Today's post is a little unique, primarily because today's post is actually going to be two posts. One from my perspective, and one from Alex's perspective. We both wrote the posts without the other knowing, so we figured we should go ahead and just share both of them. We hope you enjoy, and that you'll check out the other post in today's "series."

We were the victims of burglary. It saddens me to even type that sentence. Broken are my rose colored glasses, from behind which I gaze lovingly upon my town. Gone is my sense of security, and I feel completely violated.

Yesterday Alex discovered that the new copper downspout we just replaced this summer, had been ripped from it's home against the side of our house.

Could it have been worse? Sure! In the grand scheme of things, losing a piece of copper to theft is not a big deal. It will cost us roughly $300 in materials and an hour of Alex's time to replace it. No one was hurt, nothing sentimental was stolen, and our home wasn't broken into.

But knowing that someone out there cased our home, identified the copper downspout as an easy target, and entered our walled back garden without our knowledge leaves me feeling downright uneasy. The fact that no one saw it, and neither our, ahem, guard dog nor we heard so much as a peep.

On a side note, I'd like to take a moment to publicly shame our burglar's sub-par skills. The idiot that stole from us went to a lot more trouble than he needed to, given that we had a ladder in the backyard that he could have used to more easily access the downspout. He also missed the fact that we had the old downspout laying at his feet, because we hadn't yet gotten around to disposing of it/donating it. Here's my message to our downspout bandit: Get a day job, you fuckwit. You know, one that compensates you in exchange for an honest day's work. (Sorry gang. I usually censor my potty mouth in my writing, but today I wanted to give you the unedited version of how I'm feeling.)

Other length of copper that we would have preferred the thief stolen, featured in a photo that really highlights how crappy our backyard looks in places!

The bottom line is that this is a good reminder to be more diligent about home security. We're looking into additional security measures we can add to our home, like a motion sensor light on the side of the house. We also need to remind ourselves (and our neighbors) to lock their doors, arm their security systems, and to look out for one another. Sadly enough, you never know when you might be the next victim of crime.

Comments 21


10/17/2012 at 2:05 PM
Do you know when it happened?

We got FrontPoint security, but also looked at Vivent. I like both of these because they're not hardwired to your home or phone, which was important to us since we don't have a landline hooked up and its not easy for us to go through our walls. Also means burglars can't cut your phone line to disable the alarm.

So glad nothing else was taken. I know its hard, but once you get a security system or motion lights up, you'll start to feel better. When we were robbed I was afraid to leave the house again, but now I'm ok as long as the alarm is on.

If it's any piece of mind, it was probably just a junker riding around that spotted the shiny copper. It could have been at night or while you were at work. They prob don't live near you or won't be back any time soon.

Unlucky for us, we found our burglar was a neighbor that lived two houses away. I am filled with rage every time I look in their direction.
We think it happened Monday night, and we discovered it Tuesday afternoon. Thanks for the tips on security. We currently have ADT, but are looking for a new system and monitoring service.

Your neighbor?? Are you kidding me?? I would be filled with rage as well.
10/17/2012 at 3:08 PM
I know what a sense of violation this creates--as if that little haven you're creating is a mirage. I am so sorry this happened to you. Thanks for reminding us all to be more alert.
Thanks, Sherry. You nailed how I'm feeling in your comment!
Mike Deckard
10/17/2012 at 3:10 PM
Technically larceny and vandalism, not burglary (not entry or attempted entry). But I know that doesn't make you guys feel any better. I'm really sorry!!
Thanks for setting me straight, Mike. I'm going to have to contact you to review any posts of this nature from now on. (Although I hope I'll never have to write about crime or theft again!!)
10/17/2012 at 3:22 PM
Please file a police report, if you haven't already! The ACPD keeps touting how crime is the lowest it's been in 40 years, yet both you and I are recent theft victims (as are many of our neighbors - forget about receiving packages at home anymore - they're stolen constantly). Sure, it's great that people aren't being murdered out in the open on our streets, but theft is still a problem. And I agree about the fuckwit comment! I don't work hard to earn what I have, just for it to be taken away...
We're working on it. We have a call into them so we can officially file the report. Good grief. Is this what our town / society have come to?
10/17/2012 at 4:15 PM
Also, I would let the Old Town Patch know about it, especially if you can spot a trend of similar thefts in the area. At the least, they will add something to their daily email (or their weekly crime report) about it.
Good suggestion. Thanks, Thad!
10/17/2012 at 4:42 PM
I know exactly what you mean by feeling violated. It's such a kick in the gut when you realize that someone actively targeted you. Between both of our cars being broken into, and someone trying to rob me two blocks from our house (in broad daylight, no less), I don't feel safe here anymore at all. Trying to file a police report was a joke. It was so bad, in fact, that I never did get it filed. I think that's how they're saying the crime is dropping in this neighborhood - it's too hard to actually file a report so the numbers are dropping.

