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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My House Was Broken Into And My Laptop Was Stolen

Dear readers,

My house was broken into and my laptop was stolen tonight. :(

I ran out for a quick errand, came back 45 minutes later and my front door was ajar. They somehow jimmied the lock on my bedroom window and ransacked my house.

I immediately glanced into my living room and saw my laptop gone. It's an old laptop with a battery that doesn't work, a cord that barely reads the AC power unless I balanced it at just the right angle with a wad of Post-its, and a broken hinge that's threatening to crack the whole casing. But damn it! My Dell has been my steady friend for five years. It holds all my photos, my personal writings, my music, my important information. Not only that, they stole my laptop bag which contained all my most important paperwork and my checkbook.

So obviously, I'll be taking a break while I try to clean up this mess, get my paperwork together, and catalog what else is missing. Apologies to the Regional Recipes participants, I'll try to get to the round-up when I can.

Even though I backed up my files a few weeks ago on my external hard drive, the thought of someone else accessing everything on my laptop gives me the creeps. I feel so violated.

1 year ago today, I asked is my scrap blanket hideous?
2 years ago today, the heirloom bell peppers I grew in my garden.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear that! *Hug* I'm glad you were able to back most of the stuff up, but it just really sucks the same, that feeling of violation. Let us know if there's anything we can do!

  2. Oh, how devastating! I am SO sorry to hear this news. Relieved to hear that you backed up everything on external hard drive a few weeks ago.

    You must be just reeling.

    My Dell laptop (and all my jewelry) was stolen 2.5 years ago during a home robbery. Came home to upended drawers in every room. Violated is the word.

    The good news was that it gave me an excuse to go Mac.

  3. Holy crap! Major suckage. There should be a special circle in hell for people like that.

  4. That's a terrible, terrible thing to happen! I'm sorry to hear this happened. Take care of yourself, now.

  5. WC - Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear this :-( Thank goodness you backed up but oh dear they're going to access your stuff. ugh.

    My family home was broken into when I was about 15 and they stole my walkman (remember them?) and a bottle of vitamin c tablets from me, a lot of other things from my family members. It was very odd.

    But the idea that someone can get into your house and has been wandering around in your absence. It makes you feel vulnerable.

    Sending hugs and thoughts your way.
    x Oanh

  6. I was reading Bloglines on my phone and I rushed straight to the computer after reading this :(

    Do you have a place to stay over or somebody to come over? Ok, I suppose you will not have time to check your blog as terrible as you must feel. Please take good care and do not stay alone at home if you feel insecure, call somebody over or stay with family or friends!

    Somebody who is desperate enough to rob other people's homes in daylight might be completely crazy or using drugs. I am sure you called the police already and I hope there will some progress or at least that you have an insurance for your laptop and property.

    Considering the way this happened your laptop was most likely instantly reformatted and sold, somebody this crazy does not have the time and pace to look into your private folders and data. But if yo stored any important data there (passwords for bank accounts, login data for online services, vulnerable personal information etc) it is absolutely necessary to change ALL passwords of ALL your accounts immediately and inform your bank.

    Once an important (real) folder with my personal data got stolen and I know how terrible this is :( It is really important to react immediately and even shut down all your online accounts if necessary. I know a friend who did not have much money and yet somebody stole the login informations and did overdraw the bank account into minus of x thousands of Euro and now she has a huge debt :(

    Please take care and do not try to be "brave", ask for all help you can get!

  7. Oh dear! Am so sorry to hear that. *HUGS* Hope you feel better soon.

  8. Oh my...I am so so sorry to hear that too!!
    Take care k

  9. I'm so sorry to hear! I know how it feels. I had my old place broken into twice. My laptop was only stolen once though. This is a good reminder to back up files. It probably won't make you feel better, but I doubt anyone will access your files on your laptop. I think they just erase everything and sell it at a pawn shop.

  10. WC, I am so sorry this happened! I am glad you are safe and it was only material things that were taken. I know I'd be devastated if my laptop was stolen but your safety is the most important. {{hugs}}

  11. So sorry to hear this. I had a laptop stolen in college, horrible feeling! Hope you don't have too much trouble getting replacements, etc for your lost papers.

    Glad you are safe, though.

  12. holy crap! i'm so sorry this happened - all those photos... take a good break hon, and come back to us when you're ready.

  13. So sorry to hear about that. At least you were not around during the accident. It is very common in Msia whereby this break-in happens during day time.

