Sunday, December 23, 2007

How safe are we in our own homes?

I kept calling one of my bestfriends tonight but her phone was out of reach. I made several attempts, maybe 4, but the calls didn't go through. It was rather unusual because she's one person who always has her phone with her. She replies to my texts immediately and always picks up when I call. When I arrived at our dinner, I asked her why she was out of reach and why she looked like she hadn't had any sleep at all. Turns out that her cellphone (as well as her DH's) was stolen last night. HOW? Someone broke into their home and took the phones plus some cash without them even knowing it.

The really alarming thing is this...she and her DH both sleep with their cellphones next to them, just in case someone calls with an emergency. She couldn't imagine how this person was able to enter their room and grab their phones without waking any of them up (they have 4 kids and all of them sleep in the same room). Nevermind the cellphone, she can easily replace it, I know. What really kills her is that feeling of violation. She was in bed, in her nightgown, in God-knows-what position, when the thief (a male, as they would later find out) so courageously walked into their bedroom. And she keeps thinking...this guy knows how she looks. He could be walking around their village stalking her and she wouldn't even know it was him.

They live in an upscale village in the south. I've been there a million times and security is really strict. She always has to call the guardhouse and give them my license plate everytime I visit. The few times she forgot to do this, the guards would ask me to park my car on the side and wait for them to confirm with my bestfriend if she was indeed expecting me. So the only thing she and her DH could think of was this was done by somebody who already lives in the village. A druggie maybe? A construction worker? Driver? Houseboy? They don't know.

It's a good thing they have guards who roam the village on a scooter round the clock. It was one of them that noticed that there was a man standing outside their house at around 1am, looking around as if to check if there was anybody watching him. That's when the guard called the clubhouse and the clubhouse called my bestfriend's house. That was the only time they woke up and realized that things were missing. Oh and she also left 3,000 bucks on the fridge with a magnet and that was gone, too. Obviously this guy had been in the house long enough.

I don't live in an upscale village but I do live within a guarded community. I'm thinking, if this can happen to them, it can happen to anyone right? I told her to just be grateful that nobody got hurt or that none of them woke up while the thief was there. Can you just imagine how he would have reacted if one of them caught him? I shudder at the thought!

Lesson learned : one can never be too careful. Even if you think your neighborhood is safe, lock your doors and your windows before you retire at night. Better safe than sorry.

I hope my bestfriend recovers from her traumatic experience soon and the village authorities manage to catch whoever is responsible before he victimizes other homeowners in the area.

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