You see it happen all the time, but never expect it to happen to you. Indeed, this year there had been a high amount of thefts both on campus and off. The thieves run in, grab whatever they could in the small amount of time, and dashed out. It was disturbing, of course, but my housemates and I thought we were safe. Kalamazoo is a shit city, but the neighborhood we lived in was different, right? We don’t throw huge parties. We don’t have any enemies (that we know of). We live in a very small house on an out-of-the-way street. There was a mixture of college houses and family houses on this street and for the most part was really nice and quiet. The other places that were burgled were much different than ours: Large houses, lots of people, doors unlocked. We were extremely anal about locking our doors and windows all the time. Our landlady lives next door for crying out loud!
All it took was one unlocked window in our kitchen…
It is very rare that all four roommates are gone from the house at once. My college is very fast-paced and we have homework all the time, especially as seniors. It was one of the few Saturday nights were we all just took a break to relax and have some fun, and this is what happens. Roommate 1 even had a barbeque with friends out back!
They must have been watching us for quite a while. It’s the only reason to explain why they struck despite the fact that there were so many people over and that we left the lights on before leaving. They must have figured out when everyone had left the house and siezed the opportunity. Roommate 1 ended the party and went to go study on campus at around 10:30 p.m. Roommates 2, 3, and I were out catching a movie (Iron Man is really good, by the way) and went over to some friends’ place to play games.
The three of us came home at a little past midnight. We went into the kitchen to see that one of the windows had been opened. “Weird” we thought, “Roommate 1 is usually anal about this yet left the back door unlocked and the window wide open and the back door unlocked, how unlike her…” We discovered the other part of the window outside. Roommate 2 and I put it together and thought nothing of it- perhaps Roommate 1 was just a bit tipsy.
Roommate 3 gets really worried and starts checking everything. “Guys, where’s my DVD player?” All three of us run to our respective rooms. Stuff is missing. We call Roommate 4 back to campus and call the police.
They did what they could, we gave our statements, but let’s face it- our stuff is as good as gone. Luckily they did not go for everything, just quick electronics. They must have been watching us from the cemetary behind our house (the house is 20 feet below it on a steep but climbable hill), saw the chance, and went around trying the windows on the side of the house opposite to our landlady’s. They popped it open, somehow climbed over the washer and dryer set that are in front of the window which is quite a feat. Opened the back door, took our stuff and dashed.
I’m afraid that I left that window unlocked from a few weeks ago when I was airing out the room after burning some squash. They tell me that it’s not my fault, but I still feel so terrible.
2 Nintendo DS Lites
4 Nintendo DS games
1 DVD player
1 Nintendo Gamecube
Of those, a laptop, a DS and the iPod was mine. I never realized how much I used that laptop. All of my papers I wrote in the last 2 years- gone. All of my photos from Kyoto- gone. I worked really hard for the DS in Japan, it was the first electronic I actually bought myself and one of the few frivilous items I allowed myself to buy. The iPod was new and had been a Christmas gift, that one is going to get a good price on the market.
I cried a lot last night. I feel like crying now. Luckily they didn’t take anything more like our passports or my electronic dictionary or television or PC. They’re just material items, I’m trying to let go. It’s hard when it feels like a setback; I’ll be coming out of here $40k in debt so there’s no way I’ll be able to replace the lost items anytime soon. I still feel terrible. I feel terrible that I was probably the one that left that window open and I feel terrible that our privacy and trust has been violated. Will they see the stickers on my items and wonder what kind of girl really loves plum blossoms and butterflies? Will they look at my Japanese papers and thesis and think about how long it must have taken to write those? Will they see my Kyoto pictures and wonder what kind of person lived there for a year? It feels creepy to think about that. I don’t want them to see it; I hope they delete everything. I hope my laptop won’t get a sold because of the broken battery. I’m glad that no one was home when it happened, but at the same time…
This was literally one of the few times out of the schoolyear where all four of us were gone from the house. We were busy trying to enjoy ourselves in the little free time we had before graduation. It was all good as gold until now. I had so much fun last night, more than I’ve had in a long time, and then we come home to this. I tried to hold this place in a good light. I tried defending it to my friends who see it as their personal hell. I tried smiling to strangers and saying hello to people on the street despite my own akwardness. Will I keep trying? I don’t know. It feels like it’s going to be so much harder after this. All I know is that I feel really sad and grey.
Much like Kalamazoo’s weather.
Much like Kalamazoo.