  14. I'm so sorry to hear this. I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I hope that miraculously your stuff is returned without your private info being compromised.

  15. This is absolutely terribly. I will never understand how a thinking feeling human being can steal from someone else and then be able to live with themselves.

    I've also had my Dell for 5 years, and funny enough have almost the same exact problems as you described. Even though it gives me grief and is no longer a mobile device which was it's intended purpose, losing it would be like losing an extension of myself.

    I sincerely feel your pain and if there is anything I can do (maybe start a manhunt?) please let me know.

  16. Oh, no! I'm so sorry. I know the feeling. Someone broke into my car last year, but I imagine it's worse when it's your house.

    Please don't worry about the RR roundup. There is no rush. I can do it as well if you like.

  17. Oh my goodness, WC. I'm really sorry and know how violated you must feel. Like Darlene, my van was ransacked at J's preschool parking lot last month. They were so retarded they failed to find my wallet at the bottom of one of the diaper bags and took nothing, but still, violated. Blast those thieves.

  18. Oh no..... I'm mainly glad that you are safe. I hope you are able to get some of your belongings back. I'm sure you're quite busy and stressed right now.... so I'm just sending my best, let me know if there is anything I can do.

  19. Stuff can be replaced - you are safe and that is what really matters. Karma will handle those thugs..... be safe...

  20. i'm not computer savvy, but can one of your readers create a fund to get you a new laptop....you've helped alot of other fundraisers before..so what do you say readers?

  21. WC, what dreadful news. I'm glad you'd been backing up your data, but there's no compensation for that sinking feeling of vulnerability. Hang in there, friend, and do not hesitate to share if there's anything your blog friends can do for you.

  22. So sorry to hear about this news. Those *S%$@! We've been broken into more than once, so it does indeed mess with your sense of well-being and security. Hang in there and please do let us know if we can do anything to help. We'll still be here so take all the time you need. *sending our best regards*

  23. That's so terrible.. I'm so very sorry to hear that dear. I hope you're able to feel safe and secure again soon.

  24. WC...so sorry to hear this. And its true, at least u weren't there during the break in. Hang in there!!

  25. WC, I am so sorry to hear about this! That is terrible! I can feel your pain that your laptop was taken away and how it feels. And especially if you saved your passwords on the computer (like what many people do) that is even worse!

    Hopefully you will get back to normal with everything, but as you said even though you have backed up your info, it feels worse that your computer is gone!

    And I also hope you will be able to find out who took it and then tell everyone about it; then those people will be so embarrassed and in big trouble!

  26. this is horrible news - please take care

  27. That would awful....I'm so sorry to hear about that. I hope you'll feel better...and safer....soon! Hopefully they'll crack the whole casing so they can't access it. Or break their legs tripping on the power cord. We'll miss you while you're gone...take care!

  28. Awww, WC! I'm so sorry to hear that. Take care.

  29. Oh F***! D*** bastards. I'm so sorry to hear this. These are scary times we live in.

  30. Oh No!! I'm sorry to hear that. It gotta be upsetting. I'm just glad you're OK. Take your time to get everything in order. We'll still be here!

    I wish you well and take care!

  31. Oh no! Sorry to hear that. We were broken into a few years back as well and it's horrible. A big hug for you!

  32. I'm so sorry to hear this! That is just horrible! :(

  33. Boo Hissss!!!!!!! Sorry to hear about this.

  34. What the--?! %$#%$%$#@ them. Sorry about all the hassle that you now have to go through.

  35. Oh, that's terrible! I am so sorry!

  36. so sorry that this happened to you! at least you were not home and/or harmed. be safe and take care!

  37. OMG! Sorry to hear that. Stay safe, ok?

  38. OMG, I've been away for a while only checked this today. So sorry to hear that. Hope you are ok and keep us updated

  39. Major bummers that happened! I'm glad your files are backed up and hoped the thieves can't readily access your files.

    Any word from the cops?

  40. Ugh that is so terrible! :( I'm so sorry.

  41. i'm sorry to hear about this wc. I hope that's all they got away with and that you and your family are safe.

  42. WC, i'm sorry about your room being broken into, that's scary. Hope everything else is ok. Glad you've got some backup from your laptop, but still, it sucks.

  43. oh dear I'm so sorry to hear that! but I'm glad you are safe! take care...

  44. Well glad to know your safe.

    I think I will have to password encrypt my laptop now.

