Just before lunch today I noticed I had a missed call on my mobile and a few seconds after I picked up my phone, it started ringing again and Lorraine told me in a somewhat worried voice that our house had been broken into.
Claire had been to the gym this morning and Lorraine happened to drop in before lunch to drop some items off and was going to leave them on our back patio table when she noticed that the back sliding door was open. Initially she thought it was odd and that Claire must have unknowingly left it open, so she walked in, dropped off her items and then noticed the broken glass on the floor.
At this point Lorraine thought she heard someone in the house and called 000 and the police responded promptly but instead of having the normal boys in blue roll up, we had a Sargent, two detectives and a forensic officer who happened to all be in the area when the call came over their radio — talk about good timing!
Police entered the house with weapons drawn, cleared all rooms, cupboards, under beds, in large storage spaces, garage and even checked in the man hole into the roof cavity to make sure no one was in the house. By the time the police arrived, there wasn’t anyone in the house – good for the offender, not as fantastic for the police as it would have been great to apprehend someone.
While getting broken into is not on the top of my bucket list, I’m very thankful that whoever broke into our home didn’t do any damage. Other than the shattered glass pane in the sliding door, nothing else in the house was damaged. They could have easily broken the TV, damaged or spray painted the walls, set fire to the house for the fun of it — the options are pretty endless but none of that happened so for that I’m thankful.
The living area, kitchen, computer and kids rooms were left alone, while our master bedroom took their full attention with virtually everything in a draw or on a shelf, now sitting on the floor as they rummaged through looking for valuable items but again, nothing damaged – just a great big mess.
Knowing that Claire was at the gym, I had in my head a rough time frame that she would have been away from the house. For whatever reason, I was imagining someone or a group of people systematically going through the house over a couple of hours (I know, ridiculous) and emptying it out completely of anything of value.
To my absolute and complete dismay, that is virtually the opposite of what has happened. While turning our bedroom upside down, they’ve found a beautiful dress watch I gave to Claire on our wedding day and taken that, while overlooking my equally expensive Seiko watch. They’ve literally picked up the Canon 600D and the digital video camera to move them but didn’t take them, similarly they opened a jewelry that was clearly opened wasn’t taken so I’m a little confused about what their motivation was.
This makes me wonder if Lorraine did disturb someone in the house and when she back out of the house, I presume to the front yard to call the police, the intruder(s) have escaped out through the broken glass door and over the fence. No idea if that happened or not but it is odd that more items weren’t stolen, so maybe something spooked them.
It was great to see the forensics guy dusting everything down for finger prints, maybe it’ll help them nail someone for the crime in the future. Successful finger prints were lifted off the door frame but unfortunately they didn’t cut themselves on the glass. It also turns out that Apple products are very desirable, as every box we had in the cupboard was taken down and checked and the nice glossy cardboard is fantastic for prints – four more sets were lifted off those as well.
This afternoon I put a call into our Suncorp Insurance to get the ball rolling with them and the process was really smooth. Rob, the Suncorp consultant I talked to on the phone was fast, clear and explained what was going to happen.
Before I got off the phone he’d already organised a glazier to call me later that afternoon to come and fix the broken glass panel in the sliding door. Rob had said if I didn’t hear from the glazier in 2-3 hours to give them a call but I didn’t need to, as they called me less than 10 minutes after I got off the phone.
The glazier, Amalgamated Glass, turned up about an hour after the phone call. Hugo and Evie were excited to see him shatter the glass into a thousand tiny pieces and vacuum them up, along with watching him refit the new glass out at his truck.
Claire has provided the police with an initial list of stolen items, which at this stage is just her dress watch but that might change in the next day or two. The forensics officer actually said it is normal to add things to that stolen items register months or a year afterwards when you realise an item you use infrequently is missing. I’d expect to receive the incident number for the break and enter tomorrow or early next week.
I’ve got the case number from Suncorp and have told them about the stolen watch. Again we need to update the stolen items as soon as we can and also provide Suncorp any documentation (if we’ve got any) showing that we own the items that that we’ve reported stolen such as a receipt, maybe a photo for instance.
Tomorrow or Monday I should receive a phone call from someone at Suncorp to go through our case in more detail, at which point I should find out about how the payout process works which at this stage I’m unsure of.
So far having someone break into our home has been an inconvenience but everyone we’ve dealt with so far have been fantastic. I’m hopeful that the last part of the process with Suncorp is equally as smooth and if so, they should be congratulated on really trying hard to deliver great customer service.