Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hey Robbers, we'll make it easy for you

My father is a retired police officer. I say this because anyone subjected honored with this privilege of a parent in law enforcement realizes the long term exposure one gets to safety, precautions, double-checking, and at all times refraining from having one's head up one's arse.

At all times growing up, any new escapade or adventure discussed would also be immediately assessed for inherent danger or lack thereof. But because of this, I grew up with an extra streak of cautiousness and a honed sense of awareness. I recall driving with my Father at age 15, when I was also preparing to get my driver's license. At a stoplight he asked me what I saw. Seriously. We are momentarily stopped and he looks to me and asks, "What do you see?"

A stoplight? Right and WRONG at all once. Right because indeed one was present. Wrong because I did not notate the 800 other things visible from our vantage point. Man walking. White car behind us. Construction zone up ahead. Dog on the sidewalk.

Paying attention means different things to different people. But, the training was helpful and my father could detect a lie three days before it was born. Skills I inherited which only make me harder to foil as a Mom. However, based on all of this staunch training I have received over decades, it is with utter amazement I relate the following story.

Last week, pre-breakfast with Little Man, I go downstairs to retrieve something from my car. Opening the interior door to quickly discover via rush of frigid air that the garage door is wide open. To which I respond by exclaiming, loudly, "What THE F____!" To which my neighbor who happens to be walking by with dog and dogleash in hand asks, "Are you ok?"

No. Because we left our garage door open. Overnight. With the interior door unlocked. Overnight. The interior door is about 20 feet from our son's bedroom.  And now I fitfully discover this in the presence of  my neighbor while I stand in the garage in my underwear.

We live in the city of Atlanta. We live in a gated community but really? Let's be serious. Have I not easily gotten beyond that gate after a late night out and no keycard to gain entry. I have.  And crime in this city? Abundant.

I was so surprised that two fully intelligent and capable adults in charge of a tiny person could amass such an oversight between them. Yes, we had our alarm on. I am sure security alarms deter burglars all the time. OR, the opposite.

Besides our art, wine fridge and our golf clubs stored in the garage, I am sure my Husband would be pleased if someone stole all of my totes of wrapping paper and stationary. He would likely help them load the car. But we are so incredibly lucky. Typically, robbers appreciate a no-challenge environment. Our neighbors were robbed several months back.  Thankfully, the thieves were off duty that night or home playing Grand Theft Auto since we could not have made it easier.

I told my Mom and because she is a Grandmother now, her first reaction was "Something could have happened to my GRANDSON!"  I half-heartedly asserted the alarm was on after all. "There was adequate time to steal him." Right.

I did advise that both her daughter and son-in-law could have been slain in the process but let's not be morbid. And I shall learn from my mistake. And sadly think back to when houses didn't need to be locked down like Tiffany and Co. to protect the contents inside. 

92 comments:

Jules said...

Whew! I'm glad you and EVERYONE are alright. Including your wrapping paper. THAT would have been a tragedy.


I wonder if there's a wrapping paper thieving gang???

Dustjacket Attic said...

I have to admit I know exactly how you felt...we have done this on more than one occasion...we need to be clapped in irons...and yes I had the same reaction as you...

xxx

mbkatc230 said...

Now that is scary! I've come home to discover that the front door was unlocked, and that momentary rush of panic is horrible. We do live in an area where we could probably leave the doors unlocked for a week, but why take chances? Glad the bozos were busy elsewhere that night :) Kathy

Cara Smith said...

I tend to be the first one to bed, and the first one to leave in the morning. I can't tell you how many times I have left in the early morning hours to find that our front door was left unlocked over night.

I am so cautions about the kids that I have heavy bookshelves in front of their bedroom windows in case someone tried to come in that way. My husband, not so much.

Brian Miller said...

we never locked the house when we were young...my how the world has chnaged...its a sad state...

Ellen said...

Glad you were all safe! Been there done that too many times. Our hearts should be safe with that rush of fear clearing our arteries. Why is it that our fortresses are always unlocked when they shouldn't be? But, when locked out, there isn't a window or door that will give easy access? Hope your day gets better!

From Tracie said...