  45. oh gosh! so sorry to hear that! that sucks big time! i will have to chain my laptop to my walls now

  46. Horrible, I hope you're doing better this week. Such a double violation, home broken into and your laptop taken. May the thieves be infested with fleas, ticks, and crabs for the rest of their lives.

  47. From what I've read, you seem very close to your family. I'm glad you have them there, especially this time of year, to help you through this. Things will get better; they always do!

  48. oh wandering chopsticks-i'm sorry to hear that! Hope things get better. Not what u need near thanksgiving!

  49. i'm sorry that this happened to you. i hope that the person(s) get caught.

    what's important is that you are safe and unharmed.

    i hope you get things in order.

    by the way, now that we're experiencing cold and rainy weather in s.d., i am finally wearing that scarf you sent me. i've received several compliments on it! thanks! it's so lovely!

  50. So sorry to hear about the break-in. I know the hassle! When I was living in L.A. my place got broken into 1.5 times.

    The 1st time, they took alot of stuff! 2nd time, my alarm went off(I installed it immediately)! So they didn't get anything ... just me having to repair the window and the clean up!

    I hope you'll get everything back in order soon.

    Take Care!

  51. Being robbed is never fun, like everyone else I am glad that you are safe and you had everything backed up.

    My family's house was robbed once. Unfortunately both me and my mom were home at the time. Scary stuff! Items can always be replaced and money re-earned.

    Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving...events like that really let you know what to be thankful for! :)

  52. i know this has been said numerous times prior to this comment... but yeah, i know the feeling of being robbed. once when we were away for christmas and the second time when we went out for dinner. it's worse when they get in through your bedroom window, like they did with me. makes it harder to sleep at night, not only because you know that they know what you look like (from photos in your laptop), but also what your hobbies are and even the more intimate details, like *gasp* the underwear you wear (i.e: the idiots who rummaged through my closet). it leaves you feeling susceptible, violated, vulnerable and just plain scared to sleep.

  53. im really sorry to hear that. my apartment was broken into about 2 weeks ago, took my laptop, wacom tablets, a broken camera and broken ipod. completly tore apart my bedroom closet.

    for about 3 nights after i could not sleep, constantly waking up at the slightest sounds. me and the wife ended up moving simply because we no longer felt comfortable in our own apartment.

    it happened while i was at work. sometime before noon. you seem to be in or near san gabriel and i really hope it was not the same person. since... the san gabriel pd has no leads...

    but yah, new laptop!

  54. =(! omgosh, i'm so sorry to hear about this. glad that you're safe though. with the holiday season and bad economy, there are just so many crazy people out there. take care and be safe.

  55. Hey WC how absolutely awful. I recently had my locks changed because of paranoia. If you end up getting a new laptop with Vista or OSX, I can send you some software that tracks your laptop and can fry it completely and make it unusable to thieves upon your call. For reals! Let me know.

  56. Jeannie,
    *Hug* back. I needed that!

    Sorry to hear about your incident. Sucks. They trashed my fake jewelery. And were probably wondering why I own nothing real! Ha!

    Hehe. Wouldn't it be funny if Hell was compartmentalized according to crime?

    Thanks dear.

    The major stuff was all backed up, but I go through so many photos each week that even several weeks or a month means endless hours re-sorting everything again. What a pain! My family home was broken into when I was 17 while we were out of town and it was loads worse then.

    Thanks. :(

    Thanks so much for your concern. I don't keep any passwords stored on my computer and promptly canceled and changed passwords for everything. So far, it doesn't look like they're able to access anything. My cousins have been great, helping me through all this.

    *Hugs* right back. Thanks sweetie!

    *Big big hug* too. Thanks.

    Sorry to hear about your incidents too. My friend's friend had several break-ins and they stole the laptop she bought to replace the first one!

    I hope they do erase everything. They won't get much for it at a pawn shop though!

    *Hugs* to you too.

    The lost papers are the worst. I had my American citizenship certificate in there and that costs $380 to replace!

    Luckily I hadn't erased the photos on my camera yet. It's a pain to re-download 4,000 pictures and sort through them again though!

    Food For Tots,
    Daytime break-ins. Ack! I didn't realize Malaysia was so dangerous.

    So far, it doesn't seem like they're able to get to my private info. The laptop was on its last legs anyway so they're not gonna get much for it.

    Haha. I find it funny that we had the same problems with our Dell. Mine definitely was no longer portable either. I think it hurts because we pour so much of ourselves into our writing and having someone steal it is like stealing a part of ourselves.

