Sunday, August 09, 2009

To Catch A Thief. . .

In 2008 I was fortunate enough to travel to 2 amazing places - Dubai (UAE) and Morocco. This Dubai thing was a once in a lifetime work opportunity and Morocco, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from Portugal, has been on my list for quite some time now. But life is full of lots of ups and downs and when I returned home from Morocco last July I discovered that I had been robbed. Any jewelry that was valuable was taken, including Luis' watch. While there weren't any Fabrege eggs among my trinkets, I had a few nice pieces including a ring that my mother had left me. All gone, just like that.

The pisser is that we had had the locks changed earlier in the year and NOONE had a key to the apartment. We didn't have a housekeeper or even a friend or relative who had an extra key (just in case we locked ourselves out). Nor had anyone been left alone in the house long enough to rummage through our things - no painter, cable guy, chimney sweep, delivery boy/girl, repair person, NOONE. There were no signs of forced entry either. We live on the 2nd floor so it would be pretty tricky (not to say conspicuous) breaking into a window that high up on a quiet residential street.

Nope, it was someone we knew (I knew) and (for all intents and purposes) trusted. It was someone who I invited into my life, into my home. The only person who had the occasion was a work colleague who lived nearby. When the need arose we fed each other's cats, watered plants and brought in the mail as "neighbors" often do. She had full access to my place while I was travelling. At some point during my absence she had the time to calmly and quietly rifle through my belongings and help herself to pieces of my life. There was a story and a memory attached to each article that made it a treasure.

The policeman we spoke with said that most burglaries were committed by someone you know and most cases remain unsolved and unpunished. We confronted the person we suspected and she denied any involvement. As we had no concrete proof (who would have thought that I needed a nanny-cam), we chose not to pursue the matter legally. Gotta say that that didn't make it any easier though. It was hard seeing her at work and I am glad that she will not be returning to school this coming year and is moving out of my neighborhood.

There's no moral to this story. There's no happy ending either. There's no advice that I can offer to guard against this. But while I do know that you can't live your life protecting yourself against all of the what if's, I still haven't haven't replaced any of the missing pieces . . .

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