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Hm. It wasn't so much about the lawnmower. As I was getting ready to… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
September 11th, 2004
08:56 am


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Hm. It wasn't so much about the lawnmower.

As I was getting ready to go to work today, I noticed that a bag that I had some conference materials from was not where I remembered it being from the day before.

Hm, that's odd. All the contents were there.

I went back to the living room, looking at the pigsty that that room is, and noticed that my XBox also wasn't where it normally was. Nor were my XBox games. Also, the bag with the conference materials had a big XBox logo on it.


Called 911, said that somebody came into my house.

Called my neighbors, the neighbor woman said that she saw a kid prowling around my lawnmower.

Got a call from deputy somebody or other almost immediately after hanging up with neighbor - turns out someone found his kid with an XBox that somebody had 'given' him. Since there were receipts in the box? Bag? With my name on them, the guy got suspicious, called the sheriff.

More details as events unfold. So far, things are coming together a little better than I had feared at first.

Damn, maybe it's time to invest in one of those crazy electronic lock-yourself-behind-a-keypad affairs.

Waited and waited for the sheriff to show up. I cleaned up the "scene of the crime", figured out that I had lost around 6 XBox games, 20 PS2 games, 1 XBox, and 1 Bag. The Bag, as I said before, was clear across the house. This surprises me some - that a burglar looked around that much to figure out that he'd take the stuff that looked like XBox gear.

One of the things NOT taken: a cable that goes from the XBox controller port to a memory stick. Thumb drive. Whatever. Or the thumb drive connected to the cable. This is interesting because he unplugged it and put it on the table. The details of this particular object bore you, but suffice it to say, it was a pretty non-mainstream peripheral, so the punk decided not to take it, I guess.

Around 11, Deputy Casey showed up and opened up the trunk of his cruiser. My XBox bag, with my XBox games. Somebody else's XBox carrying case, with an XBox inside it. I was at this point pretty despondent - clearly somebody else's XBox was in that carrying case, right?

We booted it up, and the fact that one of the options on the dashboard was "BOOT INTO LINUX" satisfied me that we had recovered my actual game system. Sigh of relief.

Deputy Casey advised me not to touch the game cases, because he was going to send them to the lab to be printed. He also dusted one of the cases (still in its shrinkwrap, as it happens. Never got around to playing that game, I guess). So now I have graphite powder on my coffeetable, and Deputy Casey has a couple partial prints.

So, let's see. Neighbor across the street, Anne - saw a suspicious kid prowling around my house yesterday afternoon.

Neighbor kid up the street, Carlos - saw a (different) suspicious kid around the shed between his house and my house.

This other kid, let's call him "Jim", whose father got suspicious when Jim had an XBox all of a sudden, Jim said that Carlos gave him the XBox. Jim's father found my name on a receipt in the bag, figured that Carlos had ripped me off. Jim's father called the cops. Thank you, Jim's father. The cops came to talk to Jim. Jim couldn't maintain eye contact. The cops went to talk to Carlos. Carlos said that this story was bullshit. Carlos wants to "talk" to Jim now.

So. I got some of my games back, I got the machine back, I got the bag back. I'm hoping that if the cops talk to Jim some more, he'll turn over the PS2 games. If he did, and if I have any say in the matter, I'd like to ask for a certain amount of lenience. Totally nail him for telling the cops a lie, but if I get my crap back, I'm really not a vengeful guy.

One thing that pisses me off is that he took two games that I worked on, and (this is admittedly weird) I don't particularly want to go out and buy a new copy of my own games. Not just games I owned, but games I made.

I talked with the deputy some more after all the business was over, and he mentioned that there were three meth labs not too far from my place. Well, two, now that one of them burned down. This was news to me. He went on to say that I should probably secure my riding lawnmower. This is appearantly a hot item for these guys.

After sending Deputy Casey on his way, I packed up to go to work, and realized that if the burglars that got into the house had taken one of my spare keys, then they could walk right back in and take everything else. So instead of going to work, I went to Home Depot and bought new deadbolts and locking doorknobs. Not the easiest things to install, I've discovered. But now I have new locks, and most of my crap is still inside the house, so that's good.

This segues into my next post.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:September 11th, 2004 12:45 pm (UTC)
HOLY CRAP! so, some kid walked into your house and took your shit? I hate people.

but not you.
[User Picture]
Date:September 11th, 2004 02:51 pm (UTC)
Yep, that's pretty much it. I've just replaced the locks.

[User Picture]
Date:September 11th, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC)
DAMN. That stinks. I'm glad it was just stuff, if that makes sense - it would be a far sight worse if anything had happened to you. Good call on the new locks.
[User Picture]
Date:September 11th, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and the stuff was almost entirely non-personal. All stuff I could replace in one shopping trip, if I had to.

I've had stuff stolen before (learn to lock the doors carefully!), and for whatever reason, I don't have the intense feeling of violation this time around. Maybe in part because it was just stuff I didn't care much about, maybe because so much of it's been returned already.

I had around 120 cassette tapes taken from my cabin when I was working at a Scout camp one summer. I was stupid for bringing them, to be sure. But losing my music collection pissed me off then so much more than losing my PS2 game collection does now.

Absolutely, I keep coming back to a feeling of relief that it could have been so much worse. I guess a high school track coach recently got killed when he walked in on some burglars. As an example.

But now I'm considering buying a fancy shmancy alarm system. And I really don't want to do that, but it seems like a good idea. I don't like the idea of a security perimeter between me and the evil world maintained by technological countermeasures. That's fine for a Tom Clancy story, but this is my home.
[User Picture]
Date:September 11th, 2004 08:22 pm (UTC)
I don't like the idea of a security perimeter between me and the evil world maintained by technological countermeasures. That's fine for a Tom Clancy story, but this is my home.

I had a wake-up call in this area when we were having our house built last year. The security system comes standard with the new home construction. We sign on for the annual contract with the monitoring company, but the installation of the system itself was all included in the cost of the house. It's such a part of our lives now that I don't even think about it as something we never used to worry about before.
[User Picture]
Date:September 11th, 2004 08:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, just like one doesn't walk alone certain places at certain times, just like one carries travellers' checks, just like all the other bits of sensible defensive living, I imagine that a security alarm is something that I'll grow to accept.

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:September 11th, 2004 06:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, most of the stuff, anyway. And since Jim (or whatever his name is) is looking suspicious to the cops now, I may recover some or all of the remaining stuff. And if I don't, it's OK. I'm out a couple hundred dollars worth of games that I wasn't playing anyway.
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