Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rude awakening

Yesterday morning I woke at 4:45 to prepare for the breakfast. I heard a strange dinging in the driveway. I had been loading party supplies late last night, and no doors had been left ajar on either car.

Sometime between then and 5 am, a thief snuck back in the driveway, broke the window and stole my purse, which was carelessly stashed under my daughter's carseat after a late night Kroger run.

I reported our check card stolen at 5:05, but not before the thief spent $400 at Walmart at 4:30. He also got my Tracfone, the $40 dinner-and-a-movie gift card for my husband's secretary, and about $60 in cash.

If I had not been rising at dawn to prepare food for our household and portions for my servants (ha!), the damage could have been so much worse.

I'm still heartsick that someone spent more on Christmas "toys" than we spent in the last four Christmases together. I worry that this wasn't random. Do thieves read mommy blogs these days?

It will take about a week to get the money refunded. I have to place a permanent stop payment on the 4 checks left in my wallet, and I'll be spending the day after Christmas replacing my driver's license instead of scooping up bargains.

Such is life. Onward!

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry ! This happened to me a year ago and it really shocked me. I will be praying for you. Remember to do a credit check.

laurel said...

Oh, Meredith, I am sick about this for you! What a positive attitude you have in the face of such a frustrating circumstance. I hope that the details are resolved quickly.

Jordana said...

Ugh. How sickening. I hate thieves.

Jamie said...

I am so sorry this happened to you! Thank you for your positive attitude despite the setback.

praveena said...

So sorry that it happened to you. I hope you still have a merry Xmas.

Jane said...

I am so sorry! That feeling of violation is so yucky! I don't think the thief could find you via this blog! I wish I could find you via this blog so I could come over with some cookies and a hug!

Domestic Chicky said...

Gah! That sucks, but thankfully banks are so good about helping recover the lost money. sending virtual hugs and cookies!!

TracyMichele said...

OH MEREDITH!! I am SO sorry. This just stinks! Being violated like that leaves a knot in my stomach. :( I'm sorry that during this special time you are dealing with everything involved with this sort of thing. BLECK. Praying this will be a great "grace and forgiveness" lesson for the littles... what a perfect season for it. Hugs.

Mrs. Elliott said...

Meredith, my prayers are going out to you and your family as you deal with solving all of the problems that come with being robbed. May the Lord make restitution for you all in this situation.

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Just Yuck! I am so sorry to hear you're having to deal with such unpleasantness, especially at this time of year.

Merry Christmas Anyway!

EdibleEducation said...

Sorry to hear of your "Christmas Thief"...what a scary thing to happen - especially on your own property (our car was broken into in our church parking lot during church!).

...spending $400 at Walmart makes you wonder if they were stealing to get Christmas gifts - which is even worse.

I don't think it had anything to do with your blog...more likely someone who had been watching you and your house (not to make you paranoid)... This probably is a bad time for that kind of stuff...thieves probably figure this time of year there are presents laying around in cars...plus people not home due to parties and shopping.

A good warning to the rest of us, to be especially careful of theft...not everyone has the "holiday spirit".

Jennifer said...

Someone stole my debit card number the first of December, so my Christmas season has included filing a police report and calling the places where the thief has opened accounts and attempted to get loans using my credit information. I would encourage you to put a security freeze on your credit reports (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion)to limit the damage a thief can do- a security freeze can prevent someone from getting a loan in your name and makes the "clean up" from having your information stolen much easier. An initial "fraud alert" on those accounts is important, but not as secure as a freeze.

I'm sorry this happened to you. When it happened to me this month, it impressed upon me again how much we all need a Savior.

Anonymous said...

Boy, Meredith, I truly hate this for you. I would think that the feeling of someone sneaking right up on your driveway, and doing that, would have to be the worst part of all of it. And I highly doubt it was a blog reader (gosh, at least I hope not!!). We had something similar happen here where we live in Illinois...in a little teeny-tiny rural town. Typically, no one gives much thought to locking car doors,etc. because everyone knows everyone else here. But this fall we had a rash of burglaries here where purses, cell phones, cameras, and even compound hunting bows were stolen, right out of the vehicles on the driveway. It made everyone feel sad that something like that was going on here. Maybe you should think about getting a big dog to alert you to things like this in the future. I think that people who steal are more afraid of dogs than security systems!
Hope today is a better day for you!
Susan

Anonymous said...

Meredith I am so sorry. As you know I have just moved to the city
Luckily I have a garage and put my vehicle up at night. I am alarmed at all the violations that seem to be happening.
Is it the season or a sign of the times. I do know that with your sharing it has made all of your readers even more aware to be ever careful
You are in my prayers. I think of you like a daughter.
Love Ernestine

Marsha said...

I'm so sorry that happened. Talk about throwing a wrench into the holidays.

But as you say "such is life." I love your attitude. Deal with it and move on! That's a lesson for us all.

