I would beat up a woman.
Not just any woman, the woman who stole Julieâ€™s computer and one of our digital cameras while Zoe was napping in her bedroom sometime between 1:45 and 2:15pm today.
How do I know it was a woman? Let me give you the whole story…
1:45pm, Julie and I leave the house with our new baby, and my sixteen year old, Zoe, is asleep in her bedroom. As weâ€™re backing out of our driveway, a woman in a van is driving slowly, looking closely at our house, watching us back out of the driveway. Julie notices they pulled over just past our house as we back out and pull away. She thought something was strange, but we live on a somewhat busy street in Los Angeles — if you reacted every time you saw a strange person life would be difficult indeed. Baby crying, we drove off to run the errands we had to run.
4:45pm, returned home, Zoeâ€™s been awake half and hour and is in the shower. Julie says, â€œUm, whereâ€™s my computer?â€ I yell into showering Zoe, â€œWhereâ€™s Julieâ€™s computer?â€ figuring she took the laptop into her bedroom to do some homework or some such. â€œI have no idea,â€ is her response. We pulled ourselves together a minute, trying to figure out what might have happened and ended up finally facing reality: someone walked into our house and walked out with Julieâ€™s laptop.
Nothing else appeared to be missing (at first). We poked around and the TV, my new MacBook Pro, the digital picture frame, and other easily-grab-able semi-high-dollar items were still here. Most importantly, Zoe was just fine.
I biked around the neighborhood looking for a teenage kid with a laptop under his arm. I visited our next door neighbors. Both had been home all day. One hadnâ€™t seen anything. The other, with whom we nearly share a driveway with, had seen a woman with blonde hair leave our house just a few minutes after us. He didnâ€™t think much of it, could have been a friend of Zoeâ€™s or whatnot. When she reappeared a few minutes later, again leaving our house, he leaned over to take a look and she gave him a friendly â€œHelloâ€ (creepy-ass bitch). Not thinking anything suspicious, he went back to washing his car.
We called the Santa Monica PD, they came in two waves. First a patrolman, then someone from forensics. They dusted, took all our fingerprints, etc. The patrolman asked if anything else was missing. We said no. He said, â€œNo cameras, etc?â€ SHIT. My Nikon D50 had been sitting on the kitchen counter. Gone.
Whatâ€™s amazing is that to get from the Nikon to Julieâ€™s computer they had to walk RIGHT PAST this new MacBook Pro that Iâ€™m typing on right now. They took Julieâ€™s two year old Emachine that was $800 brand new and skipped the brand new twice-as-costly computer. Maybe they just werenâ€™t Mac people? They also walked right past a Sony T9 point/shoot camera.
They didnâ€™t take the laptop power adapter. They didnâ€™t get the charger for the Nikon, which was elsewhere in the house. I dunno why I find it even more annoying to know they canâ€™t even USE the shit they stole once the batteries die after an hour or so of use. I want to put both these complementary items up for sale on The Recycler and see who bites. If itâ€™s a woman in a white van sheâ€™s getting her ass kicked, straight up.
I can only assume that she somehow realized Zoe was here and got the fuck out of dodge before she was finished, else it was a weirdly selective job.
I called Gateway and reported the laptop stolen and got the SN for the police report. I filed a claim with my insurance company. But itâ€™s not the lack of laptop or camera that matter. Our lives have been changed by the creepy-ness factor. From now on:
- Doors are always locked. Always.
- Alarm is always set. Always.
- Iâ€™m calling the alarm company and beefing up, maybe even changing alarm companies to one that digs moats full of poisonous snakes or some shit.
- I’m getting more serious locks for both front and back doors.
- Every time I see someone creepy in my neighborhood Iâ€™m getting their license plate.
- Iâ€™ll attempt to refrain from slashing the tires of every white van I see.
- Iâ€™ll attempt to refrain from getting a gun to keep by my bed. Maybe just an ice pick.
- None of my Flickr photos will be “public” anymore. Only people I at least know of can peek into my life in pictures.
But yeah, if I saw this lady again Iâ€™d slug her before even sussing out her guilt. Wouldnâ€™t think twice. I know itâ€™s not the best solution to the problem, but itâ€™s hard not to want to violate someone right back. If anyone has a better idea, Iâ€™m all ears. Until then I’ll be beating myself up for being comfortable enough in my own neighborhood to leave the back door unlocked when I left for a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon. And thanking some higher power that Zoe is safe and sound and that all we lost were some very easily replaced electronics.