I'm glad y'all were okay. About a year ago we were broken in on when my husband was gone(but left the door unlocked), I was in the shower and my daughter was asleep. The absolute scariest moment in my life is when I realized what had happened and that the guy had been in my daughter's room.....Fear doesn't even begin to describe it.

The guy got some of our stuff, and he was never caught, but I am forever grateful that my daughter was protected that night and that we were unharmed.

Slamdunk said...

Yes, even former police have experienced that feeling of seeing the garage door open at 6 am.

At least having dad as the police, made you more aware of speed traps though...

singedwingangel said...

That right there is why I am so glad I do live in this small town. Leaving doors unlocked or a window open does not instill immediate panic in me.. Wehave a ton of dogs who would bark at anything, plus a gunhappy neighbor.. so glad nothing happened to you and yours..

Will Burke said...

My dad wasn't an officer, but he was like that; "what do you see..." Damn irritating, but I'm glad he was now!

Simply Suthern said...

We have left the garage open the back door open the front door unlocked. My kids tend to leave their cars unlocked and about once a month they go out and find their glovebox and console contents in the seat. You would think it would be a simple thing but with so much going on sometimes you oops.

Mighty M said...

I'm just glad nobody took your wine! :)

brainella said...

I'm glad nothing bad happened. We have done the same thing a few times out here in suburb-hell, Alpharetta. We do not live in a gated community and were quite fortunate.

BTW...don't tell your mother things like that!

Ed said...

I just wish I was your neighbor.

LMAO

The Boob Nazi said...

I would be so angry too. I am fanatic about locking and closing everything up at night.

AmyLK said...

I'm glad nothing happened to MiniMac or you guys!

I leave my doors unlocked all the time. On purpose. But we live out in the middle of no-where and crime is so low we don't even have our own police officers. We borrow from a neighboring township.

KaLynn said...

I have also done this! At this home I have now and also at my apartment! I am so glad all is well with you and yours! The Angels were on duty that night!

the walking man said...

So uhhh what did you say your address was? I know some dudes in ATL.

Herding Cats said...

It was a mistake. A scary one - but still accidental. Maybe it happened for a reason? Because now you guys will be SUPER careful and protective. Anyways, don't stress too much. Everyone makes these kinds of mistakes.

My name is PJ. said...

We all have times when we've overlooked locking the car, setting the house alarm, closing the garage door.

There have been multiple times that my husband assumed I did something, I assumed he did it, and it wasn't done.

But so far, nothing where I was in my underwear and my neighbor was present...so far......

Audreya said...

My father is a State Trooper (not too far from Chicago)... and then I married a police officer. (I'm a slow learner, I guess.) So I relate to this post in a lot of ways. Growing up, the house was always locked down lock Fort Knox. A locked but not deadbolted door was a family crisis. My husband, however, is an officer in the small town where we live now. I've found the garage door up many nights. Luckily our garage is such a mess no robber would make it out alive... but that still wouldn't stop the serial killer who happened to be wandering by from coming right on in the house. :-)

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Glad you are ok. It is sad that everything needs to be locked up to be safe.

The Empress said...

I love the way you can tell a story!! Thank you.

Kr√ęg said...

Stolen children don't fetch as much on the black market as they used to. I blame the flagging economy. Stationary is worth its weight in gold, however.

It must be exasperating to be that paranoid about your own security, even in a gated community. I lived in a small satellite-suburban town for two years about seven years ago, and I never locked my house or car doors. No one in town did.

Writing Without Periods! said...

I hate those days I end up standing in the garage in my underwear.
Mary

Jennifer said...

Wow, scary moment. Glad you and little Mac are okay!!! I know the feeling. I grew up never locking any doors, living in a town where everyone pretty much knows everyone else. Now I live in Miami, a completely different world. A few times, in my circus balancing act of getting me, the 2 kids, and all our gear into the house, I've left the keys in the door. Usually my Mother-in-law or husband will discover this hours later and I have that little heart attack of the crisis averted. No fun.

jayme said...

I am not that fond of reading in general, but something about your writing makes me not want to stop! Your story telling is very interesting! Glad everyone and everything is okay, including the wrapping paper! have a lovely day!

Eva Gallant said...