    Oh no! Any break-in is so devastating. Thanks for your patience with the Regional Recipes round-up.

    At his preschool parking lot. That's awful. They must have been in a hurry and just took what they could immediately see. Too bad my laptop was sitting out there in plain sight!

    Thanks so much! Just knowing so many people care makes a big difference.

    I hope karma does come back to bite them!


    Aww, thanks. I bought a used laptop that's working just fine for now.

    Feeling vulnerable is the hardest part. Blog friends are wonderful. Just the amount of concern makes me feel loved.

    More than once! That's awful. Luckily you moved. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for you to be broken into several times. My sister says I'm so paranoid now, but how can I not after something like this?


    I think they waited for me to leave and then broke in! :(

    Luckily, I don't save passwords on my computer. I was paranoid about hackers.


    Ha! I hope my laptop falls apart on them.


    Funny. My aunt mentioned how the crappy economy must have spurred this on.

    Pepsi Monster,
    Thanks. For your concern and your patience.

    So sorry to hear you were broken into too! A big hug for you and baby too! Even virtual hugs with babies make me feel better. :)


    Jan Frederick,
    Haha. I can just picture you saying that. Thanks for the laugh.

    The hassle of canceling and changing everything is such a pain!


    The scary part is thinking they were just waiting for me to leave before breaking in.

    Thanks sweetie!

    I'm fine. Thanks.

    Ha! Took the cops 2 hours to even come. A stolen laptop is so low on the priority scale, I really don't expect anything.


    I don't own anything of value, just the laptop.

    I'm glad I bought that external hard drive. And that they missed it. Can you imagine my devastation if that was gone too?

    Thanks dearie.

    Yes, definitely. I should have done that before but I didn't know how to add the password option to get into my laptop. I do now!

    Bolt it down, or carry it with you wherever you go, or well, I don't know how much you want to go through just to protect your laptop.

    Haha! I like your curse. I hope it comes true!

    Yes, my family's been great through all this!


    Canine Cologne,
    Thanks. I'm so glad you're wearing the scarf and enjoying it!

    Tigger mum,
    I thought my neighborhood was safe, but yeah, after this, my cousin cut bars to put in the bottom of all my windows. I should have done that from the beginning.

    Oh no! I can't imagine how scary it'd be to be robbed while you're at home. I'm thankful that I'm poor and don't own much for them to steal? :P

    Dee Love,
    It's scary how many others have been robbed or burglarized. Makes the world a very scary place indeed.

    Oh no! I didn't know this happened to you recently too. That's awful.

    Haha. I think you're the third person to mention the bad economy. I wonder if there is an increase in burglaries. Somehow, I just think when people set out to steal from others, they just do it, regardless of the economy.

    Thanks for the offer. I ended up buying a used laptop. Can't really afford a new one and I hate Vista. But that's pretty cool that there's that kind of software available!

  57. What the hay?! This is the third time that I have left a comment on blogger and come back to the blog and not seen it there! Well, I left the previous comment when I was in Europe (or thought I left it), so maybe something happened. Censorship, perhaps? I wasn't in China though. :|

    I just wanted to say keep your spirits up--we are very happy to hear that you are physically okay and not hurt. My friend was recently mugged in SF, and the experience was harrowing. These financial times are bad, so watch out because people will do desperate things. I know you are probably feeling worse about losing your personal info, but I am so happy to hear that you are safe. Remember, you still have great memories from those lost pictures that you can keep in your heart. Also, do you have renter's or homeowner's insurance? You can often get some recovery for these types of losses if you have this insurance. Also, please get a credit report for this year, and make sure you monitor your financial activities. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers WC.

    (You don't have to respond to this comment WC. I know you are busy.)

  58. PE,
    I never got an email so none of your comments made it through. Darn Blogger! I'm so touched you checked in while you were on your honeymoon! I'm so sorry about your friend. That's horrible! I've been checking my credit and everything seems OK. Looks like they didn't manage to get into anything.

  59. Thank you so much for responding WC! And there is no problem with your blog--I think it was blogger and maybe being at a foreign internet cafe. :~ Also, thanks for the new posts--I know you must still be a little on edge, so it is really generous of you to be posting for us, when you could be doing other things. Lock up and hide your stuff in your home and get a bottle of pepper spray, just in case!

  60. PE,
    I missed you and everyone else too! Couldn't let them get me down.


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