Although I write mysteries, my only connection to the real world of crime has been through seminars with specialists in the field. Now I can finally claim a true crime experience of my own.
Our Orlando condo had a break-in and all jewelry plus portable electronics were stolen. The thieves tossed our clothing onto the floor, knocked over a lamp, riffled through the master bedroom dresser and nightstand, and took two pillowcases plus two entire drawers from our lovely dresser.
We felt violated, insecure, and sad for our daughter whose lifelong collection of jewelry had been taken. These included graduation and birthday gifts, heirlooms from her grandmother, gifts from her friends, and designer pieces we’d bought for her on our Caribbean cruises. The sentimental value is greater than the actual value.
Insurance doesn’t nearly cover the cost of everything. Her company was easy, listing her losses over the phone. Mine requires receipts or appraisals, photos and replacement values. Doing all of this paperwork has consumed my attention in recent weeks, which is why I haven’t posted here until lately. Fortunately my blog tour picked up the slack, since I’d already written and submitted those pieces. This experience has been an education. I’d advise you to check your insurance policies. Coverage on valuables is very limited. You might want to itemize certain items of value. Make sure you have everything you own well documented.
Our bedroom dresser has to be replaced. Right now it has two gaping spots from the missing drawers. Really? The burglars had to ruin my piece of furniture?
I am angry at the crooks who have no respect for anyone’s property. I am dismayed by the delay in replacing our damaged front door. The thieves used a crowbar to gain entry and damaged both the door and the frame. It’s taking our homeowner’s association weeks to get a new door that fits the code. Meanwhile, we’ve instituted a monitored alarm system and additional security measures.
The fallout from a theft takes a toll. We haven’t even begun to shop for replacement items, but the dresser will be a priority. We’ve made two unexpected four-hour trips to Orlando to deal with these issues. This means two weeks of work lost and other chores gone undone, not to mention the cost in gas and meals.
I cannot imagine what it must be like for someone who loses their home and all their possessions in a fire or other natural disaster. How horribly sad and unsettling. In the case of a break-in, though, you feel more paranoid. You realize your home isn’t sacrosanct. No more do you feel safe from invasion.
One bright spot in all of this: Our kids discovered the Beck Brothers blueberry farm and they picked a bunch of sweet berries. So I made blueberry bread and blueberry coffee cake.