That is scary. Luckily out neighborhood is relatively safe, I guess, but I still try to remember to lock the door at night. Once I left my purse on the seat in the car and left the car unlocked overnight. Duh! Luckily, it was still there in the morning.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Glad your wrapping paper was OK! And your son, more importantly ( : Glad you are all OK. Hate moments like this were you feel like you had a just miss ...

TKW said...

Cringe. We've done exactly the same thing. Twice. The first time, nothing was stolen. The second time, golf clubs, a bicycle and a snoboard went bye-bye. I told hubs that stupidity *should* be painful.

Salt said...

This totally sounds like something I'd do. I'm so glad that no one was kidnapped/slain and that all the wrapping paper was safe.

Do you think that thieves spend their off hours playing GTA? I bet they do!

Mommy Lisa said...

We've done stupid stuff like that too - and my neighbor, a County Commissioner, was car-jacked! I don't know why that is important except to illustrate I live in an upstanding neighborhood...I guess.

Anyotherstory.

Hope you had on cute undies!

cfoxes said...

Yeah, I've been there, done that and probably (unfortunately) will do it again. Are we just to tired? Do we just assume that the garage door works properly and goes down correctly? We do get to complacent in our surroundings and comfortable in our ways. At least you can now change.

Writing Without Periods! said...

I think I did what you asked...BUT with me and computers, one never knows.
Mary

Scrappy Girl said...

Scary. Reminded me of the one time I was looking for my keys and found them still hanging from the doorhandle on the outside of our locked door.

McVal said...

Wow! I'm glad everyone is ok! When my son moved back home a month or so ago, he casually mentioned that he had brought a friend home for a while during the night and shown them his hedgehogs out in my office and up to his room... Huh!? We had strangers in the house when I thought it was all bolted down and I was out like a light??! It was a bit unnerving... Why not show them where we hide the good china too! This moving back home thing is getting old...

Wow, that was awkward said...

Based on the title of this blog, I thought it was going to be about foursquare.com. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was about you prancing around in your undies for your neighbors.

Barbaloot said...

Have you ever seen Psych? The part about your dad asking you what you saw totally reminds me of that show. (Good show, if you haven't checked it out.)

I went outside once to my dad's car and our garage door was open-which we never do. I was definitely freaked out. Went back inside to have my mom come check in the car before I drove away. Turns out someone had definitely been in our garage, in his car and stolen his wallet! Still freaks me out to think about it.

obladi oblada said...

Yikes on the leaving your house open like that. What a scary feeling. Thank God everything is ok.

My poor kids...hub and I are both LE or prior, and so they go through what you did, but double. Sometimes I feel bad for them..sometimes. Not so sure if telling them to be careful..."or you could be murdered" is such a great idea though.

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

Been there done that. Got robbed too. I ended up buying a 5 foot Liberty safe after they stole my coin collection.
But that morning after thing, when you know your kids are at risk, that really bugs the crap out of me. Usually they're the ones who left the damn garage door open.

Dumblond said...

I've done that. I've also done the bit where keys are left hanging from the lock in the front door. We've never had our home broken into (knock on wood) but I am still paranoid after those two instances. I can't even leave my house to run down the street for milk unless I have walked through the house twice checking the locks...

Writing Without Periods! said...

Thanks for the instructions...I did link my e-mail...either that or I bought a $400 blender :-)
Mary

M-Cat said...

CRAP! I walked out to the garage door being open as well and we NEVER lock the interior door. WE should have been robbed so many times by now, but we just keep scraping by. once I get all these damn boys out of my house, I'm sure we will be much safer :)

Liz said...

I am only hyper-aware of the safety of my sons and myself when Hubby is not home. He is going out of town this weekend and I will double check the alarm, the garage door, the front door, the back doors, AND will leave lights on throughout the house all night. When he's home? I have left the front door unlocked and the alarm off. It's so stupid...this false sense of security. Where did I get this silly "man protection" thing??

foxy said...

Couldn't you just kick yourself for that? Well, we did something similar the other night but the outcome wasn't so good. I went to check the doors before I went to bed and realized that not only was the garage door open, but some of hubs tools were gone - along with the lawn equipment. And all because of our own stupidity. I was so angry. And even though it's your fault and you practically invited them in by leaving the door wide-ass open, I still felt violated. You definitely have to be careful these days with all the robberies and home invasions happening. It's freaking scary!! Lesson learned though. I guess I'm just thankful it wasn't worse.