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Oh, Meredith!!! I am so sorry that this has happened to you. Praise God, though, that the timing was such that you were able to make those calls quickly and stop this guy before he could do even more harm.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't know who to call re:debit card if the bank is not open at the time - is there a special number? We've had two chain saws and the garden wagon taken in broad daylight. Police here are warning people not to leave garage doors open even if you are at home b/c theives have become very bold and walk off with things while the occupant is at home. We must be vigilant and yet not paranoid. I'm sorry this happened and I hope they catch the thief. I also always figure I'd rather be the one suffering the loss than the one who is commiting the offense. God sees.
Vicky

Amy said...

I am so sorry, Meredith! There is just nothing more sickening than having something important like that taken from and all of the hassles/red tape you have to jump through to restore everything.

I will be thinking of your family. Please don't let this spoil your Christmas. Shame on that person for trying!

Becky said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry that happened, but I am glad that you were able to catch it quickly.

Praying that God restores all that was lost to you in amazing ways!

On My Mind said...

It feels so personal, doesn't it? We were self-employed for a few years and our business was robbed on several occassions... What always bothered me was that the robber(s) may have known me, but I didn't know them! And as I went along my daily business, I would always wonder, "Are they THE ONE?"

Yet, like you said, life moves onward.

An encouraging note: God ALWAYS turned each of the robberies into blessings somehow. Hallelujah! :)

Merry Christmas to you and your family. God will take care of everything, this I know!

Elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss! We all have those rare moments when we carry kids and shopping bags inside and forget that we've left our purse in the car. So, it could happen to any one of us.

When we first married, way before anyone had ever heard of the Internet or blogging, someone slept a few nights in our car. He would come late at night, after we were inside, and he would leave very early, before we got up. He was good at sneaking, because we were totally unaware that he was doing this. We were puzzled when we found a strange hat on our backseat. Then, our neighbors told us that they had spotted the person sleeping in the car, and we realized that he had left the hat.

This was in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, and we all felt safe -- way back when. We locked our house at night, but we never bothered about the car. At any rate, no harm was done. If the person was homeless, I'm glad we unknowingly provided him with a bit of shelter. But, we are blessed that the person apparently had no harmful intentions. It could have been otherwise.

At any rate, someone could read blogs and figure out our patterns, I guess. I never thought about that. But, since someone figured out how to get into our car way back in 1980, things like that could happen today -- whether we blog or not.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for you - what a rotten thing to wak up to. Good thing he stoped at the car, can you image if her came into the house!!! We've been robbed a few times and it just makes me a mess. I know that the stuff they took was just that - stuff. But I felt so violated by it all. You have such a great attitude about it all.
Have a good and blessed Christmas, God will take of you. Lynn Maire

Anonymous said...

Since you're on this topic. The police told us that a common time for theives to break into homes is Thanksgiving and Christmas day when people are at home. As a society we tradtionally have holiday dinners and guests leave their coats and purses in the hallway and then go into dinner. We also typically leave front doors unlocked during these times for late arriving guests and guests who go in and out to get things left in their cars.

In our neighborhood several houses were robbed when the theives quietly opended the front doors, plucked out all the wallets and left without being detected.

Trust in the Lord for protection and lock your front doors.

Baleboosteh said...

Oh Meredith, I am so sorry! We pray that all you have lost will be restored to you and more.
Michelle

Jennifer said...

I am so sorry! I hope the rest of your holiday time goes much better.

julie said...

meredith, i am terribly sorry. what an awful way to wake up. i am so glad you did not have credit cards involved. as for the checks, consider completely changing checking accounts because my friend had a similiar situation and the thief continued to "make" their own checks on a computer with the information that they already had. also, contact social security if you think they have any access to your ssn. my heart really was saddened to hear of this happening to you. you will be in my prayers. julie

Tubo Family said...

Uggh! Hang in there--I admire your positive attitude but feel free to rant & rave too.

Elena said...

So sorry Meredith

Ewokgirl said...

Oh, I'm so sorry this happened. What a pain. We've had our debit card number (not the card) stolen before. I discovered it when I deposited a check and asked for only $20 back in cash, and I was told that I was WAY overdrawn. That was because someone got hold of our number and started ordering stuff off of QVC. The thief had stolen over $1000 from us by the time I discovered it.

It was all refunded to us, but it took a little while and a lot of stress.

I hope it all goes smoothly for you. And I'd like to think that it's just a random burglary and not someone who knows you or follows your actions via your blog. It's probably just a typical jerk trolling the neighborhood, looking in cars for things left inside.

Oh, and thank you for the Christmas and birthday wishes. That was very sweet of you. :-)

Shannon@Idylwild said...

Meredith - honey, I'm soooo sorry. what an awful thing to wake up to! It's just really terrible, but I am praising God that you're all safe and unharmed!

Kris said...

Oh, man. Meredith, I'm so sorry. Hope the rest of your Christmas is merry and bright, though. :)

Sarah E. said...

So, so sorry Meredith. Gives me good caution to run through my purse so I know for sure what's in there and what really needs to be in there.

Marsha said...

I'm sorry that you are experiencing this trial in the very season when such things are the least welcome (not that they are *ever* welcome, of course). Even with this terrible violation, you have and ARE so much more than this.

