. See, she never leaves the house and the evidence doesn’t point toward a break-in, but a planned inside job. Evidently, they took one of each earring and some other pieces of jewelry, so if she noticed a single earring missing she might not suspect anything or report a theft. It’s assumed they were lifting a piece here and there, hawking it, and having it melted down for cash. But like the teenager taking a swig out of the liquor cabinet and filling the bottle back up to the line with water, eventually, it becomes evident what’s going on. Apparently, enough single earrings went missing, as well as some other articles that there was no doubt about a prolonged period of theft. Ironically, once reported to the police, the agency dropped her as a client. Talk about a slap in the face! (Not that I’d want any more aides from that agency anyway). What’s especially sad is that many of these pieces of jewelry were from her deceased husband and are irreplaceable. When you get to be that old, there aren’t many things left that matter to you and memories/gifts from loved ones are especially meaningful. And now they’ve been stolen.
The Worst Thing I’ve Had Stolen
There are a few different levels of theft. There’s monetary value and then there’s sentimental value. There’s also the method of theft which could leave one traumatized. For instance, I was talking to a co-worker about how he was held up a knife-point in Paris and the subsequent anguish and anxiety he felt about the situation. He was questioning on one hand if he should have tried to fend off his attackers or if he did, what could have happened, etc. He said that event was the final factor that caused him to move to America. Interestingly, I never thought of America as being any safer than Europe but he was lamenting how petty crime is almost never addressed or punished and they only focus on actual murders, etc. (apparently the police questioned why he was alone and put the blame on him). He said, at least in America, thieves are caught and incarcerated. Interesting perspective.
Anyway, I’ve been quite lucky when it comes to home, car, and other common break-in experiences. I’ve had little stuff lifted like my pair of iPhone headphones and a ticket we paid for at an amusement park, etc., but the most prominent thing I can recall is when I was in highschool. Back then, a fair number of boys were getting leather jackets. I know, cheesy, but they were in for a couple years. We didn’t have much money and I never would have normally been allowed to have an expensive jacket but I begged and pleaded and asked for one for my birthday or Christmas or something, I forget. Anyway, I got the jacket and was thrilled. It looked cool, I liked having something the other cool kids had and wasn’t of the age yet to realize that material crap like that doesn’t matter and within the year, nobody would be wearing them anymore. But at that moment, it was a big deal to me. You can see where this is headed…
During class, we all had the typical hallway locker. I was always diligent about locking my locker. You’d hear the occasional story about something being lifted from a locker or vandalization or whatever. So I always kept mine locked. As it turns out, there was this one day where I was running late, flustered and had to quickly throw a few books in my locker and grab a different book and run to my next class. I must have done a quick calculation in my head that it wasn’t worth the time to slap the lock back on and that I’d be right back after just one class. I slammed the door shut, ran down to my class and upon my return – bam! Gone! Just that single period and my leather jacket was lifted. I was heartbroken. Word spread around pretty quickly and rumors started swirling about who might have taken it. I think the thief started to get nervous about being found out, and some sort of weird return was brokered where no questions were asked. It’s a long story, but through various middlemen and kids I never associated with before, somehow the jacket ended up being placed back in my locker the next day. That story had a happy ending I suppose, but it obviously left a mark with me since it’s been over 20 years and I can still recall the horrible feeling of having something stolen from me that my parents worked really hard to provide for me.
What’s the Worst Thing You’ve Ever Had Stolen?
What Could You Have Done Differently?
Insurance? Protection? Any Advice?