Pricilla said...

Sometimes it is nice to live in the middle of nowhere. The only thing out here that is stealing anything is the horse across the street when he comes over and gets in the hay pile.

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

Ugh! Isn't that just the worst feeling when you realize you were so careless about something like that?

I'm so glad you all were safe. Guaranteed that never happens in your household again!!

Kat said...

I now have OCD on rather or not I have closed my garage!

Ashley Stone said...

haha, glad nothing happened! My husband leaves our garage open ALL of the time and it drives me crazy! Thankfully it's a detached garage, but still. I'm pretty OCD at night about making sure all the doors are locked.

You crack me up "they were busy playing grand theft auto."

Tiffany said...

PHEW!!! That's one of those things that makes the hair on your arms stand up!

DeNae said...

I don't think there ever was a time when doors didn't have to be locked. I imagine Johnny Cro-Magnon tying a mastadon up in front of his cave to discourage the neighbors from waltzing off with his "stick man running from saber tooth tiger" collectible plates.

We had friends in Puerto Rico (whose capital, San Juan, makes other major US cities look like Mayberry, crimewise) leave their garage open for TWO WEEKS while they vacationed in the states. Nothing taken.

However, last summer, my son left our garage door open for one hour while he mowed the lawn, and in broad daylight, someone stole two bikes and my husband's golf clubs.

It really is the luck of the draw. I'm glad your would-be assailants were in jail that night!

Cathi said...

I have also done that a few times, even after we were burglarized in broad daylight.

One of my friends NEVER locks her doors at night - those days are long gone for me though.

Great story, JennyMac! :)

Intense Guy said...

Funny thing is, you may not have left the door open.

Mine used to open if the electric flickered just so, and the electric door opener would trip and activate and up would go the door. I finally traced the problems with the wiring - after having come home from work a few times to find the door wide open and convincing myself I had forgotten.. somehow... Talking about setting off the OCD thing! Now I check the door to see if its locked at minimum of three times on the way out.

Aunt Juicebox said...

Everybody has done something like this. I've realized more than once that someone left the patio door unlocked overnight, when I went to open it up in the morning. I'm more afraid of the kind of people that locks don't stop anyway.

Merri Ann said...

After doing this once, I called a garage door repair man told him the situation and discovered that there is a solution...he came over the next day and installed a light next to the alarm key pad ... red = your garage door is open, green = the door is closed.

We unfortnately do what most people do ... leave the door from the garage to the house unlocked a lot ... fortunately we have a dog that barks but still some would not be detered by that.

Glad everyone is safe ...

Aging Mommy said...

That must have been very frightening to discover what had happened. The good thing is you did not get robbed or worse attacked, your son is safe and you can be sure you won't be leaving the house unlocked and garage doors open again, at least not for a very long while!

I am sure your neighbor got a terrible fright this morning too - seeing you in your underwear issuing profanities. A good way to encourage any neighbor you don't care for to consider moving :-)

Back in England my first house was a street front property where the front door met the sidewalk and I was forever coming home and leaving my keys in the front door, all night long. One time a passerby rang my bell to let me know that my keys were dangling from the front lock.....

The part about your father and the driving/life lessons is hilarious. I just love the way you write, pithy and to the point.

LiLu said...

I'm pretty sure I could be mugged at any time while in public and I would NEVER see it coming.

Sigh.

Jen said...

SCARY. Thankfully you made it through the night unharmed. My husband has OCD about the garage door - he will check, check, and re-check before he goes to bed. And if he should happen to NOT go right upstairs after checking, he has to check it again. I'm ok with that!

Jen said...

Scary! I've done that before too, and it is so freaky. I'm petrified of someone breaking into our house so I try to be uber-diligent about checking doors and windows, but sometimes, just sometimes, I slip. Thankfully we live in a safe neighborhood -- although no neighborhood is safe enough to leave doors unlocked all the time anymore. Sad.

bunny said...

We do this once in a while but we live across the street from the snoopiest women on the block and she let's us know along with a lecture.