I hope you guys don't get targeted again. The motion lights are a great idea.
Wait, someone tried to rob you in broad daylight? No wonder you're thinking about moving! I'm so sorry!

We're still waiting to file the police report. We were told it will take 3-4 days...
10/17/2012 at 5:06 PM
I totally understand your feelings of being violated. Ugh. So sorry you guys had that negative experience . . . and geez, now you have to shell out more dough.

I think this situation calls for plenty of potty mouth, btw.
LOL! I can assure you there's been plenty of potty mouth! I guess this is the kick in the pants we needed to update our alarm system. And let's face it, "perimeter security" can be pretty cool when you're married to a tech nerd. :-)
10/17/2012 at 5:30 PM
Love your blog, check in on it every day. I just had to comment about the total idiots who would do this. So sorry, and hope the police catch the losers.
Thanks, Lindy! That's so wonderful to hear you love our blog, and thanks for your kind words. I'm not very hopeful they'll find the person, but here's to hoping!
10/17/2012 at 11:31 PM
Hi Old Towners, found your blog awhile ago through (I think) Young House Love (the duct tape on the hood post, I think). I've read through your entire blog and really enjoyed it. I don't live in an old house like yours (mine is only 30 years old) but I love all things old and historical. So it's been fun to read about what you've done with your house.

My car got broken into while I was at church 3 years ago. It was Father's Day too! My purse got stolen. It was my own fault, really, our congregation had been warned that every so often cars got broken into while church services were going on. So I knew better. The incident upset me a lot. It happened at church! Yes, it was in the parking lot, but shouldn't church property be sanctuary, whether it's inside or out? It was Sunday! The Lord's Day! Aren't two of the Ten Commandments to keep the Sabbath day holy and to not steal? And it was Father's Day! Whoever took the purse--why weren't you at home with your dad?!? The upshot of it all was that instead of spending the afternoon making a nice dinner for my husband (at the time we had 3 kids, now we have 4), I had to spend it on the phone with the police (to file a report), the insurance company (to see about getting the window repaired), and the banks (to get my debit and credit cards cancelled and my bank account numbers changed, since my checkbook was stolen too). Luckily I had my keys with me. So at least we didn't have to worry about changing locks. That feeling of being violated stayed with me a long time and even now I won't leave my purse in the car when we go to church. Not even hidden under the seat.

So sorry you had to go through something like that, and for something like a copper downspout. Hope the changes you're making will help restore your sense of safety and security and prevent future thefts from occurring!

Keep up the great work on the house. I love reading about what you do.
Hi Merilee,

Thanks so much for leaving us a comment and we're so glad you found us. That's terrible about being stolen from while you were at church!! That's so sad that there are people out there like that would do such a despicable thing. Sounds like taking your purse with you is the safer option, even if just for peace of mind.
10/18/2012 at 12:10 PM
That is horribly upsetting! I am so sorry. I know when our house was being renovated in 2004, the owner at the time had to install security cameras because thieves kept steeling materials, namely copper. We have copper downspouts as well.... Time for a neighborhood watch!
10/19/2012 at 3:00 PM
Sorry to hear about this! The same thing happened to our neighbors just three nights ago. They have outdoor surveillance cameras and recorded a panel van with ladders on the top stopping in front of their house around midnight. They walked right up to the house and removed about $1k worth of copper downspouts.

Back in the summer, someone broke into our car and stole a gym bag. Right in our driveway! I hope they got what they were looking for, as the bag was full of dirty laundry!

Hope you all get to the bottom of who did it. As the others have said, file a police report.
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