I have to say that I admire your "onward" remark - I've lately adopted Keep Calm and Carry On as my personal mantra and Onward fits into that quite nicely.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Meredith! Especially this time of year! Admire your attitude. Some good tips here, I was astonished to read about thieves who just walk in a Christmas party and steal wallets out of the coats. YIKES!

deb meyers

Lisa said...

Oh I'm so sorry to read this. It breaks my heart that these kinds of things happen.

Hugs to you and your family.

Donna said...

What a grinch thing to do...I suppose we should feel sorry for this person who had to resort to such desparate measures. But when it happens to people who make conscious decisions to live within their means and to actively choose to serve others...it just doesn't seem fair. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm thinking I would have pouted a few more days before my "onward" thinking kicked in. I wish you a Merry Christmas in spite of this unfortunate incident.

ancient one said...

We all have a horror story like this that we have heard about if not actually had happen to us. And most of the time the thieves hit Walmart first thing. I'm so sorry it happened to you !!

Jen said...

GAH! I'm sorry this happened to you. Be sure to monitor your credit carefully for the next several months. Something similar happened to my friend and somehow they were able to tap into bank accounts that weren't even correlated with anything that had been in her purse. Simply from her driver license number they got into everything-even her retirement accounts.

I posted about credit card tricks companies are doing this year to get people in credit trouble just now. It's so important to keep tabs on all our accounts.

Unfortunately, we also have to keep tabs on things because of stupid dishonest people that can't just get a job to get their own stuff. Grrrr.

Heather said...

I am so sorry this happened to you. I applaud your outward actions, it would be so easy to act bitter. (It'd be truly a miracle if you didn't at least feel a little bitter, you are human, right?)

Again I'm sorry.

PS If the thief was online, it was most likely MySpace ;)

Anonymous said...

So sorry. It's so hard when people steal the things we have worked so hard for without regard for all that we have done to earn them. I know that this feels just awful.

Someone ran into our car months ago and smashed the side panel. Alas they did not leave a note, so the first nice car I have ever had was smashed just after I got it. Just this month we were able to fix it. It can make you feel so angry that you have do do without because of someone elses selfishness.

It's not easy to look past the material stuff and keep a positive attitude. I applaud you for being so brave in the face of such callous disregard.
I'm sending you lots of love and peace for the rest of your holiday. Don't worry that they found you via blog. I really doubt theives are also frugal hackers. If they were they wouldn't have to resort to theft. LOL.

Have a Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

You do have a wonderful attitude, Meredith, but don't feel too badly if you need to cry it out and shed a few tears in the next day or two. You have a lot of ladies here who think the world of you, and I think that we all hope that you have an especially meaningful Christmas!
Susan

Anonymous said...

how dumb to leave your purse and cell in the car!

bonnie: said...

I'm not sure how anyone could have deciphered anything from your blog regarding your home and when to steal. Most likely they saw you at your car loading it up, and thought they'd get presents.

I'm not sure what they would have seen on your blog that was "worth enough" to steal ;)

Our Red House said...

I am sorry that happened to you. So disappointing for you just before Christmas.

hugs,

Kate

julie said...

to the previous anonymous poster who felt it "how dumb" it was to leave her purse and phone in the car.....let's have a little grace here! life is life, full of surprises, changes and yes, moments of quick decisions that in retrospect wouldn't be repeated if possible. we have ALL been there. it does no good to chide a lovely lady who always encourages us through her words and pictures. spread the grace!
julie

thehomespunheart said...

Oh, Meredith! I'm so sorry this happened - I hope the process of getting it all straightened out will go as smoothly as possible.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Monica

Anonymous said...

I have lurked here quite a lot and love your blog! You are so thrifty and clever! I am so sorry this happened to you. It absolutely baffles me how some people think they can take what belongs to others. As an aside, I have read some Norwegian blogs wherein the blogger does not mention the city in which they live or photograph their children or themselves. (They might show the child's hands or back.) Also, no names are mentioned. This is extreme, I know, especially if one wants to make friends through blogging. But it is food for thought for all of us in today's world.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry this happened. Somehow especially at this time of year it just seems worse. We had a break in of our home over the Christmas holidays one year, it just spoiled things for years to come. Somehow thinking of a stranger in our home, goint through our things, made me feel just awful.
I hope things work out so the thief is caught and he does not do this to anyone else. Roxie

Kacie said...

That's terrible! I'm really sorry to hear that.

Please consider checking your credit report monthly from now on (or even constantly monitor it). I'm worried that the thief could now steal your identity.

Mrs. Fussy Fussypants said...

Oh Meredith! That is so terrible. I don't even know what to say. Absolutely shocking!

All my love to ya, babe!

Amy Ellen said...

Hey I read your blog quite frequently. I was sorry to hear about what happened. Someone attempted to break into our house recently, and I pondered if it was someone who knew me through my own blog, although I do not post what town I live in, but you never know..... SIGH. I used to post pics of the kids faces and stuff, but due to worries like this, I did just go to only pics of their backs if they are in there at all.. Hope they get everything solved and returned quickly.
Hugs
Amy

Stephen said...

Sorry to hear that happened! (Found you through moneydummy) Hope everything gets sorted out soon.