As far as your father...I do the exact same thing with my daughter who is also learning to drive...except I'm paranoid, controlling and anal retentive sans uniform.

tootles,
bunny

Tropical Mum said...

Glad you are all safe. These things happen.

My husband should not be in charge of a set of keys, but that would be extremely inconvenient for me.

He has managed to leave them in our locked mailbox out on the street in a very rough neighbourhood in Sydney--somebody buzzed us to let us know. He has left them in the door of our apartment all night long, I found them the next morning, and also in the door of the car, all night long. Men!

Thanks for dropping by today and for commenting.

Shelly

Joann Mannix said...

How scary!

We had a scary moment like that a few months ago. It has become my job to secure the house, since my husband used to do it and I would just go behind him checking because I'm a control freak like that, so he finally just let me have at it.

Anyway, we were all sound asleep when my dog, who sleeps on the bed with us, started growling. I woke up and saw the hair standing up on the back of her neck and she was mad, staring at the door that leads to the outside from our bedroom. I looked over and there was the door, open and creaking in the wind. It was pitch black outside. I woke my husband up who ran to the door. There was no one there or outside. I guess I didn't shut the door all the way and just thought it was locked. Now, I give it a firm shake just to make sure.

Eric said...

Whew, lucky!

I've had my car broken into at 5am and airbags stolen. Airbags!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

My dad worked nights and growing up we had a security sytem so I am freaky about locking and setting the alarm.

Although, we have forgotten the garage door too and my dad, to teach my husband and I a lesson, stole my husbands clubs!! I keep mine in the house because I would die if I lost my golf clubs.

My husband saw it as an opportunity to get new clubs. He was sad when he found out it was a prank.

Cranky Mommy said...

Talk about guilt inducing! I wonder how much time will pass before you stop compulsively checking the garage door HA!

mo.stoneskin said...

So glad all are fine. We left the back door open recently in similar, howthehelldidwemanageit (is that a real word?) fashion. I think it was a case of one of us not checking the back door because nobody (as far as we knew) had unlocked it and the other forgetting they had been out. Ah well. Those kind of moments are terrifying looking back.

Kim said...

I live in a small town, but am still compulsive about checking that the doors are locked and garage doors shut. I will literally pull myself out of bed in the middle of the night if I have the slightest doubt about the door being closed (it never has been open). My husband thinks I'm crazy, but you just never know. I'm so glad everything was okay for you (plus, the alarm is an added layer of security we don't have).

pook555 said...

OMG, I pretty much have OCD about locking/closing doors too, so this would have scared me (I have always lived in major cities with crime, so never had any unlocked doors)! I did however once leave my back door unlocked overnight (by accident) - now I check everything maniacally!!

Jaime said...

when i lived up in NH, no one locked their doors or windows, EVER. although i adapted to the slower driving and frigid weather, that was one thing i couldn't get used to.

i literally can't go to sleep at night if i even suspect that the front door is unlocked.

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, I am glad that everyone is safe. Big whew!

Christopher said...

Over the winter I had gone out to start my car with the intention to go somewhere in a little bit, wanting my car to be nice and toasty when I was ready to go. I decided not to go, I left my car on for about four hours on a poorly lit Chicago street. Luckily it was a big enough heap of junk to not get stolen.

Melissa B. said...

Ya know, we lived in DC (in the hard-core city) for 12 years, but we never learn, either. At least twice a month we leave the garage door up, or the back door to the garage unlocked, or some such unsafe nonsense. Yes, we live in the 'Burbs now, but I really think we need to stop letting our guard down like that.

J.J. said...

Our front door (facing a busy street) is tricky. More than once the door has been opened by a gust of wind for us to find when we arrive home.

We have a deadbolt on the door but *cough*someone*cough* forgets to use it sometimes.

Thankfully only sometimes. ; )

Allyson & Jere said...

All I have to say to this is.....TERRIFYING! Seriously, total nightmare of mine. SO glad that no one was interested in your wine, wrapping paper, or child on this particular night. PHEW!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

We did this once. But it turned out that our Teen Son had fallen asleep with the garage door opener in his pocket and his room, above the garage, was close enough. I think the garage door went up and down all night when he tossed or turned.

So glad you are all OK.

shortmama said...

I bet that was a creepy realization!

I live in a small town and when my hubs isnt working out of state we actually dont lock our doors, even while we sleep. Now while he is gone, it is all locked up. My friend that lives down the street locks her doors up tight the second she enters her home. We live in the same town. Either she is overly cautious or I am dangerously naive

Patty said...

Though I now live on the Eastern Shore, I was born and raised in Atlanta. Well, actually Decatur, but it was only a short bus ride to Atlanta. In the summer months, I would ride the bus to Atlanta with my grandmother every Tuesday. She would shop at Rich's and all the dime stores, and I would get a BLT sandwich and ice cream at some lunch counter.

The last time I went back to see my home in Decatur, I got lost and we stopped at a police station for directions to the address. I got a funny look from the one officer on duty. When I realized I should explain why I was looking for that address, the officer relaxed and told me I did not want to go down that street; it was full of crack dealers. I made my husband find the street, and we entered slowly and raced though so fast I never saw my house. It was indeed a sad street, one I wish I had never gone down.

How sad to know that so many of my old haunts, even my childhood home, have been ruined by drugs and crime.

T!nK said...

I live in NY, and while I wouldn't necessarily advertise the fact that I have a Mac computer sitting right next to a window, I usually do keeep my doors unlocked when I sleep. I live about an hour and a half north of NYC but its a small town where every1 knows each other so im not too worried.

plus i have a belief that I can kick anyones ass anywhere.

Anna said...

How scary! We were robbed once in the middle of the day while my dad and baby sister were home. Thieves are tricky.

The Lady of the House said...

I left for 9 minutes with #2 and #3 in tow to pick up #1 at preschool...burglars broke in and devastated us. They took all small electronics and all my jewelry except what I was wearing, of course.
They ran out the back door as I came in the front door. Police never caught them. So I started a Neighborhood Watch group and kick crime's butt that way....sad that I have nothing to pass down to my kids though...

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Scary! So glad that everyone is safe and sound!
Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to commend:)
Your blog is just great!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Betty x

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

wow that is crazy! I cant even remember the last time we locked our house.
<><

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Tree said...

Oh wow! Thank goodness you all were okay. I had to laugh at your last paragraph. LOL I'm from "the ATL" originally too!

Stopping by for the Friday Follow this week! I'm now following you with both of my blogs. Stop by and visit when you get a chance!

Tree (aka Mother of Pearl)
Mother of Pearl It Is
Mommies Faves Top Sites and Blogs

Matty said...

That's how cops think. He was a wise man teaching you those "survival" skills. I am forever trying to get my family to be more security conscious. Many times I come home in the morning after a night shift and find doors that were left unlocked all night long. It's a losing battle.

Don said...

I'm glad everything was with the house. My son has his learner's permit and I found your account with your father hilarious.

Bossy Betty said...

I've done this before. Unfortunately, it was with the house next door that we were "watching." Thank goodness nothing happened!

secret agent woman said...

I've done that a few times, and even though I live in a safe neighborhood, it still gives me a sick feeling when I realized it.

HalfAsstic.com said...

It is indeed, sad that things are like this and such caution is needed. The area we live in is very low crime and since our beloved rottweiler died a few years ago, I have had to learn to remember to lock the back door.

Clemson Girl said...

Isn't it horrible how much we have to put ourselves under lock down? My grandparents never locked their house and my grandmother even kept her car keys in her car (under the seat) at all times. That was only 10 years ago.

Working Mommy said...

That sounds like something MY mother would say as well...forget my husband and I, but something could have happened to THE BABE!!! That is the first thing I think of too...but still...

Pamela said...

Two weeks ago, our garage fell off its tracks. GAH. My husband and two of his friends managed to get it back down after 3 hours but for a few hours we had to leave it wide open, unattended. I went and brought in all my shoes inside, HA, but left his tools and power saw in the garage (how am I supposed to haul that even if I wanted to?).

So glad you guys were all okay and nothing was taken. I'm sure now you'll be doublechecking. And we need to keep that paper safe :) Seriously, I think I'd cry if they took my pretty tissue paper and stationary.